Neurologic EHV-1 Confirmed in California Horse

A 15-year-old Oldenburg mare from Sonoma County, Calif., tested positive for the neurologic strain of equine herpesvirus-1 yesterday (Aug. 23), according to a statement from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

The mare has been quarantined and is currently undergoing treatment at a veterinary referral hospital, the statement relayed. The mare's home farm is currently under veterinary observation and potentially exposed horses are being monitored closely, having their temperatures checked twice daily.

"Epidemiologic investigation conducted by the CDFA reveals minimum disease risk based on lack of animal movement on and off the affected premises," the statement noted.

Although it's not transmissible to humans, EHV-1 is highly contagious among horses and camelids, and it is generally passed from horse to horse via aerosol transmission (when affected animals sneeze/cough) and contact with nasal secretions. The disease can cause a variety of ailments in equines, including rhinopneumonitis (a respiratory disease usually found in young horses), abortion in broodmares, and myeloencephalopathy (EHM, the neurologic form). Myeloencephalopathy is characterized by fever, ataxia (incoordination), weakness or paralysis of the hind limbs, and incontinence.

Further, the CDFA indicated that this case has "no direct link" to the widespread EHV-1 outbreak that took place in the western United States and Canada in May and June of this year. will continue to provide updates on the situation as more information becomes available.

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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