Horse Treated at OSU Tests Negative for EHV-1

Horse Treated at OSU Tests Negative for EHV-1

A horse that was treated at Oregon State University’s Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital for equine herpesvirus (EHV) type 4 is improving and was expected to be discharged on Aug. 5.

Photo: Courtesy Oregon State University

A horse that was treated at Oregon State University’s Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital for equine herpesvirus (EHV) type 4 is improving and was expected to be discharged on Aug. 5. The horse tested negative for all forms of EHV-1, including the neurologic strain.

Upon arrival at the hospital, the horse was immediately sent to the isolation facility due to nasal discharge and no other horses were exposed, officials say. The horse was tested and retested with diagnosis of EHV-4, a common viral respiratory agent for which most horses are vaccinated, and which does not cause neurologic disease. The vaccine for this virus is very effective.

“This case was well managed from beginning to end and should not pose any concerns to other horse owners,” said Keith Poulsen, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, an internal medicine specialist at the hospital. “Our hospital is open for business as usual.”

The virus does not last long in the environment and is not known to have any harmful impact on humans. It’s often transmitted by nasal discharges from the horse. In the horse, EHV-4 typically is a mild, self-limiting disease.

Horse owners concerned about this disease can take some basic steps to prevent it:

  • Vaccinate horses with consultation of your veterinarian;
  • Monitor horses' temperatures daily;
  • Limit contact of horses with others from fairs and shows;
  • Be aware that humans can spread the virus to horses through contact with infected horses; and
  • Isolate horses that have fevers and nasal discharge from other horses, and contact your veterinarian with concerns.
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