May 17, 2011

Equine herspesvirus outbreak in Western states

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My Mom told me about an outbreak of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) amongst horses that had attended the National Cutting Horse Association’s Western National Championship show in Ogden, Utah, from April 29-May 8.

EHV-1 is a highly contagious disease that can be spread horse to horse from skin contact, on tack, etc. One of the initial symptoms is a slight fever of 101-102F. The virus can be detected by laboratory analyses of nasal swabs or blood samples from exposed horses.

Association of Equine Practitioners page on EHV (symptoms, treatments, strains):

Equine Herpesvirus (Rhinopneumonitis)

Excellent article with a list of states reporting EHV-1 cases:

” UPDATE: Recent Equine EHV-1: What You Need to Know” by Brittany Bevis. The Equine Chronicle Online. May 16, 2011.

Information about the disease:

Equine Herpesvirus – A Deadly Enemy” by Heather Smith Thomas. July/August 2007. The Equine Chronicle.

California Department of Food and Agriculture press release:

The EHV-1 organism spreads quickly from horse to horse and the neurologic form of the virus can reach high morbidity and mortality rates. The incubation period of EHV-1 is typically 2-10 days. In horses infected with the neurologic strain of EHV-1, clinical signs may include: nasal discharge, incoordination, hind end weakness, recumbency, lethargy, urine dribbling and diminished tail tone. Prognosis depends on severity of signs and the period of recumbency. There is no specific treatment for EHV-1. Treatment may include intravenous fluids, anti-inflammatory drugs and other appropriate supportive treatment. Currently, there is no equine vaccine that has a label claim for protection against the neurological strain of the virus.

Equine Herpes Virus Alert

Additional information:

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