Tuesday, February 6, 2018

King County horse barn quarantined for equine herpes virus

Dr. Brian Joseph
Washington State Veterinarian

On Monday, WSDA placed a King County equine premises under quarantine after a case of equine herpes, or EHV-1, was detected in a horse at the facility. However, this is a different strain of EHV-1 than the virus strain that lead to an earlier quarantine at a separate horse facility in Woodinville this past December. The two cases are not related.

The most recent case involves a non-neuropathogenic strain of equine herpes virus, though it is still serious and can cause respiratory problems in horses. The detection was made in a gelding that had recently been transported from Oregon. It is recovering under treatment and has not shown clinical signs of illness. 

In addition to placing the facility under quarantine, WSDA is working with local veterinarians actively monitoring the other animals at the facility that have been exposed to the infected horse. 

The earlier case at the Woodinville facility involved a neuropathogenic strain of EHV-1. That detection resulted in a quarantine of the facility and the need to euthanize seven horses. WSDA has not yet lifted the quarantine. 

Horse owners should take precautions to protect their animals against these contagious diseases by practicing strict biosecurity. You should also monitor your horses for signs of illness, monitor their temperature twice a day and notify your veterinarian immediately if you have any concerns.

More recommendations for horse owners to guard against equine herpes are included in a previous WSDA blog article.