A case of equine herpesvirus (EHV) 1 neurological disease has been confirmed in Worcestershire by the AHT.

horses
Image © Copyright Robin Stott (licensed for reuse under CC BY-SA 2.0).

EHV1, also known as equine rhinopneumonitis virus, can cause:

  • neurological disease
  • respiratory disease
  • abortion
  • death of newborn foals

Neurological symptoms are varied, but can include hindlimb weakness and loss of coordination (ataxia), which can progress to problems in the horse getting up (recumbency) and paralysis.

EHV1 is also the cause of peracute vasculitis, which is fatal to adult horses.

Ataxia presentation

In a statement, an AHT spokesman said: “The affected animal presented with ataxia on 24 February and, due to this, the attending vet collected blood samples to determine if EHV was the underlying cause.

“The presumptive diagnosis was made on the basis of raised serum antibody titres against EHV1 and EHV4 using the complement fixation test, along with no history of recent vaccination.

“The AHT is in regular contact with the veterinary surgeons involved, providing advice on outbreak management and diagnostic surveillance to minimise onward transmission.”

Monitoring

The spokesman added: “Biosecurity measures, including quarantine of the affected premises and further serological and qPCR monitoring, have been implemented in accordance with the Horserace Betting Levy Board codes of practice and will be continued as necessary.

“This outbreak is being closely monitored by all vets involved. As of 3 March 2017, no further cases of EHV1 have occurred.”

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