The Modern Equine Vet
August 2023
Vol 13 Issue 8 2023
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Ask the Infectious Disease Expert

“What are the Best Disinfecting Practices to Help Mitigate Disease Spread?

Arguably more important than managing a disease outbreak is minimizing the chance that one occurs in the first place. When implemented in conjunction with your customized vaccination recommendations, this disinfection protocol helps clients reduce the risk of infectious diseases in barns, boarding facilities, transport trailers and more.


  • Remove organic debris, buckets, feed tubs and bedding from the area.
  • Clean the area using standard procedures with a liquid detergent solution to soften and remove dried organic material. If cleaning stalls, rinse them as a final step, beginning at the top of walls and working
  • Allow surfaces to dry before applying disinfectant.


  • Disinfect environmental surfaces. Disinfectant solutions require appropriate surface contact time and should be applied according to product label directions.
  • Choose disinfectants that are EPA-registered, have documented effectiveness in the presence of organic matter and are safe to use around horses and humans. Read all disinfectant labels and implement necessary protective equipment prior to disinfection.
  • For complete surface coverage, use an electrostatic sprayer to apply the disinfectant (see the recommended
  • To disinfect, use a continuous path through the space, working from low to high areas in a sweeping motion
  • Do not wipe surfaces following electrostatic disinfection and allow surfaces to dry thoroughly before applying an antimicrobial solution.


  • Using a spray-on antimicrobial solution in conjunction with cleaning and disinfecting protocols provides a protective coating against the growth of bacteria, fungi, mold and algae.

Repeat this protocol as needed based on the duration of efficacy noted on the product labels of your chosen disinfectants and antimicrobial solutions.


Driven by an Unconditional commitment to equine health and welfare, Merck Animal Health is collaborating with ByoPlanet® to curate a disinfectant product suite that is safe for use around horses and people. Together, Merck Animal Health and ByoPlanet are partnering with The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) to reduce the risk of disease introduction and spread on USEF competition grounds and to help protect the health of USEF equine athletes.
ByoPlanet’s patented technologies paired with Merck Animal Health’s leading antimicrobic products have the potential to revolutionize pathogen control in the equine industry by providing enhanced protection for horses and giving peace of mind to their caretakers.

Recommended products

  • Clean Republic Multi-Purpose Disinfectant. With an EPA Category IV toxicity rating (the lowest available level of toxicity), this noncorrosive, non-bleaching pH-neutral product kills 99.9% of bacteria and is made with only salt, water and electricity. It contains no fragrances or harsh fumes.
  • ByoPlanet® electrostatic sprayers. Applying disinfectant with ByoPlanet electrostatic sprayers provides 360° of surface coverage with less waste, quicker re-entry into the environment and better efficacy against pathogens in hidden areas.
  • Armatrex™ spray-on antimicrobial solution. Safe for use in many live-animal settings and on a variety of surfaces, such as stalls and cross ties, Armatrex provides up to 90 days of protection. ByoPlanet electrostatic sprayers are the recommended application system.

Want to ask a question? Email the Editor.

For more information, visit the Merck Animal Health Armatrex webpage.

About the Author
Chrissie Schneider, DVM, MS, DABVP (equine practice), cVMA, is a senior equine professional services veterinarian at Merck Animal Health. Prior to joining Merck Animal Health in 2020, Dr. Schneider was in clinical equine practice for 11 years – including an equine internship, an Equine Field Service residency at The Ohio State University and six years as an associate at an equine-exclusive ambulatory practice in central Ohio.