There has been an outbreak of a horrid equine disease: Rhino EHV-1 (Equine Herpesvirus). This is a mutant strain of the neurological variation of Rhino, there is no vaccine for it, and it is lethal.
There are multiple confirmed deaths due to EHV in Arizona, California, Utah, Colorado, Canada, Idaho, and unfortunately, is spreading like you cannot believe. It is believed that a horse with the virus attended the NCHA Western National Championship cutting in Ogden, UT and has caused a massive cross contamination. All the horses that are dead or are being treated were vaccinated for Rhino, it doesn’t matter, this strain does not respond to any vaccine. The first death was a Canadian cutting horse that attended the Ogden show, there have been more in Weld County Colorado, there is a barrel racing stable in Colorado that has a confirmed case, which shows that it is rapidly and easily spreading through different disciplines and through many venues – CSU is now full and most Vets are not accepting Rhino horses, and have considered worldwide experts in this matter. This is considered an emerging disease. It is behaving in an extreme manor. A similar outbreak occurred before, and at CSU, despite the fact the school runs one of the nation’s top veterinary biosecurity programs, the EHV virus spread to over 20 equine patients on the premises, and spread out of control.
The EHV-1 organism spreads quickly from horse to horse and the neurologic form of the virus can reach high morbidity and mortality rates. The incubation period of EHV-1 is typically 2-10 days, but there has been a case of a horse showing symptoms as many as 12 days after contamination. In horses infected with the neurologic strain of EHV-1, clinical signs may include: nasal discharge, discoordination, hind end weakness, recumbency, lethargy, urine dribbling and diminished tail tone. Prognosis depends on severity of signs and the period of recumbency. There is no specific treatment for EHV-1. Treatment of symptoms may include intravenous fluids, anti-inflammatory drugs and other appropriate supportive treatment. Currently, there is no equine vaccine that has a label claim for protection against the neurological strain of the virus.
Horse-to-horse contact, aerosol transmission, and contaminated hands, equipment, tack, and feed all play a role in disease spread. They cannot stress enough about the cross contamination, this deadly virus can be on anything – your steering wheel in your truck, door handles, trailer latches, your purse, your hat, sunglasses, cell phone, pop or food wrapper, bucket, feed pan, hay bag, rubber bands, brushes, tack, boots, clothing, ANYTHING you touch or rub against could have the virus on it!
PLEASE monitor your horses, the first symptom of this disease is a spike in temperature of 102 degrees. Horses with severe clinical signs of neurological EHV-1 illness are thought to have large viral loads in their blood and nasal secretions and therefore, present the greatest danger for spreading the disease. Immediate separation and isolation of identified suspect cases and implementation of appropriate biosecurity measures are key elements for disease control.
This is a serious matter that demands immediate attention, becoming aware and knowledge about this detrimental outbreak is a necessity – and we ALL, as equine owners, trainers, and event producers MUST do our part to STOP the spread of this horrible mutant and deadly virus. Serious thought needs to be made on hosting events within infected states and their bordering neighbors. Many national level events that are scheduled within the next month have been CANCELLED to STOP THE SPREAD of this disease.
This information is taken from very reliable sources, here are a couple articles you can read for yourself below. We will be hearing a lot more about this, please stay alert to the latest information.