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Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) Now in Wisconsin and Illinois
As many equine owners are aware, Equine Herpes Virus Type 1 (EHV-1) has made an appearance at many equine facilities in Southeastern and Central Wisconsin as well as Northern Illinois and in show facilities in Florida. To help you disseminate factual information from rumor, we are providing website visitors with links to recommended reading materials and websites that can assist you in making informed decisions regarding transporting and housing your equine partner.
In brief, Equine Herpes Virus Type 1 is primarily a virus involving the respiratory and reproductive systems. Less commonly the EHV-1 virus will affect the neurological system. As with viruses of this nature, the most common signs are an elevated temperature (101-107F), depression, and loss of appetite. The neurological signs include, but are not limited to, hind end weakness, limb incoordination, and inability to stand, urinate or defecate. For more specific details on EHV-1 we recommend you visit the American Association of Equine Practitioners website. There are several good articles available there.
EHV-1 is primarily spread by CLOSE contact from horse to horse. Careless sanitation during transportation, handling or caring of horses where EHV-1 is present may lead to further exposure and spread. Potential contamination by infected tack, clothing, feed/water buckets and stall equipment are all possible. EHV-1 is contagious and horses of all ages are susceptible. Younger horses, and especially those under stress or recently ill, are more at risk.
It is recommended that you primarily adhere to common sense when implementing bio-security measures involving your horses and their management. Movement of horses either when ill or from facilities with ill horses should be avoided at all costs. Examine your individual stable and review stable management procedures, then outline areas of concern and design protocols which will insure the prevention of viral spread. The “Rule of Thumb” should be: no contact, no disease.
Do not hesitate to get professional advice from your horse’s health care provider. Regarding vaccinations, consult your equine veterinarian for their recommendations made on an individual stable basis after discussions with managers, owners, and boarders. Limit exposure by tightly monitoring where your horses go and who comes to see them. Although prevention through vaccination would be ideal, limited efficacy of current vaccines should not be relied upon as your primary line of defense.
Should you have additional questions or concerns, your first call should be to your equine practitioner. He/she will have the latest updates on current quarantine situations, and will advise you on making sure your equine partner is protected from the latest EHV-1 outbreak.
Copyright © Wisconsin Equine Practitioners Association, Inc.
Webmaster: CTF Web Services, Oregon, WI
Last Update: March 31, 2013
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12 page EHV brochure)
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