Breaking News – Details on EHV-1/Equine Herpes Virus Outbreak
A recent outbreak of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHV-1) has been traced to horses who exhibited at the National Cutting Horse Association’s Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah on April 20-May 8, 2011. Horses that participated in this event may have been exposed to the EHV-1 virus.
The EHV-1 virus can spread quickly from horse to horse so if you think your horse has possibly been exposed to the EHV-1 virus, watch your horse for clinical signs of the disease such as:
- High temperature
- Hind end weakness
- Gait abnormalities
- Trouble rising
- Nasal discharge
The EHV-1 disease can be spread through:
- Horse to horse contact
- Airborne fluids
- Contaminated human hands
It is very important to understand that there is no specific treatment for EHV-1 and there are NO EQUINE VACCINES that protect against this neurological strain of the virus. In fact, vaccinating your horse for the EHV-4 strain of the disease (which is a respiratory form of the disease) might in fact compromise your horse’s immune system therefore making them MORE susceptible to the neurologic strain.
Supplements that can boost your horse’s immune system and help prevent infection are:
- Lysine (@ 30,000 mg per day)
- Colloidal Silver (@ 4oz twice daily)
- CHVEL (2oz twice daily)
These supplements have been combined in a Neuro Kit by DePaolo Equine Concepts and can be used to treat the disease as well. Dr. DePaolo also believes that horses infected with the disease should be treated with IV ozone as soon as symptoms are detected. Other treatments, such as Zylexis or EqStim (an immune booster) might also be beneficial to treat the EHV-1 infection but one should consult their regular veterinarian to discuss this further.
The most important steps in preventing the spread of EVH-1 are:
- Limit your horse’s contact with other horses who may have been exposed to the disease or whose history is unknown
- Do not share tack, buckets or grooming tools with unfamiliar horses
- Do not let your horse rub noses with other horses
- After handling a horse wash your hands before handling, touching or petting another horse
- Abide by all quarantines when traveling in or out of an area infected with neurologic EHV-1
For more information on healthy vaccination protocol please visit the DePaolo Equine Concepts Health Library.
And for the most up to date information in your area, please contact your State’s Agriculture Department or the State Veterinarian’s Office rather than relying on 2nd hand information.