EQUINE HERPES VIRUS 1

As many of our clients will be aware an outbreak of neurological equine herpes virus 1 (EHV-1) has been confirmed at a a large equestrian property in Hampshire, Crofton Manor. All current cases have been at this property but sadly 2 horses have already had to be euthanised from this serious disease.

The most recent information indicates that clinical signs first started around 1st January. Incubation of the virus can occur for around two weeks prior to signs occurring so the risk period extends back in to December. If your horses have been to the venue in the past few weeks then please contact your usual Sussex Equine Hospital Vet to discuss the best course of action. Vaccination for those that have been in contact is not currently recommended.

EHV-1 is a viral disease that is spread by respiratory secretions, in the air and direct contact. In the majority of outbreaks it causes a mild respiratory disease – nasal discharge, cough and fever from which horses quickly recover. However this strain of the virus leads to neurological disease which is characterised by incoordination of the legs, weakness, difficulty passing urine and can progress to recumbency. Unfortunately there is no cure for the disease and the treatment is supportive.

If you horse shows any of the signs mentioned above then please arrange for a vet to examine your horse.

Over the coming week as more horses are tested it will become clearer if the disease has been contained. Please be patient and understand any isolation or protocols put in place are for the safety of your horses and the wider equine community.

If you are at all concerned about your horse or would like some advice please contact the hospital on 01903 883050 or email info@sussexequinehospital.co.uk you can also take a look at the HBLB Codes of Practice for further information – https://codes.hblb.org.uk/index.php/page/32