- Ada, Oklahoma

May 9, 2014

Equine herpes virus concerns horse owners

Oklahoma City — The state of Oklahoma is home to countless horse owners and many large equine events. 

Due to the potentially serious consequences, news of an Equine Herpes Virus I incident has caused questions and concerns throughout the horse industry, according to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

Horse owners, event managers and veterinarians should be aware of two recent cases of the EHV-1 that occurred in Wisconsin and Kansas after the horses attended a barrel racing event in Lincoln, Neb. 

Unfortunately, the condition of the horses deteriorated and they were euthanized. 

Almost two weeks have passed since the two horses became ill. No other affected horses have been reported and the remaining horses on the affected farms are restricted from attending events. 

There are no related cases of EHV-1 in Oklahoma.

The ODAFF recommends horse owners and event managers remain at a heightened level of awareness, implement biosecurity practices to minimize potential exposure, consult with a veterinarian or keep an appropriate vaccination schedule and report any suspicious illness or neurologic disease.

There have been no changed in import regulations and no recommended event cancellations issued by the ODAF. Symptons of EHV-1 infection are fever, nasal discharge, incoordination, hind limb weakness, urine dribbling and a flaccid tail.