Second Maryland Horse Develops EHM Signs

Here’s your update on neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 in Howard County.
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Second Maryland Horse Develops EHM Signs
In many horses, the first or only sign of EHV-1 infection is fever, which can go undetected. | Photo: Stephanie L. Church/The Horse
Following the June 22 confirmation of neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) in a Howard County horse, Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) officials have announced that a second horse at the facility developed a fever on June 26.

The horse was immediately relocated to a quarantine facility, where it’s being treated by the attending veterinarian. So far, no other horses at the farm are exhibiting clinical signs, but they continue to be monitored. In addition, both the farm and the quarantine facility remain under hold orders.

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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