• Yesterday’s press release conjured up memories of a year ago when we horse owners were hesitant to take our horses out where they could be exposed to EHV-1.  The circumstances are different this year. There are excellent sources listed at the bottom of this post about WHAT EHV-1 is.

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Agriculture is investigating one confirmed case of Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) within the state; a quarantine has been placed on a Douglas County premises.

The affected horse was imported by a private owner from Iowa through a transport company and was euthanized after showing severe neurological signs associated with the disease. There are three other facilities in Colorado that received horses from the same transport company. Those horses are isolated and are being closely monitored for any clinical signs of EHV.

Unlike the EHV-1 outbreak in 2011, this case is not associated with any equine show or event. To date, no other horses have become ill with similar signs. With the exception of the index and direct contact horses’ premises the state veterinarian is not recommending movement or event restrictions.

EHV-1 is not transmissible to people; it can be a serious disease of horses that can cause respiratory, neurologic disease and death. The most common way for EHV-1 to spread is by direct horse-to-horse contact. The virus can also spread through the air, contaminated equipment, clothing and hands.

Symptoms include fever, decreased coordination, nasal discharge, urine dribbling, loss of tail tone, hind limb weakness, leaning against a wall or fence to maintain balance, lethargy, and the inability to rise. While there is no cure, the symptoms of the disease may be treatable.

Additional Resources: