Neurologic EHV in Saskatchewan: Five Horses Euthanized

Officials said the first clinical signs noted were sporadic abortions in a herd of 70 late-term broodmares, five of which developed neurologic signs and were euthanized.
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ehv in saskatchewan
In many horses, the first or only sign of EHV-1 infection is fever, which can go undetected. | Photo: The Horse Staff
On June 11 the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) reported that Canadian animal health officials have reported multiple cases of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) on a single farm in southern Saskatchewan. So far, five horses diagnosed with equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM, the neurologic form of EHV-1) have been euthanized.

“The first symptoms noted were sporadic abortions (6) in a group of 70 late-term brood mares, followed by severe neurological symptoms in five horses which were subsequently euthanized,” the EDCC said. “Equine herpesvirus-1 was confirmed by PCR on June 4.

“The premises has self-quarantined, under supervision of the herd veterinarian; it is anticipated that all animals currently on the premises will not be moved for a period of several months,” the EDCC continued. “No animals were moved off the premises in the weeks prior to the outbreak. Animal movements onto the farm in the weeks prior to the outbreak are being investigated to try to identify a potential source of introduction of the virus.”

ehv in saskatchewan
Saskatchewan, Canada

EHV 101

Herpesvirus is highly contagious among horses and can cause a variety of ailments in equids, including rhinopneumonitis (a respiratory disease usually found in young horses), abortion in broodmares, and EHM

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Written by:

Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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