The states of Colorado and Michigan have activated their Animal Health Networks this week to assist their State Veterinarians in disseminatiing vital biosecurity and disease information to help prevent the spread of the Equine herpes virus (EHV-1), a highly contagious and potentially devastating equine disease. Isolation of new animals, having all horseshows require health certificates, and taking care to wash hands and not share tack or grooming equipment can help to prevent outbreaks. All horses known to have attended the event are under movement restrictions. This outbreak may be a tempest in a teacup or a true crisis, but it is surely showing us how the communication system would work in a real emergency. Information about the Outbreak: You can read all of the details below but basically 2 horses in Colorado tested positive for the virus after attending the National Cutting Horse Association event in Ogden, Utah from April 30 to May 8. All other equines of the affected holding have been investigated three times every two weeks with negative results. Spruce Meadows is also slated to go ahead for June as it appears the virus has been contained within the cutting horse community, which generally has no interaction with the show jumping community, said vice-president Ian Allison.
No new cases of the fast-spreading virus have been reported in more than a week, but there’s reluctance from some horse owners to ship their animals to New Mexico for fear of another positive case derailing the track’s recovery and prompting another quarantine. Please note: The news changes daily, sometimes hourly, especially in terms of state restrictions on horse transport. “If those horses don’t run, compete and win, then the owner is just out,” said Tom McKenna, who has nearly four dozen racehorses. The equine industry is encouraged to obtain the latest information on this outbreak and other disease events across the country by visiting the Equine Disease Communication Center at: http://www.equinediseasecc.org/outbreaks.aspx For more information contact the Communications Dept. VS outbreaks are extremely sporadic, and years may lapse between cases. For horse owners in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, Chapparal Veterinary Medical Center will host a public information center tonight (May 18) at 7 pm at the clinic, which is at 32100 N. Cave Creek Rd, Cave Creek, AZ 85331.
Note: There is no information on the clinic’s web page and the clinic’s blog has not been updated. Signs of EHV-1 Fever is one of the most common clinical signs and often precedes the development of other signs. Therefore, supportive treatment is the only option and is tailored to the individual horse depending on the severity and range of symptoms. No official news from state authorities in Arizona could be confirmed, however the National Cutting Horse Association’s most recent press release indicates that an infected horse or horses is/are in Arizona. Adobe Veterinary Center in Tucson is making excellent use of their blog, on which they wrote: “Although there are no confirmed cases in Arizona, there are some strong suspects in the Mayer area which is in northern Arizona.” They also have a Facebook page but are referring people from there to their blog. The blog also says that horse shows in Arizona are being cancelled. Late on Tuesday, the State of California issued a press release confirming that ten horses in five counties in the state have tested posted for EHM and that 24 of the exhibitors at the Utah cutting event were from California.
Thus it was named after the Zika Forest in Uganda. Sick or infected horses are located in Kern, Placer, Stanislaus, Amador and Napa counties. “During the past week in Colorado, there have been at least two confirmed cases of equine herpes-1 infection in horses that competed at the National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah. The two most important of the six VEE subtypes are 1-AB and 1-C. Management in these registered establishments are co-operating fully with the investigation and are reviewing their operations. ALBUQUERQUE, n.m. Another horse that attended the Ogden show was also sent to UC Davis.
The ISU VDL continued, “At this point it is not completely understood how Senecavirus Adisseminates between pig populations. In addition, as of today, at least 4 additional horses in various areas of Northern California have been confirmed as positive for EHV-1. Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center in Northern California had an interesting message on the clinic’s web site: “We do not currently have any suspect or confirmed cases in the hospital, and we have made the decision to not accept these horses at our facility for the protection of our other hospitalized patients. We have assembled a separate team of our veterinarians and staff that are available to help our clients with infected horses on their own premises only. As always, please call us if you have ANY questions regarding prevention or suspect cases. We are here to help all of our clients get through this scary situation.” The hospital’s information on EHV was posted right on their home page. Outbreaks of strangles were reported by France (12 premises), Germany (four premises), Switzerland (one premises), and the USA (27 premises).
The State of Colorado is restricting entry of horses into the state. Standard requirements for horses entering Colorado include a health certificate issued within 30 days of their arrival and a negative Coggins test within 12 months. “The funnest two minutes in sports,” that’s how Edward Cralle of El Paso describes the Sunland Park Derby. Horse owners who wish to bring their horses into Colorado must first call their veterinarian.? That veterinarian can then contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office at (303) 239-4161 and request a permit number.? That number would then be included on the health certificate. One horse, which tested positive for EHV-1, was euthanized after showing severe neurological signs associated with the disease.?
A second horse was euthanized with similar symptoms but test results have not been confirmed at this point.? The others are currently under treatment by veterinarians and in biosecure locations. Both confirmed EHV-1 positive horses had recently attended the National Cutting Horse Association’s Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah.? The Colorado Department of Agriculture is working with the Utah State Veterinarian to investigate the location as a point of interest for the infection. This disease investigation is ongoing and constantly being updated. Read the full news release with advice for all horse owners from the Colorado Department of Agriculture and State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr.
Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine announced that the equine section of its Veterinary Teaching Hospital was rescheduling appointments and would be seeing horses only for emergencies, as reported in this story on The Jurga Report. Dr. Bill Barton, State Veterinarian, reported on Monday that two Idaho horses that had traveled to the cutting event in Utah had died and several others were currently under the care of veterinarians. Idaho Equine Hospital in Nampa reported on their excellent blog: “As of today, May 16th we do not have any new clinical cases of EHV-1 that we are aware of in our area. We are closely monitoring horses on the farms that had clinical cases and as of 3 pm no horses on those farms have developed fevers or any associated clinical signs. Idaho Equine Hospital has done an outstanding job of keeping both its local customers and the entire world informed about what is going on locally and regionally during the outbreak and also has been providing excellent prevention and biosecurity information. Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery in Weatherford, Texas has had some helpful posts on their ESMS blog with information about the outbreak of EHV.
Their hospital is in the epicenter of the cutting horse world. Dr. Fairfield Bain’s blog posts are excellent. I was surprised to see them attributed to him personally, and impressed. On May 17, State Veterinarian Bruce King reported in a press release, “The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is investigating cases of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) within the state.” He did not elaborate on the number of cases or whether definitive diagnoses had been received or whether the horses had been at the Ogden event. As of? May 15, 2011, a single case of the disease had been confirmed and was quarantined.
Moore Equine Veterinary Center in Calgary, Alberta is committed to helping the community deal with this ongoing situation. A letter to Alberta horse owners from Chief Provincial Veterinarian Gerald Hauer confirmed this. I’d like to congratulate Dr Greg Andrews and probably other people at Moore Equine Veterinary Center for the work they have done to inform the public. They have posted information clearly on the front page of their web site but their Facebook page is one of the most active on the entire web on the subject of this EHV situation for the simple reason that they are answering people, and engaging in dialogue. They have posted the USDA brochure on EHM on Facebook, and they sound calm and compassionate and credible as they convey a great deal of information. The website of the Horse Council of British Columbia has one of the best banks of resource materials on EHV. Paton Martin Veterinary Services in Aldergrove reported on their web site: “Despite rumors to the contrary, following conversations with veterinary colleagues in the Province, it appears that the affected horses have been identified and are confined and quarantined in a single private stable in the Okanagan Valley.
TO OUR KNOWLEDGE THERE ARE NO CASES IDENTIFIED SO FAR (May 16, 2011) IN THE FRASER VALLEY. The only horse in the Fraser Valley that was at Ogden, Utah is 9 days post-exposure and is showing no clinical signs.