Virginia Horse Confirmed to Have Equine Herpesvirus-1

Officials quarantined 53 exposed horses at the affected horse’s boarding stable.
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Virginia Horse Confirmed With Equine Herpesvirus-1
Officials quarantined 53 exposed horses at the affected horse’s boarding stable in Powhatan County.| Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Officials at the state veterinarian’s office of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) confirmed that a 19-year-old Thoroughbred gelding tested positive for equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) on Feb. 21. The affected horse became ill on Feb. 20, showing clinical signs of hind-limb ataxia (incoordination) and urine dribbling that progressed to recumbency (inability to rise). The horse, whose vaccination status was not reported, was euthanized.

Fifty-three horses at the Powhatan County boarding stable at which he resided were quarantined and will be monitored twice daily for temperatures exceeding 101.5°F and other clinical signs. No horses had left the facility during the previous two weeks, and no additional Virginia horses were exposed.

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

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