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Signs herpes outbreak is coming

That appears to be the case in Oregon this week, where a lone horse has shown up with the neurotropic form for the equine herpes horse, and three horses have shown up with the more common respiratory form of the virus. That initial case is normally housed in Marion County and had recently attended events at the Linn County Fairgrounds in Albany on April 16-19.
However, a fourth case has been confirmed with the neurotropic form of EHV-1, veterinary experts say, which increases the seriousness of the current outbreak, and makes it increasingly important that horse owners in Oregon practice strong biosecurity management of their animals. The most recent (fourth) case was brought to OSU’s Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital from the Salem area. The newest case was not at the Linn County event, Schlipf said, but had been in contact with other horses that attended. Since there’s a 10 to 14 day incubation period for this virus, Schlipf said, it is possible that more horses will be found to be infected. More information about the virus and biosecurity recommendations is available online from the American Association of Equine Practitioners.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture recommends that horses that attended the Albany or Eugene events avoid contact with other horses and have their temperatures monitored twice daily. Horses with these signs should be isolated from other animals, and owners should contact their veterinarians immediately.
The Oregon State bulletin fleshes out a briefer document provided by the Oregon Department of Agriculture earlier.
ODA is working to notify owners of horses that have been potentially exposed and has notified Oregon equine veterinarians. Fran Jurga keeps you up-to-date in this blog on news about horse health, care, equine science and research that affects horses.
An EHV-1 affected filly finally standing, but struggling, even with some help from a sling and her caretakers. Equine herpesvirus-1, also known as EHV-1, has been making headlines for the past few years. EHV-1 is highly contagious to other horses and can cause respiratory disease primarily in juvenile horses, such as nasal discharge, fever and coughing; infection can also result in abortion and neonatal death. EHV-1 can affect horses of all breeds and ages and is spread via direct contact (nose-to-nose contact), indirect contact (from shared water buckets or tack, as well as from people's hands), and through the air (aerosolized transmission). Though there are many vaccines containing EHV-1 (the rhinopneumonitis vaccine your horse typically gets in his regular vaccine series), there is no vaccine currently on the market that has a label claim for prevention of the neurologic form of the disease. Most horses have been exposed to and infected by EHV-1 by the time they are 2-year-olds (typically as they are foals in contact with their dams).
Implementing basic biosecurity measures is key to preventing the spread of EHV-1, according to Nicola Pusterla, DVM, PhD, Dipl.
Contracting the neurologic form of EHV-1 is not a death sentence; some horses can recover fully while others have life-long neurologic deficits to which some can adapt.
Veterinarians in the cutting horse industry who were faced with the EHV-1 outbreak stated that recent research into the disease was very helpful in shaping their treatment plans for affected horses. Do you volunteer your time in the horse industry (with youth associations, breed clubs, trail organizations, rescues, therapeutic riding centers, etc.)? Researchers determined that pregnant mares can abort their fetuses as a stress response to prevent future infanticide.
From hydration to irrigation, learn how to combat challenges that come with caring for horses in arid climates.
Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy. Equine Rhinopneumonitis (Herpes virus) is the generalized name for Equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) and Equine herpesvirus type 4 (EHV-4) can each infect the respiratory tract, Infection of the respiratory tract with EHV-1 and EHV-4 typically first occurs in foals in the first weeks or months of life, but recurrent or recrudescent clinically apparent infections are seen in weanlings, yearlings, and young horses entering training, especially when horses from different sources are commingled. Equine Rhinopneumonitis Transmission: Both EHV-1 and EHV-4 spread via aerosolized secretions from infected coughing horses, by direct and indirect contact with nasal secretions, and, in the case of EHV-1, contact with aborted fetuses, fetal fluids, and placentae associated with abortions. Equine Rhinopneumonitis Treatment: Primary indications for use of equine herpesvirus vaccines include prevention of EHV-1-induced abortion in pregnant mares, and reduction of signs and spread respiratory tract disease (rhinopneumonitis) in foals, weanlings, yearlings, young performance and show horses that are at high risk for exposure.
Recently there have been reports of cases of rhinopneumonitis in the valley that have many people concerned about the safety of their horses. Background Information: Rhinopneumonitis is caused by Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) and is commonly referred to as "rhino". Prevention: Unfortunately, there is little science has to offer to aid in the prevention of this disease.


Following the confirmation of three outbreaks of equine herpes virus-1 (EHV-1) since 8th October 2012 in Yvelines, Reseau d’Epidemio-Surveillance en Pathologie Equine (RESPE)  have provided an update on the situation. To date, the outbreaks have affected horses used for sport and leisure activities which are located within a ??fifty kilometre radius of the centre of Yvelines. On 8th October the first outbreak was reported at an equestrian centre and one horse tested positive. An epidemiological investigation is ongoing, and links between the three affected premises have not been made. The three confirmed outbreaks of EHV-1 highlight that the virus is circulating in Yvelines. Please note: The Agriplex is managed by the Arena & Stable Association, not the DC Horse Club, thanks. The three have either been in the same shows or home stables or crossed paths somehow, but the fourth is sick with a more serious form of the virus. That horse did show neurologic symptoms, although animals with that strain of EHV-1 more often have a disease that causes respiratory infection or abortion in pregnant mares.
Before that horse developed clinical signs and institution of the quarantine, horses housed with the initial case had attended an event at the Oregon Horse Center in Eugene on April 25-26. These horses are not showing signs of neurologic disease, and they are being treated at their home stables in Polk County. Both cases are being treated in isolation, and all OSU veterinary teaching hospital facilities are open for business as usual. Owners of horses that may be at risk are encouraged to monitor their animals closely for a fever and any signs of respiratory or neurologic disease.
The ODA mentions four farms under quarantine: one in Marion, one in Polk and two in Linn counties.
In 2011, some horses that had attended the National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championship in Ogden, Utah, began showing neurologic signs after leaving the event. The most concerning manifestations of EHV-1 infection are neurologic signs, such as a wobbly gait caused by lack of coordination of the limbs, with the hind limbs often more severely affected, as well as urinary incontinence.
The goal of vaccination is to boost immunity in order to control respiratory disease or abortion resulting from of EHV-1 infection. Often the virus becomes inactive once the horse is infected, but the animal will remain a life-long carrier of the virus. ACVIM, a professor at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, suggests taking daily temperatures while he is away from his home base and then continuing to monitor his temperature for about a week once he returns. According to Pusterla, 5 to 30% of horses that contract EHV-1 will develop EHM; of these EHM cases, 5 to 50% will necessitate euthanasia. EHV-1 has been among the priorities of research universities and funding agencies for some time, but there is still much to be learned, including how to effectively contain the disease and how to treat horses that have contracted the disease. Thus far, the impact of treatment under field conditions has not been widely studied in a regimented way that allows veterinarians to determine the efficacy of the various treatments.
To make a contribution towards equine research, please contact the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation, the American Quarter Horse Foundation, Grayson Jockey-Club Research Foundation, Morris Animal Foundation, or your favorite veterinary school or research institution.
Equine herpesvirus type 1 causes epidemic abortion in mares, the birth of weak nonviable foals, or a sporadic paralytic neurologic disease (myeloencephalopathy) secondary to vasculitis of the spinal cord and brain. One thing that all herpes viruses have in common is their ability to live within their host indefinitely. Many horses do produce post-vaccinal antibodies against EHV, but the presence of those antibodies does not ensure complete protection.
We do have a product that aims to boost the immune system prior to an event that may be of benefit. The movement of horses at the second and third affected premises may have resulted disease transmission. In most cases, EHV 1 is spread via respiratory transmission so wherever horses are brought together from different yards there is the possibility for the disease to spread if one of the horses present is affected. This particular outbreak affected the equine industry in multiple states, and lead to fatalities in some horses that developed the neurologic form of EHV-1, called equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM). These carriers often show no outward signs of infection with EHV-1, though the virus can be reactivated should the horse become stressed, such as during transport, weaning, or intense exercise.
He concedes that while no horse owner will be able to eliminate all risks, everyday precautions should be taken, including washing hands, using a separate pair of boots when visiting other farms, and keeping horses that leave the premises separate from those that live on the farm full-time.


Though the incubation period for EHV-1 can be as short as 24 hours, horses begin to show signs typically a few days after exposure. Since there has not been a reliable way to recreate the disease other than in the geriatric horse challenge model, doing challenge studies to determine efficacy of treatment has limitations. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without written permission of The Horse Media Group LLC is prohibited.
Because both viruses are endemic (widespread) in most equine populations, most mature horses have developed some immunity through repeated natural exposure; thus, most mature horses do not develop serious respiratory disease when they become infected but may be a source of exposure for other susceptible horses.
Equine Rhinopneumonitis is spread between coughing horses or on the hands of unknowing people. Once a horse is infected with Equine Rhinopneumonitis, it seems that infection can be reactivated later when the horse is stressed. Classically, EHV causes a respiratory disease similar to influenza (flu) or streptococcus equi (strangles). After this, we are left to practicing good hygienic care of our horses, and sound barn management practices. Affected horses have shown neurological signs (ataxia), respiratory signs such as a clear nasal discharge and swelling of the limbs. Movement restrictions and precautionary measures have been applied and no horses have entered or left the premises for several weeks. The outbreak at the premises which was first affected appears to be due to viral reactivation of the infection.
Though EHM is not new, more outbreaks are being recognized with more horses seeming to be affected in each outbreak, causing concern among many equine owners.
Once activated, the virus can spread via the aerosol route (even from a seemingly healthy horse).
Simply knowing the health status of other horses your horse might come into contact with can minimize the risk of spreading the disease to your horse. Traub-Dargatz notes that the horse might only have mild fever, slight nasal discharge, or a cough (although some horses exhibit no signs of disease) before neurologic signs develop, so careful monitoring is key. Both Traub-Dargatz and Pusterla agree that collection of information from horses with EHM--occurring during EHV-1 outbreaks, as well as from non-affected horses (controls), is necessary to learn more about potential risk factors for the disease. In contrast, horses are not protected against the abortigenic or neurologic forms of the disease, even after repeated exposure, and mature horses are in fact more commonly affected by the neurologic form of the disease than are juvenile animals. Do not share barn equipment or tack if possible, and only after it has been disinfected thoroughly. Movement restrictions have been applied since the first horse showed clinical signs of the disease and a competition due to be held on the premises was cancelled. Just bring your ideas and energy to the regular monthly meeting (3rd Tuesday of the Month) or contact one of the executive. Officials scratch their heads and wonder how or if the horses ever crossed paths, but the wild card might even show signs of suffering from a different form of the disease. This disease is complicated because like other strains of the virus, Equine Herpes has a varied period of symptom dormancy (not showing symptoms) while it is still able to infect other horses. A high fever precedes the development of signs ranging from loss of coordination and weakness to paralysis. Isolate affected horses immediately for a minimum of the duration of the disease plus 7 days. Occasionally the illness will leave the horse susceptible to bacterial pneumonia or a guttural-pouch infection.
These horses may recover with nursing care, but it can take anywhere from a few days to several months. Affected horses will tend to be disinterested and off their food, as well as showing typical respiratory disease signs such as coughing and a nasal discharge. Sandy Jameson  Equine Herpes(Rhino) Herpes viruses are very common in all animal groups.
Other horses, including brood mares can also be given a four-way vaccine including EHV 1, and EHV4.



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