Minnesota EHV-1: Large Animal Hospital Reopens

The University of Minnesota (UM) Large Animal Hospital has discharged the final patients related to the equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) outbreak in that state and has reopened to business as usual, according to a Dec. 11 post on the hospital's Facebook page. The post also noted that no new cases have been identified for two weeks, since the last case was reported.

The current outbreak began Nov. 10 when the index horse began showing sudden signs of disease, treating clinician Anna Firshman, BVSc, PhD, CERP, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVSMR, assistant clinical professor of Large Animal Medicine at the UM Veterinary Medical Center, previously told TheHorse.com. That horse was euthanized after his conditioned worsened.

Three horses from the index farm were hospitalized for treatment while several others were treated on the premises. Two of the hospitalized horses were discharged in late November, while one remained for further treatment.

Also in its Dec. 11 post, the university noted, "There are still outbreaks in other parts of the (country), so please check in with local sources if traveling with your horse."

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, weakness or paralysis of the hind limbs, and incontinence. Should a horse with potential EHV-1 exposure display any of the aforementioned clinical signs, a veterinarian should be called to obtain samples and test for the disease.

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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