Equine Herpes Virus-1
Equine rhinopneumonitis virus (EHV-1 or equine abortion virus) is a highly infectious disease that usually affects the respiratory system. Occasionally, the virus may also cause neurological disease. Transmission likely occurs by inhaling infected droplets or ingesting material contaminated by nasal discharges or aborted fetuses. Clinical symptoms may include a fever, difficulty urinating, depression, and stumbling or weakness in the hind limbs. Supportive therapy is often used to treat these cases. In severe cases, horses will be unable to stand; these cases have a very poor prognosis.
Dr. Richard Wilkes, Virginia’s State Veterinarian, wants to make Virginia horse owners and veterinarians aware of an incident of Equine Herpes Virus -1 in North Carolina. At this time the event is isolated to North Carolina and there is no reason for elevated concern in Virginia. Wilkes continues to recommend that horse owners and stable managers isolate horses returning from shows, trail rides, parades and other co-mingling events as well as recently introduced horses. Horse owners should not share tack, feed, equipment, etc., especially at shows or other equine events. “Good biosecurity will go a long way to keep from introducing infectious diseases into a herd,” Wilkes said, “and I urge all horse and stable owners to routinely take precautions to keep their horses healthy. I encourage horse owners and stable managers to discuss specific biosecurity and disease prevention measures with a veterinarian that is familiar with the facility and the animals residing at the facility and I remind veterinarians that reportable diseases may be reported by calling 804.786.2483.”
Horse Biosecurity Posters
Information from the USDA