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EHV Alberta update

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 30, 2011 09:34

May 25, 2011

Update on EHV-1 Conference Call

A group of 15 Alberta Veterinarians had a follow up conference call this morning to discuss the EHV-1 situation in Alberta. They included the Chief Provincial Veterinarian, the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, the University of Calgary Veterinary Program and Equine practitioners.


The overall consensus is there has not been any significant second wave of the disease over the past week. There has been one new suspect horse which has tested negative at this time with more results pending. This horse has been quarantined with proper biosecurity procedures.  Since last report, one of the suspect respiratory cases from Ogden has come back positive on nasal PCR testing.


Therefore, at this time the summary of horses affected in Alberta is as follows:

§  One positive neurologic case from May 1st that is clinically normal at this time. (This particular horse was reported in our previous updates)

§  Three positive respiratory cases that were either in Ogden or directly associated with Ogden horses. These horses have been isolated and all except one are normal at this time.  The horse that is still exhibiting symptoms is presently responding well to antibiotic treatment. (These horses were reported in our previous updates)

§  One horse which tested positive and was from Ogden but showed no clinical signs. (This particular horse was reported in our previous updates)

§  One new suspect patient mentioned in the second paragraph above, showing mild neurologic signs and had initially tested negative is now awaiting results with further tests pending. This horse does have a direct link to the initial group of horses.

Therefore; we feel a second wave of infections has not materialized within Alberta. The 21 day incubation from the May 8th date of return from Ogden will be reached in 4 days.  We feel confident that a significant number of clinical cases would have started to surface now if, there was to be a second wave of affected horses in the general horse population.


The above group of Veterinarians involved, continue to believe horse activities, outside of the cutting horse population, should go forward with normal biosecurity procedures being taken. We are directing horse owners to the AB.VMA website for a well-defined list of biosecurity protocols recognized North American wide.


Another conference call is scheduled on Monday May 30, 2011 and we will update our sites at that time.


Greg Andrews, DVM

Moore Equine Veterinary Centre Ltd.


Neurological EHV announcement from WCVM

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 28, 2011 11:40

May 27, 2011 The Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Sk. announced that they are not be taking any neurological EHV cases into their facility.  Their decision is based on the fact that the facility would have to be quarantined with each case that was admitted, consequently the WCVM would not be able to service other clients.  WCVM veterinarians will provide on farm services to neurological EHV horses.   The recommended treatment for neurological EHV is supportive.   These supportive treatments can be provided on site at the horse's farm/stable.

Dr. Domoslai confirmed that there were 2 neurological cases at Tisdale, Saskatchewan, both whom survived and are out of quarantine, there is 1 neurological case in Alberta.


EHV Update

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 21, 2011 08:41

May 17, 2011

Alberta Horse Owners;


A case of nEHV-1 with neurological symptoms has been confirmed in a Southern Alberta horse. The horse is isolated and is recovering. This news has been reported on many websites and internet blogs. This bulletin will provide some fact about the disease so that horse owners are aware of the current situation.


Equine Herpes Virus -1 is a contagious disease of horses that has been around for a long time. The classical form of the disease causes respiratory disease, abortions in mares and rarely neurological (brain and spinal cord) disease. In the past few years a new strain of the virus has emerged in North America that causes more severe disease. It is called neuropathogenic or neurotropic EHV-1. This virus poses no human health risk.


nEHV -1 can be spread between horses through the nasal secretions of infected horses as well as being transferred indirectly by people and equipment. The best practices to protect your horses from this and other infectious diseases are to:


Follow sound biosecurity practices that prevents infectious disease spread


Hand washing in between handling individual horses Not sharing equipment and feeding utensils between horses, Changing your clothes and footwear after handling sick equines Disinfect any environment and equipment exposed to sick equines (stalls, trailers, tack) Monitor your horses closely for signs of infection (fever, loss of appetite, nasal discharge, lethargy, etc.) Call your veterinarian if your horse is not well to determine the cause of illness.

Prevent exposure of your horse to sick horses.

Vaccinate your horses against common infectious diseases. While vaccinations don't specifically protect horses against nEHV-1, they do prevent other diseases and make your horse more likely to remain healthy.

Speak to your veterinarian about the vaccines you should use on your horses.

People can continue to enjoy many equine activities if they apply some simple precautions for keeping their horse healthy. Horse owners are encouraged to contact their local veterinarian to discuss their concerns regarding nEHV-1 and bio-security practices.



Cameron Stevenson

Operations Lead,

Crop Diversification Centre North,

Alberta Agriculture & Rural Developement,

17507 Fort Road NW

Edmonton, Alberta T5Y 6H3

Fax: 780 -422-6096

Telephone:  780-422-1242 office

                         780-910-5889 cell



posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 18, 2011 20:08

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Happy Mother's Day

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 8, 2011 17:28

www.HorseOwnerToday.com would like to wish all mother's, mother's to be, or mother's that couldn't be a very happy day!  Celebrate your life as it is today, be joyous, find fulfillment!


Corman Park Veterinarian Services Customer Appreciation Night

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 6, 2011 20:58

What:  All CPVS clients are invited to a Phizer meeting and supper

When:  May 10, 2011

Where:  Flying Appaloosa

Supper:  6:30

Phizer presentation:  Vaccination and disease prevention protocols


Equine Herpes Virus (EHV)

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 6, 2011 20:55

Equine Herpes Virus

Equine herpes virus (EHV) is a common virus which affects horses. The disease is also known as Equine Rhinopneumonitis. This virus causes respiratory disease as well as abortions and neurologic disease. Respiratory disease is most common in young animals. Older animals can be infected and shed the virus without showing any signs of disease.

Horses with respiratory disease caused by EHV may have fever, coughing and/or nasal discharge. Some horses develop neurological signs such as incoordination, urinary incontinence and bladder distension. Severely affected horses may be unable to rise and “dog-sitting” may be observed. Neurologic disease may or may not be accompanied by respiratory disease. In pregnant mares, abortion may occur in late pregnancy or the foal may be born alive but with weakness, jaundice, respiratory distress and neurological signs and die within a few days.

The time from infection to the onset of disease is usually between four to six days. Abortions can occur from two weeks to several months after exposure to the virus. The virus is transmitted both directly (contact between horses) and indirectly (airborne virus or contaminated clothes, equipment, etc). The virus is mainly spread by aerosol droplets caused by coughing and snorting. Aborted fetuses, fetal membranes and fetal fluids are also infectious and the mares that have aborted shed the virus in their respiratory secretions.

Treatment for EHV-related disease is mainly supportive. Neurologic cases will need a safe, well-bedded stall especially if they are uncoordinated or recumbent. Horses that have difficulty urinating may need to be catheterized.

The outcome is good in the majority of cases. For horses that are recumbent for a long period of time, the prognosis is usually poor. It may take weeks or months before neurologic signs disappear completely, although in a few cases neurological problems have persisted for life.

Horses usually shed the virus for about a week after the onset of fever or neurologic disease. Once infected, animals carry the virus for life. They can shed virus periodically with or without showing signs of the disease, typically during periods of stress. This re-activation of the virus is responsible for the spread and survival of the virus in horse populations. Because the virus is so common, most horses become exposed to one or more strains of EHV at some point in their lives.

Several vaccines against EHV are available; however, vaccination does not prevent infection with EHV but does reduce the frequency and severity of clinical disease. Vaccination is generally recommended for broodmares.  None of the currently available vaccines state any claim for protection against the neurologic form of EHV infection.

Any suspected outbreak of EHV should be taken very seriously and steps taken to prevent spread of the disease. If you suspect your horse is infected with EHV, consult with your veterinarian for confirmation. When EHV is detected, isolate any infected horses immediately and avoid all direct and indirect contact with other horses. Exposed horses should also be isolated as a precautionary measure. Additional biosecurity measures should be taken, such as stopping all horse traffic on and off premises where infected horses have been identified and isolating infected and exposed horses from the general population for 28 days following the onset of the last identified case. Thoroughly clean and disinfect all facilities and equipment to prevent further cases.

For more information on this and other equine health issues, please contact your local veterinarian.

Dr. Wendy Wilkins, DVM, PhD

Disease Surveillance Veterinarian

Livestock Branch

Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture