Hendra Confirmed in New South Wales Horse

This article was updated June 12 to reflect additional information obtained by The Horse.

A horse residing in Macksville, New South Wales (NSW), Australia, died of hendra virus on June 5, according to a statement from the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

“The property has been placed in quarantine by the Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) district veterinarian and the dead horse is being buried,” said NSW Chief Veterinary Officer Ian Roth in a press release. “The mare died suddenly on Wednesday after being seen earlier in the day appearing normal.

“There is one other horse, three dogs, and two cats on the property," he said. “An LHPA veterinarian is taking samples of the remaining horse and the companion animals. The remaining horse will be vaccinated against hendra. No horses have been moved off the property in the last weeks.

“This is a timely reminder that horse owners should speak with their private veterinarian about vaccinating their horse against the hendra virus,” he noted.

In 2011, 10 horses on eight northeastern New South Wales properties died due to hendra infection, the statement said. Those cases occurred between June 30 and August 28.

The deadly hendra virus has been known to yield numerous clinical signs in horses including respiratory distress, frothy nasal discharge, elevated body temperature (above 40°C, or 104°F), and elevated heart rate; however, authorities caution that hendra infection does not have specific signs.

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 eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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