Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Clean & Disinfect a Stall

At times you may need to clean and disinfect your horse’s stall. Perhaps your vet diagnosed your horse with a contagious disease and you want to avoid transmission to other horses through your tack. Stripping and disinfecting a stall is a critical part of preventing disease transmission from horse to horse.

Procedure

An important part of effectively disinfecting a stall is to first remove and properly dispose of all visible bedding, manure and debris. Disinfectants do not function well in the presence of visible organic material.

1. Remove all bedding and visible material from floors, corners and walls and door.

2. Remove all buckets, feeders (and other removable objects) and disinfect them separately, because they too may be a source of disease spread. Scrub them clean using a mixture of hot water and laundry detergent. Rinse well. Then, place them in bleach water (1:20 ratio) or dilute Lysol water (2.5 tablespoons of Lysol per gallon of water). Soak for 30 minutes minimum. Discard solution. Rinse well, and allow to air dry.

3. Wash walls and floors using large volumes of water starting from the top of the stall and working your way down. Use a stiff scrub brush (a car washing brush works well) and laundry detergent to lather the surfaces. Rinse well. Then mix bleach water (1:20 ratio) or dilute Lysol water (2.5 tablespoons of Lysol per gallon of water), in a garden type sprayer, and spray all surfaces and allow to air-dry. Repeat.

4. Return clean buckets and feeder to your horse's stall. Bed with clean bedding.

Tips for safety & Success

Wear protective clothing, including long sleeves, long pants, gloves, and eye protection when applying disinfectants.

Before you begin, consider your timing. Plan disinfection at a time in which you do not have to handle horses. Ideally you should change clothes and shower before handling horses.

Also consider where the waste will go. Properly composting bedding and manure may be an option, as is burying it or disposing of it off property in bags. In all cases, consideration should be given to the potential to infect other horses. Simply spreading the manure on pasture or mixing it in the normal manure pile may increase risk of spread of disease.

Be careful about using corrosive disinfectants, wetting electrical wiring or lights, or spraying or aerating debris (which should be removed first).

As a preventative measure, consider sealing all porous surfaces (concrete blocks and wood) with a coat or two of paint or sealant, so that it is easy to clean in the future.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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