With the EHV outbreak & subsequent deaths in Hampshire recently, several people have asked us about this disease. Our sympathies go to the owners.
What is EHV – Equine Herpes Virus
The Animal Health Trust tells us on their website:
The disease is a major welfare concern for horses and foals. It can strike any horse at any time, causing emotional, as well as financial strains, on horse owners and breeders around the world. Currently, there is no vaccine effective against all forms of the disease.
Equine Herpesvirus can cause a seemingly healthy pregnant mare to suddenly, and without warning, miscarry her unborn foal.
It can cause a horse which appears fit and well to suddenly show abnormalities when walking and within hours be unable to stand.
It can also cause respiratory disease, similar to a cold, which can easily spread from horse to horse.The virus lies dormant and then re-emerges when an animal is later stressed, such as when transported or mixed with new horses.
Animal Health Trust info – aht.org.uk/news/neurological-ehv-1-confirmed-in-hampshire
15 January 2020
Further to the recent outbreak of neurological EHV-1 at an equestrian centre in Hampshire, which has resulted in the deaths of three horses, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) has been undertaking laboratory testing and analysis of samples taken from horses connected with the equestrian centre. The results have proven useful in identifying where the infection has been active and support the current veterinary advice on biosecurity.
Dr Richard Newton, Director of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance at the Animal Health Trust, commented: “Our laboratory testing and analysis of the samples taken from horses associated with the yard has provided us with useful information on the scale of infection. Previous advice on biosecurity for the venue, and horses connected with this premises, remains the same and further testing will be required over the next couple of weeks.”
Dr Newton added: “The swift action from horse owners and vets from the outset of this outbreak is to be commended. However, it is important that the shutdown remains in place for now and further testing is carried out before any restrictions are relaxed. If any horse owner is concerned about their horse’s health, they should consult their own veterinary surgeon for advice.”
10 January 2020
The Animal Health Trust (AHT) is aware of a confirmed outbreak of neurological EHV-1 in horses at an equestrian centre in Hampshire and that an event was held at the venue last weekend. The AHT understands that the premises is taking veterinary advice and is managing the situation extremely responsibly…………
Dr Newton added: “We would encourage all horse owners to maintain good biosecurity practices and be aware of the clinical signs of EHV-1 infection. These can include a raised temperature, inappetence and lethargy, nasal discharge, coughing and in some cases neurological signs that may range from slight hindlimb weakness through to recumbency and inability to stand. If an owner has any concerns about their horse’s health, they should consult their own veterinary surgeon for advice.”
The British Equestrian Federation issued the following statement regarding the recent outbreak
‘The Federation supports the actions of the centre who have ceased all activity, including cancelling shows and hire bookings until further notice. The Animal Health Trust has issued advice stating that all horses who have recently visited the centre are immediately isolated for a period of 14 days and that owners seek veterinary advice regarding clinical monitoring and laboratory test clearance.’
British Show Jumping stated on 13th January 2020
‘Following the recent outbreak of EHV-1 it is now a requirement that any horse or pony that has been on site at Crofton Manor, Hampshire since the 20th December 2019 is required to have a negative swab and blood test before competing at any British Showjumping show or organised event.’
British Dressage stated on 13th January 2020
‘In consultation with the Animal Health Trust and on the advice provided in today’s British Equestrian Federation update, British Dressage requires members with any horses or ponies who visited Crofton Manor EC between 20 December and 7 January for any reason (training or competition) have them tested by a veterinary surgeon for EHV-1. This is in addition to the originally recommended isolation period of 14 days and daily clinical monitoring. Owners of any horses or ponies who have been to Crofton EC in the specified should liaise directly with their veterinary surgeon on the testing process and advice.’