Mile View Farm in Doylestown, Pa., was placed under a 21-day quarantine on December 23 after three horses were euthanized because of an equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM) outbreak, say state officials.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture states that one of the horses that was euthanized competed in a horse show on December 12, before it showed symptoms of the neurologic disease caused by the equine herpes virus (EHV-1). An investigation is taking place to try to trace the horse's movement and identify a possible source of infection.
Mile View Farm is a hunter/jumper boarding and training farm. Horses at the farm are being closely monitored and any horse exhibiting questionable symptoms is being tested. Two horses at the farm are running fevers, but are not showing any neurologic symptoms.
Symptoms of EHV-1 include a fever of over 102 degrees F, weakness, inability to urinate or urine dribbling and incoordination. EHV-1 can spread through direct, horse-to-horse contact, as well as by indirect contact with contaminated materials. Aerosol contamination is also possible when infectious droplets are inhaled.
The following precautions are recommended to help protect horses from the spread of illness:
- Limit horse-to-horse contact
- Limit horse-to-human-to-horse contact
- Avoid use of communal water sources
- Avoid sharing of equipment unless thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between uses
There is no vaccine currently on the market to prevent the neurologic form of EHV-1.
Read more at Rate My Horse Pro.
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