State Veterinarian Warns Horse Owners of Equine Herpes Virus One Cases in Virginia

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The Tennessee State Veterinarian is advising horse owners of cases of Equine Herpes Virus One (EHV-1) in a neighboring state.

Last week, two horses at a horse show in Lexington, Virginia tested positive for EHV-1. EHV in all forms is highly infectious and found worldwide. EHV-1 can cause upper respiratory disease, neurological disease, abortions, and neonatal death.

“For the general horse population, there isn’t cause for alarm, but I urge owners to be aware of practices that help keep horses healthy,” State Veterinarian Dr. Samantha Beaty said. “Consult with your veterinarian to determine appropriate vaccines for your herd. If a horse has been exposed to EHV, such as in the same area in a barn or in a show ring together, I strongly advise quarantining for a minimum of 14 days and up to 30 days in cases of direct contact. This helps prevent the spread of disease and protects others, particularly if you’re attending shows or group trail rides.”

Equines coming in from other states must have a current certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) to enter Tennessee. This health certificate requires that a veterinarian inspect each equine for signs of disease to ensure that it appears healthy for movement, and it is valid for 30 days. More information can be found online at www.tn.gov/agriculture/businesses/animals/animal-health/equine-passport.html.

While there is no way to eliminate all risks of disease when comingling horses, vaccinations and good biosecurity measures reduce the risk on the farm and while at competitions. Do not share buckets, brushes, halters, bridles, bits, or other equipment. Contact your veterinarian if you notice any signs of illness in your animals.

Follow the Equine Disease Communication Center for current disease outbreaks at equinediseasecc.org/alerts.

The C. E. Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory offers a full line of equine disease testing, including equine herpes virus, equine infectious anemia, West Nile virus, equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis, and equine influenza virus. Contact your veterinarian for more information.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Animal Health Division is responsible for promoting animal health in Tennessee. The State Veterinarian’s office seeks to prevent the spread of disease through import and movement requirements, livestock traceability, disaster mitigation, and the services of the C.E. Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory. The division collaborates with other health-related stakeholders, academic institutions, and extension services to support One Health, an initiative to improve health for people and animals.

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