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Horse Virus

Horse Virus

Equine Herpes Virus Confirmed in South Dakota

News Release - April 11, 2018

PIERRE, S.D. - Equine Herpesvirus has been confirmed in a horse in Lincoln County, South Dakota. The horse became ill with neurologic signs, including incoordination and difficulty walking. The horse was treated at a local veterinary clinic and the disease was confirmed with laboratory testing. The

horse has traveled extensively in South Dakota for cutting and sorting events in the past few weeks.

Dr. Dustin Oedekoven, state veterinarian, said that this virus is not uncommon in the horse population and  that it may result in respiratory disease, abortion, or neurologic disease. Respiratory or neurologic disease

may be exhibited when horses are transported, commingled, or otherwise stressed. Vaccination and  biosecurity are two preventative measures that horse owners should consider in consultation with their veterinarian.

EHV-1 is a contagious disease which is spread from horse to horse through direct contact or by contact  with contaminated objects such as buckets, brushes, tack, hay racks, etc. This is an important  consideration when transporting horses to events.

“If you travel with your horse, good biosecurity practices can reduce the risk of disease transmission” said  Dr. Oedekoven. “Cleaning and disinfection of feed and water buckets, stalls, and trailers is important in preventing the spread of disease. Horse owners can minimize spread of EHV by implementing a 21- day isolation policy when adding new horses or returning horses to established herds.”

Dr. Oedekoven strongly encourages organizers and planners of equine events to seek the advice of veterinary professionals for guidance on disease prevention. Horses that have been vaccinated less than seven days or greater than 90 days before events may be at increased risk for spreading EHV. In addition to consideration of standard health requirements, protocols should be developed prior to the events to addresspotential isolation and quarantine procedures in case of an outbreak.


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