Consider EHV-4 in Neurologic Herpes Cases

Sometimes everything appears to add up in an outbreak of what resembles equine herpesvirus-associated myeloencephalopathy, the dreaded neurologic condition generally caused by equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) infection that causes ataxia or

Share
Favorite
Please login

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Sometimes everything appears to add up in an outbreak of what resembles equine herpesvirus-associated myeloencephalopathy, the dreaded neurologic condition generally caused by equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) infection that causes ataxia or paralysis. Everything, that is, except for the test results. In these cases, consider the fact it might be another herpes strain causing the illness.

At the 46th Congress of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) held Sept. 12-15, 2007, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Lutz Steffen Goehring, MSc, Dipl. ACVIM, PhD, assistant professor in equine medicine at Colorado State University’s veterinary school, presented a study in which EHV-4 was identified in lesions of a horse’s spinal cord. The Standardbred stallion with signs of equine herpesvirus-associated myeloencephalopathy (EHM) was examined during a farm visit in the province of North-Holland, The Netherlands.

The culprit virus ended up being EHV-4, a herpesvirus known for being rather common among horses, but one that rarely causes neurologic signs. EHV-4 was easily isolated from the spinal cord of this horse during post-mortem examination.

"While this is not the first report of an EHV-4 associated myelopathy, it is so far still considered an extremely rare presentation," said Goehring. "While EHV-4 seroprevalence is generally very high, EHV-4 viremia (presence of virus in the bloodstream) is less common than it is during EHV-1 infection; however, viremia is a prerequisite to develop EHM

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Stephanie L. Church, Editorial Director, grew up riding and caring for her family’s horses in Central Virginia and received a B.A. in journalism and equestrian studies from Averett University. She joined The Horse in 1999 and has led the editorial team since 2010. A 4-H and Pony Club graduate, she enjoys dressage, eventing, and trail riding with her former graded-stakes-winning Thoroughbred gelding, It Happened Again (“Happy”). Stephanie and Happy are based in Lexington, Kentucky.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

How do you prevent gastric ulcers in horses? Please check all that apply.
159 votes · 373 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!