News Release from Idaho Equine Hospital regarding the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) outbreak
Idaho Equine Hospital is participating in an investigation of an outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus 1 (EHV-1) infection in some of our local horses that were exposed at a show in Utah. This outbreak has extended to horses in California, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, and Arizona. Any horse that was at the show in Ogden is potentially exposed.
EHV-1 is a common viral infection of horses that is highly contagious. Symptoms can range from no clinical signs, to mild upper respiratory disease, or abortion. In a small percentage of horses it can cause neurological disorders (weakness or loss of balance unable to urinate or defecate, unable to stand). The highly contagious nature of this disease makes isolation and quarantine of exposed horses critical for containment.
EHV-1 does not affect humans, dogs, cats, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs or birds; although llamas and alpacas (camelids) can be affected.
There have been confirmed EHV 1 cases in horses from the Ogden show at Washington State University and Colorado State University. California has issued a statement concerning the multistate outbreak of EHV 1 associated with this event. Idaho Equine Hospital has seen 2 horses in the treasure valley from the Ogden show with signs of EHV 1. There are also horses exhibiting signs of EHV 1 at other facilities in Idaho. Horses that could have been exposed have been identified and quarantined for observation. Isolation and serial temperatures are the best safety and monitoring guidelines. Vaccination post exposure and the use of anti-viral medication can be considered. Idaho Equine Hospital is working with State Health officials to get accurate information out to all horse owners.
Anyone that has concerns about exposure of their horse should use the following guidelines and contact their veterinarian or state veterinarian for additional precautions:
-Segregate potentially exposed horses from any non exposed horses by at least 50 feet. The exposed horse should not have direct contact with other horses for 3 weeks. Stall cleaning and husbandry practices should be separate for the potentially exposed horses.
-Take your horses temperature rectally twice a day for 21 days. If the temperature is over 102 degrees F please contact us immediately.
- The preferred testing method is PCR analysis performed on a nasal swab. This is only effective to identify horses that are actively shedding the virus.
Idaho Equine Hospital is urging people that may have been exposed at the Ogden show or subsequently to voluntarily isolate and observe those horses. It is in the best interest of all our horses to contain this outbreak if possible. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter please feel free to contact one of our veterinarians at 208-466-4613. We will continue to post updates as this situation as it develops.