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Dr. Harvey Domoslai, DVM

Corman Park Veterinary Services
5 miles West of Saskatoon, sk
on Highway 14 at Saskatoon Livestock Sales

Full facilities for the management of equine health issues.

Dr. Harvey Domoslai, DVM
Phone: (306) 384-7676
Emergencies: (306) 227-8331

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Horse Owner Today

Dealing With Equine Herpes Virus (Rhino)

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 21, 2011 08:03

Equine herpes virus is prevalent throughout Saskatchewan where it lies latent in the healthy horse until a stressor precipitates it's shedding.  The virus is responsible for frequent outbreaks of respiratory disease in horses under 2 years of age, which likely gets confused with influenza outbreaks.  It also is responsible for frequent abortion outbreaks and in the last number of years a myeloencephalopathy has occurred in outbreaks throughout North America.  These outbreaks lead to death loss and economic/training loss as the disease has necessitated the quarantine of many racetracks/clinics.  The following is a summary of guidelines published by a group of veterinary researchers in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (J Vet Intern Med 2009:23:450-461, D.P. Lunn et al).

-horses greater than 3 years old are generally more susceptible to neurological rhino,

-although vaccination has not been proven to be able to prevent myloencephalitis the similarity between immmune response between the respiratory and the neurological form of the desease means vaccination may be useful to prevent equine herpes myloencephalitis,

-spread of EHV-1 can be reduced by maximizing herd immunity through vaccination,

-spread of EHV-1 can be reduced by isolating affected horses or in contact horses for 28 days after the last clinical case on the premise or for 14 days after the last clinical case if negative nasal swabs for all in contact horses are available,

-EHV-1 can be spread via aerosols and fomites and is highly contagious,

-EHV-1 can cause mild to fatal disease in the same outbreak,

-outbreaks are lengthy and can last for over one month,

.....to be continued