Equine Herpes Virus 1 and Equine Herpes Myeloencephalitis (EHM) variant
Equine Herpes Virus is a very common infection that affects many horses. In most cases, it results in a mild upper respiratory tract infection but in some horses it can results in a neurological condition that can be dangerous to the health of the horse.
The clinical signs to watch for are fever (>38.5 C or 101 F), cough, nasal discharge, difficulty urinating, off feed, depressed and incoordination of the hind legs with some horses going down and not able to rise.
You can monitor your horses but taking temperatures twice a day - once in the morning and again in the evening. If you find your horse has a fever, for which there is not an obvious cause, you should contact your vet for further advice and exam.
Horses vaccinated against equine herpes virus 1, 4 are mostly protected from this virus, however, some horses will still be able to contract the neurological form of the disease even with vaccination.
If you have a horse that has a fever, contact your vet to discuss the options. The likelihood of infection with EHV-1 neurological form is low but the horse community should be aware and take standard hygiene precautions when congregating horses such as at shows and sales. Avoid sharing pails, halters, tack and other common instruments between horses without disinfection. This virus is not very hardy against standard disinfection (detergent and bleach), however, can be transmitted on people and by respiratory excretions between horses (nose to nose contact)
Additional booster vaccination against EHV is recommended and you should contact your vet regarding this option if you are concerned that your horse may be in a high contact event such as shows or sales this spring and summer.
More information to follow as it becomes available....
Links to information on Equine Herpes Virus-1
FOR VETERINARIANS INFORMATION: (US Based recommendation only!)