Kansas Horse Euthanized after Contracting EHV-1

Kansas Horse Euthanized after Contracting EHV-1

Clinical signs of the disease can include a fever, nasal discharge, wobbly gait, hind-end weakness, and urine dribbling.

Photo: Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) Animal Health Commissioner Bill Brown, DVM, confirmed late yesterday (April 29) that a horse euthanized last week in northeast Kansas has been confirmed positive for a wild-type, non-neurotrophic strain of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1).

The affected horse was euthanized and samples were sent to Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on April 25. Preliminary tests showed lesions consistent with EHV-1. Additional samples were then sent to Equine Diagnostics Services in Lexington, Ky.; those PCR test results confirmed the horse was positive for the virus. The KDA received those results yesterday afternoon.

This horse had previously been to a large barrel racing event in Lincoln, Neb., on April 10-13; in the days following that event, a Wisconsin horse was also confirmed positive for EHV-1 and euthanized.

The KDA encourages horse owners to monitor animals carefully for signs of the disease, by checking temperatures twice a day for changes and implementing good biosecurity practices for an equine facility.

Health Alert: Equine Herpesvirus

The virus is easily spread by airborne transmission, horse-to-horse contact, and by contact with nasal secretions on equipment, tack, feed and other surfaces. Caregivers can spread the virus to other horses if their hands, clothing, shoes or vehicles are contaminated.

Clinical signs of the disease can include a fever, nasal discharge, wobbly gait, hind-end weakness, and urine dribbling. The neurologic form, including wild strains, of the disease is often fatal.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health is not imposing any restrictions on equine events or movements at this time, however horse owners are encouraged to take precautionary measures when traveling or participating in equine events. If horse owners are planning on participating in upcoming horse events across Kansas, please call ahead to event planners to confirm if the event is still taking place.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More

Free Newsletters

Sign up for the latest in:

From our partners