Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Horses in Virginia have tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) at two farms in two counties within a two-week period in August. The most recent cases are at a private pleasure horse farm in King William County. Of the four horses showing clinical signs, two tested positive and both were euthanized.

Ten days earlier, horses were tested positive at a farm in Culpeper County. Both farms are under quarantine, and all exposed horse are being monitored twice daily for fever and other clinical signs.

The two infection sites are unrelated, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. No horses have been on or off either farm for a year. Dr. Charles Broaddus, State Veterinarian with VDACS, says there is no cause for alarm concerning the general horse population in Virginia.

“Equine Herpes Virus-1 is a virus that is present in the environment and found in most horses all over the world,” Broaddus said. "Horses are typically exposed to the virus at a young age with no serious side effects. A large percentage of horses carry the virus with no clinical signs for the remainder of their lives. Horses can spontaneously shed it in their nasal secretions. Rarely this causes exposed horses to develop the neurologic form of the disease.”

Click for more information from VDACS on EHV-1. Horse owners may also contact VDACS’ Office of Veterinary Services at 804-786-2483.

Posted August 26, 2017

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