Nebraska Horse Confirmed With Equine Herpesvirus-1

Thirty exposed horses are under voluntary quarantine.
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Nebraska Horse Confirmed With Equine Herpesvirus-1
On Feb. 6, an attending veterinarian confirmed a horse in Washington County positive for equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). Thirty horses were exposed, and a voluntary quarantine is in place. | Photo: iStock
On Feb. 6, an attending veterinarian confirmed a horse in Washington County positive for equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). The 8-year-old Quarter Horse mare began showing clinical signs of fever and lethargy on Feb. 4. She had been vaccinated and is reported as recovering from the respiratory form of EHV-1. Thirty horses were exposed, and a voluntary quarantine is in place.

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 equine herpesvirus myeloencephalitis (EHM, the neurologic form).

In many horses, the first or only sign of EHV-1 infection is fever, which can go undetected. In addition to fever, other common signs of EHV-1 infection in young horses include cough, decreased appetite, depression, and a nasal discharge. Pregnant mares typically show no signs of infection before they abort, and abortions usually occur late in gestation (around eight months) but can be earlier. Abortions can occur anywhere from two weeks to several months following infection with EHV-1.

Horses with EHM usually have a fever at the onset of the disease and might show signs of a respiratory infection. A few days later, neurologic signs such as ataxia (incoordination), weakness or paralysis of the fore- and hind limbs, urine retention and dribbling, loss of tail tone, and recumbency (inability to rise) develop

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