Equine Herpes Case Reported

Trot Insider has learned that a horse located in Quebec, who was recently stabled at an Ontario training centre, has tested positive for equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1).

Pacing mare Invisible Children was stabled in the Campbellville area before being shipped to Quebec where the signs of the disease became evident. A test performed at Laboratoire Biovet in Ste. Hyacinthe, Quebec confirmed the presence of EHV-1. That standardbred has since been euthanized.

“None of the 115 horses that are currently stabled on the grounds have shown any signs of anything like equine herpes in the past three weeks,” said Nick Boyd, Manager of Campbellville Training Centre. “Richard Simard’s horse was here but left two weeks ago.”

Trot Insider has learned that a second horse was recently tested in the Campbellville area but that horse’s test result did not confirm the presence of EHV-1.

Outbreaks of neurological EHV-1 are contagious and have a significant risk of mortality. ANYTHING that touches an infected horse or carries secretions or manure from sick horses has the potential to transfer pathogens to other horses.

EHV-1 is a viral infection which can cause respiratory disease, abortion, death in newborn foals, and neurological form of herpes.

Prevention Tips

  1. Isolate affected or exposed horses, but don’t move from farm.
  2. Isolate new horses for minimum two weeks.
  3. Horses can carry EHV-1 virus for life and can become contagious if stressed (i.e. strenuous exercise or transport).
  4. A healthy horse can spread the virus.
  5. Virus is spread by direct horse-to-horse contact through nasal secretions and it can also spread through contact with contaminated tack and equipment.

Care Should Include:

  • Horses suspected to be actively shedding virus should be examined by a vet.
  • Infected and exposed horses should be isolated immediately.
  • Discuss vaccination plan with your vet (often particularly important for broodmares).
  • Check for fever. It is one of the most consistent clinical signs, and commonly precedes the development of other clinical signs.
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