EHV-1 Reported in North Dakota

EHV-1 Reported in North Dakota

Clinical signs include fever, incoordination, nasal discharge, urine dribbling, loss of tail tone, hind limb weakness, leaning against a wall or fence to maintain balance, lethargy, and the inability to rise (recumbency).

Photo: Alexandra Beckstett, The Horse Managing Editor

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) has indicated three cases of non-neuropathogenic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) have been confirmed in Burleigh County thus far in 2014.

"The first horse was diagnosed in February, but the out-of-state lab did not notify our office, so we only recently learned of the case," Beth W. Carlson, DVM, North Dakota deputy state veterinarian, told The Horse. "The veterinarian had appropriately recommended isolating the horse at home and it has since recovered.

"The second horse was identified on the same premises about one month after the initial case," she continued.

The third case, Carlson said, was identified last week at a different premises.

All three horses have been confined to their home farms since they began showing signs of disease, Carlson said. She said, to her knowledge, none of the horses had traveled outside the county recently.

"Because non-neuropathic EHV-1 is considered endemic, we rely on practicing veterinarians to make appropriate recommendations to their clients regarding treatment, isolation, biosecurity, and vaccination," she added.

Health Alert: Equine Herpesvirus

According to an NDDA disease map, EHV-1 has not yet been reported elsewhere in North Dakota this year.

EHV-1 is highly contagious among horses and can cause a variety of ailments, including rhinopneumonitis (a respiratory disease usually found in young horses), abortion in broodmares, and myeloencephalopathy (the neurologic form). Clinical signs of EHV-1 infection include fever, incoordination, nasal discharge, urine dribbling, loss of tail tone, hind limb weakness, leaning against a wall or fence to maintain balance, lethargy, and the inability to rise (recumbency).

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, News Editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in three-day eventing with her OTTB, Dorado, and enjoys photography in her spare time.

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