If you own a horse and live in any of the Western states, you’d be hard pressed to have not heard about this past week’s outbreak of EHV-1. One of them occurred in Teton County, the other in Park County. The California Department of Food and Agriculture states there are a total of three confirmed cases of EHV-1 after attendees returned from the Bishop Mule Days Celebration. Your vet will try to determine the source of the problem with a thorough exam. Most horses are exposed to some form of equine herpes virus during their lifetime and do not develop obvious disease or require euthanasia. Cornell microbiologists discovered that a single amino acid variation in an enzyme that is part of the DNA copying process of EHV-1 creates a different type of EHV-1, which causes the neurological disorders in horses. The neurologic form of EHV-1, additionally, can cause an acute paralytic syndrome, which results in a high mortality.?The incubation period of EHV-1 is typically 2 to 10 days.?
The culprit virus ended up being EHV-4, a herpesvirus known for being rather common among horses, but one that rarely causes neurologic signs. An ongoing outbreak of the virus affecting several Western states and Canadian provinces (believed to have started at the National Cutting Horse Association’s [NCHA] Western Regional Championship competition that ended May 8) has many horse owners asking questions about all aspects of EHV-1. Concerned owners should consult with their veterinarians prior to taking any action as the clinical signs of infection with the neurological form of EHV-1 (EHM) are common to many other diseases. EHM is a reportable disease in New Jersey.? If an owner has a horse that is exhibiting neurologic signs or suspects Equine Herpes, he or she is directed to call a veterinarian immediately.