What Is Equine Coronavirus?
Learn about this recently recognized, highly contagious virus and how its discovery impacts your horse
On a balmy Nebraska morning in June 2017, the owner of a small boarding facility found one of her horses showing signs of mild colic. While the gelding’s herdmates grazed happily in the morning sun, this particular horse was alone, alternating between lying down and standing, kicking at his abdomen, nostrils flared, glaring at his flank. As she walked toward him he passed a small amount of very moist feces … definitely not normal for this horse. With every step the facility owner’s heart rate and blood pressure rose, as did her sense of panic. She immediately called her veterinarian and isolated the colicky animal in his stall until the vet arrived.
This scenario might feel all too real for anyone who has gone through it like this owner did. In this situation veterinarians tested the horse, diagnosing him with equine coronavirus (ECoV). They ultimately diagnosed six horses on the farm with this colitis (inflammation of the colon lining) causing infection, one of which succumbed to disease—a relatively rare occurrence with ECoV.
Here we’ll share essential information about ECoV, how it spreads between horses, why it’s important to diagnose, ways to minimize chances of infection, and how to diagnose and treat the disease.
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