The Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Oregon State University (OSU) will not accept horses for anything but emergency services until at least Monday, Oct. 26, due to a diagnosed case of equine influenza virus at the hospital.

One horse has been tested and found to be infected with this virus, and has been moved to an animal isolation facility for treatment. Other horses at the hospital are being monitored for any signs of infection. If one or more are found to be infected, it could further delay the reopening of the facility, officials say.

“We acted quickly to diagnose and isolate the horse that was showing signs of the disease, and hopefully no more animals will be found to be infected,” said John Schlipf, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, a large animal internal medicine specialist in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. “We will be able to accept emergency cases if needed.”

Equine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease in horses that typically is not fatal, but is a particular concern to foals and pregnant mares. Other than equine species, the situation will not affect the care of any other small or large animals at the hospital.

Officials wish to emphasize that this is equine influenza virus, not equine herpesvirus-1, a far more serious disease that is often confused with the influenza virus.

[brightcove videoid="3122355691001" title="Health Alert: Equine Influenza"]

Equine influenza is endemic in the United States, and outbreak situations occur intermittently. It’s not transferable to humans or other animal species, but can spread rapidly among horses and other equ