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News Release - Veterinary College at the U of S resumes regular clinical services

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 29, 2011 09:11


The Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan is now accepting all equine patients at its Large Animal Clinic — ending an eight-day suspension of non-emergency equine clinical services to control the risk of equine herpes virus type 1 (EHV-1) infection.

Veterinarians reopened the clinic’s doors to horses at 8:00 a.m. on June 29 after multiple clinical examinations and diagnostic tests confirmed that there was no spread of EHV-1 among horses at the veterinary college.

The WCVM voluntarily suspended its equine clinical services on June 21 following the confirmed diagnosis of EHV-1 in a Saskatoon-area horse that was brought to the clinic on June 18. The horse was humanely euthanized on June 19 due to the severity of the disease. Diagnostic testing confirmed that the horse had the neurologic form of EHV-1, also called equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM).  

Dr. Chris Clark, a specialist in internal medicine at the WCVM, says clinicians have been monitoring the health of nearly two dozen horses housed in or outside the veterinary college’s clinic. None of these horses have shown clinical signs of the disease and all diagnostic tests are negative for EHV-1 infection.

“Based on the results of our investigation and after consulting with several equine infectious disease experts in Canada and the United States, all indications show that the potential spread of EHV-1 infection in connection to the original case has been successfully controlled at the WCVM,” says Clark. He adds that clinical teams will continue to use safeguards including the screening of all equine patients for clinical signs of EHV-1 before admitting any animal to the clinic.

As a precautionary measure, owners of the horse that was originally diagnosed with EHV-1 will maintain a voluntary quarantine on their farm to prevent the potential spread of the disease to other farms. Other horses on their premises have shown no clinical signs of EHV-1.

EHV is a common equine virus to which nearly all horses exposed during their lifetime. It usually causes mild respiratory disease, but in rare cases, the virus can affect a horse’s brain and spinal tissue and cause the neurological form of EHV-1 to develop. Although the virus is highly contagious among horses and camelids (alpacas and llamas), it is not transmissible to humans and other animal species. 

Clark says horse owners can prevent the potential spread of EHV-1 by following basic biosecurity measures while travelling to public events this summer. His key recommendations include thoroughly washing hands after handling horses, minimizing contact between horses from other herds and not allowing horses to drink from communal water troughs or buckets.

For further details about EHV-1 and how to prevent its spread, please visit www.wcvm.com and click on the EHV-1 information page.


EHV update WCVM status

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 23, 2011 19:20




Western College of Veterinary Medicine suspends equine clinical services to control potential spread of virus among horses


The Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s Large Animal Clinic at the University of Saskatchewan is not accepting any non-emergency equine patients to control the potential spread of equine herpes virus type 1 (EHV-1) infection.


The WCVM voluntarily suspended its equine clinical services on June 21 following the confirmed diagnosis of EHV-1 in a horse from the Saskatoon area that was brought to the clinic on June 18. While tests results are still pending, WCVM veterinarians suspect the horse was suffering from the neurologic form of EHV-1, also called equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM). The horse was humanely euthanized due to the severity of the disease.


EHV is a common equine virus to which nearly all horses are exposed during their lifetime. EHV usually causes mild respiratory disease, but in some cases, the virus can spread to other parts of the body. In rare cases, the virus can affect spinal tissue and cause the neurological form of EHV-1 to develop. 


EHV-1 is not transmissible to humans and most animal species, but the virus is highly contagious among horses and camelids (llamas and alpacas). It’s spread by aerosol transmission — when affected horses sneeze or cough — or through direct contact.


“Because EHV is a contagious disease, we have placed all of our remaining equine patients under quarantine to minimize the risk of further disease transmission among horses,” says Dr. Chris Clark, a specialist in large animal internal medicine at the WCVM. “We’ve cancelled any routine elective appointments for horses at the WCVM Large Animal Clinic, but the WCVM’s equine field service is operating normally and we are still accepting any emergency equine cases.”


The WCVM’s Small Animal Clinic as well as all other services offered by the WCVM and its Veterinary Teaching Hospital are not affected by the voluntary suspension of equine clinical services. The WCVM will resume regular equine clinical services at its Large Animal Clinic once the risk to other horses has been resolved.


The WCVM is working closely with the affected horse’s owners who have voluntarily quarantined their farm. Other horses on their premises have not shown any clinical signs of EHV-1. Clark stresses that this is not an EHV disease outbreak and all measures are only being taken to prevent the potential spread to other farms.


In the past six weeks, provincial and state veterinary health authorities have reported multiple cases of EHV-1 in horses that attended or were in contact with other horses that competed at a national cutting horse competition in Ogden, Utah. The affected horse at the WCVM Large Animal Clinic did not attend the show and was not in contact with any horses participating in the event.


If horses are being transported to shows, clinics or other public events, Clark recommends that all riders and owners should thoroughly wash their hands after handling horses, minimize contact between horses from other herds and not allow horses to drink from communal water troughs or buckets. 


For further information about EHV-1, horse owners are urged to contact their local veterinarian or go to www.wcvm.com and download an EHV fact sheet.



Equine Guelph's Integrative Therapies Workshop a Huge Success!

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 17, 2011 11:06

By:  Jackie Bellamy

Equine Guelph presented its first ever, Integrative Therapies workshop on May 19th to a full house at the Ontario Veterinary College.  Minds were engaged right from the start with Dr. Brad Hanna’s thought-provoking introduction.  Entrenched in evidenced-based approaches, first impressions may have been this OVC professor was going to debunk the notion of integrative therapies all together!  This initial reaction quickly turned into unanimous nods of agreement throughout the lecture hall, filled with horse owners eager to learn more about complimenting their horse health programs. 

Hanna took everyone on a whirlwind journey through time which left the audience in no doubt of the need for best scientific practices and meticulously recorded statistics.  By the end of his talk, listeners knew of many criteria to look for in valid studies.  Hanna set the tone to keep an open mind but gave the audience some tools to assess credibility. 

Bone cracking myths were dispelled as Dr. Scott Hie, D.C. Chiropractor, went on to educate the crowd about what an adjustment is, and when it is useful.  Restriction and lack of motion were the symptoms Hie stated as reasons to see a Chiropractor― but not before seeing a vet.  Hie explained an adjustment as a high velocity, low amplitude thrust.  He also let everyone know chiropractic is not an option when there is severe heat, swelling, lameness or open wounds.  Participants interested in learning more about how the joints are connected were encouraged to check out Equine Guelph’s Anatomy course or seminars.

An exciting high level scientific talk ensued when Dr. Wendy Pearson of the University of Guelph took the stage, outlining the potential of a new breed of “super mint” to reduce inflammation and aid in the treatment of arthritis.  The audience was shown the complexities of biochemistry through a vivid PowerPoint explaining how components within cells are interacting.  Equine Guelph director, Gayle Ecker, summed up this lecture stating, “If my chemistry professor was this passionate, I might be in a different field today.”

The search for symmetry followed with a hands-on talk by Holly Barnett, REMT CSF, massage therapist.  With over 80 modalities of recognized massage, this speech left the audience wanting to learn more about trigger points and how to relieve those pesky knots.  Barnett instructed horse owners to “look for symmetry” and gave many tips on how to palpate and stretch horses to help combat what can become a vicious cycle of pain and muscle contraction.

Lastly, and going into overtime, Jackie Vandenbrink, M.Sc. Equine Nutritionist, gave the audience food for thought.  No one was concerned about staying late when Vandenbrink started serving up sound advice for feeding your herbivore a forage-based diet.  Vandenbrink emphasized, “Good management should stimulate good digestion.”   Vandenbrink stressed the importance of looking at the whole picture and not reaching for one magical powder.  If your vet/chiro/massage therapist finds a physical problem, talking to a nutritionist to improve your feed program can be an important part of the solution.

Good quality hay was discussed at length.  Vandenbrink went on to inform the audience that hay is not a balanced diet and does not mimic grazing in the wild.   Four-month-old hay does not contain the higher levels of Vitamin E that can be ingested on a well-maintained pasture.  She suggests turning horses out on pasture as a great way to buffer the gut, guarding against ulcers.  “A well functioning hind gut is a source of nutrients for the rest of the body not only in calories but also in B vitamins, electrolytes and fluids,” says Vandenbrink while discussing the importance of fibre.  The participants were given plenty of information to digest.  Feedback from the workshop, conclusively indicated horse owners are chomping at the bit for more of this valuable information. 

The evening of integrative therapies was made possible through a memorial contribution by family members of Rosalie Logan.  This tribute honored a noted horsewoman and shared her love of the horse with other horse lovers.  Rosalie believed an ounce of prevention was worth a pound of cure and Equine Guelph was pleased to facilitate this workshop.  Equine Guelph thanks all attendees for their generous donations which help to develop future educational opportunities. 



Photo Credit:  Jackie Bellamy

Photo:  Holly Barnett, REMT CSF, Massage Therapist

Photo Caption:  Holly Barnett REMT CSF, explains the benefits of adding massage therapy to your horse health care team.

Web Link:  http://www.equineguelph.ca/news/index.php?content=292

Notes to Editor:

Equine Guelph is the horse owners’ and care givers’ Centre at the University of Guelph.  It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups.  Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government – for the good of the equine industry as a whole.  For further information, visit www.equineguelph.ca.



Greenhillls Golf Course Tournament Schedule

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 15, 2011 16:42

June 22- Seniors Open

July 10-Mixed Open

July 12- Sask Party

July 15- Junior Open

Aug 6- Men's Open

Aug 7- Ladies 2 person scramble

Aug 12 RCMP Open

Aug 20- Par III  Tournament

Sept. 4- Reeder Cup



posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 11, 2011 10:00

Welcome to the blog for Horse Owner Today.


Handy EHV-1 References

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 5, 2011 11:11


·        Neurologic EHV-1: The Top Five Things You Need to Know - http://bit.ly/iRrE3p

·        Update on EHV-1 Conference Call - May 25, 2011 - http://bit.ly/jPHF63

·        Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) - http://1.usa.gov/jxev5j

·        Message to Alberta Horse Owners - Neurotropic Equine Herpes Virus-1 (nEHV-1) - http://bit.ly/jCFMas

·        The American Association of Equine Practitioners - http://bit.ly/j5XShc

·        Facts About Equine Herpes Virus - http://bit.ly/khha91

·        Equine Health Alert - State of Idaho, Department of Agriculture - http://bit.ly/jsd1gr

·        Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) Situation Report (May 19, 2011) - http://bit.ly/jbImfu

·        Ontario Veterinary College Blog - http://bit.ly/2nWet



AHC National Issues Forum Highlights Informative Speakers

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 2, 2011 15:21


The American Horse Council’s National Issues Forum, entitled “Congress on a Diet: What It Means for the Horse Industry,” will feature several important speakers.  “We are very pleased this year to have three Members of Congress and several Agency leaders to discuss this important topic,” said AHC president Jay Hickey.  This year’s National Issues Forum will be held June 21 in Washington, DC during the AHC’s annual meeting, which will run from June 19 to 22 at the Washington Court Hotel.     


“The highlight of this year’s forum will be presentations on Tuesday afternoon, June 21, from Members of Congress and federal regulatory agencies on the new fiscal realities in Washington.  We are very pleased that Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY), the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, will be there to give us his perspective, along with Congressmen Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), who are the co-chairs of the Congressional Horse Caucus. 


Dr. John Clifford, Deputy Administrator of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, Veterinary Services, will discuss USDA activities and how they might be impacted by budget constraints.  “USDA’s involvement in disease outbreaks is critical to the health of our horses and the economic viability of the industry,” noted Hickey, “so Dr. Clifford’s remarks will be important, particularly in light of the recent outbreak of Equine Herpesvirus-1/EHM and its affect on the industry.”


Reacting to the federal situation from the state point-of-view will be Dr. Guy Hohenhaus, DVM, State Veterinarian of Maryland and President of the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials.  “With the potential of cutbacks in federal funds and programs, the states may have to assume more responsibilities and accompanying costs,” said Hickey, “Dr. Hohenhaus is very qualified to discuss this and what it might mean to the industry.” 


On Tuesday morning, the National Issues Forum will include speakers providing updates on the national equine health initiative, the activities of the Unwanted Horse Coalition, the status of the national animal identification system, and a discussion about how the horse industry can improve its political activities with a focus on the 2012 elections.  The annual Congressional Reception will take place on Tuesday night and the Congressional Ride-In on Wednesday.  This year’s meeting will also see the return of the AHC’s Breed Roundtable, a popular event that brings together leaders of horse associations to discuss common issues of importance to the industry.  Please see the attached schedule for a listing of all programs and speakers now confirmed.  


The AHC’s various committees, including the Unwanted Horse Coalition, will meet on Monday, June 20, during the convention to discuss issues affecting the equine community. 


More information on these Forums and the entire AHC annual meeting, including registration and hotel information is attached or can be found on the AHC’s website, http://horsecouncil.org/events.php or by contacting the AHC.



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