Saturday, February 11, 2006

Equine Herpes Outbreak

There is currently an outbreak of EHV-1 at the Pimlico Race track in Maryland and transport restrictions into Kentucky. We saw several cases of Neurologic Rhino (EHV-1) here last summer , all in the Mandarin part of Jacksonville. The typical clinical signs consist of posterior paresis(weakness) ataxia (incoordination) and sometimes facial or cranial nerve involvement.
The bad thing about this is that it can look like so many other neurologic conditions in the horse, most notably , CSM (cervical Stenotic Myelopathy-Wobblers syndrome) , West Nile Virus, EPM
(Equine Protozoal Myelitis) or even trauma. We vaccinate against this disease using a combination EHV 1& 4 vaccine but even this may not be completely effective since there is significant antigenic shift and drift from year to year. The most current vaccine strains are from 2001 and only provide protection for about 90 days. Due to this you should vaccinate your horses reguarly. We vaccinate a minimun of twice yearly . Should you notice any abnormal gait or stumbling in your horse you should call your Veterinarian at once.

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