COLLEGE STATION – A Texas AgriLife Extension Service state veterinarian has warned Texas horse owners to be aware of a possible Equine Herpes Virus outbreak that was reported by the Texas Animal Health Commission on May 18.
Dr. Floron “Buddy” Faries said the report stated that the disease was detected in horses that participated in the National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah from April 29-May 8. Thus far, the only clinically confirmed case in Texas was a horse from New Mexico that was brought here for treatment. That horse is reportedly now back in New Mexico under quarantine.
“Equine Herpes Virus, in this case strain 1 of the four known strains, is common worldwide, but not in the U.S.,” Faries said.
“This strain is highly contagious in horses and can be fatal, but does not affect humans and poses no human health threat whatsoever.
“It can be spread through direct or indirect exposure to an infected horse,” he said. “Direct exposure might include a horse inhaling the virus through the coughing of a nearby infected horse while indirect exposure can come from bodily fluids from an infected animal contaminating tack, buckets or even riding boots.”
Faries said a number of the virus’ symptoms may mimic other maladies, but owners should especially watch the horse’s hindquarters, which can appear weak and uncoordinated.
“This is most definitely a reportable disease,” Faries said. “Early detection and rapid reporting of suspected cases by horse owners is the key to reducing the risk of an outbreak.
“Horse owners suspecting their horses have the disease should contact their veterinarian or local Texas Animal Health Commission office as soon as symptoms occur and/or if their horses were at the Ogden, Utah event.”
For more information contact Faries at 979-845-4353, email@example.com .