Neurologic Equine Herpesvirus Confirmed in Virginia Horse

Forty-one additional horses are under quarantine.

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Neurologic Equine Herpesvirus Confirmed in Virginia Horse
The Amelia County gelding is reportedly affected and alive. Forty-one other horses were exposed and are under official quarantine. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons
On March 17, officials at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) confirmed a 26-year-old Thoroughbred gelding with the neurologic form of equine herpesvirus. The Amelia County gelding, who was reported as having been vaccinated, presented on March 15 with clinical signs that included hind limb ataxia (incoordination) and urine dribbling. He is reportedly affected and alive. Forty-one other horses were exposed and are under official quarantine.

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.

equine herpesvirus
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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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