There are now CONFIRMED cases of Neurological Equine Herpes Virus in Alberta and BC.
The horses are in voluntary isolation and are being treated by a rapid protocol.
It is a nasty virus and it does have the potential to kill, however it is treatable. It is also very highly contagious and can travel long distances thru the air, can also travel on clothing and equipment. Horses that have been infected can be infectious up to 3 weeks. Some of the symptoms are: elevated temp, nasal discharge, sneezing, lack of urine output. Infected horses may be weak and uncoordinated.
Veterinarians feel that there is not enough evidence or risk, at this time, to cancel any functions (however, they would not recommend holding or attending a Cutting Horse Show.) If people are concerned about getting infected then they have the responsibility to keep their horses at home. If possible, do not have any contact with any horses that came out of the Utah cutting horse show or any contact with horses that have definitely been diagnosed.
Please see the attached link on the Virus: http://www.state.nj.us/agriculture/divisions/ah/pdf/equine_herpesvirus_brochure_2009.pdf The NCHA website has also posted info on the virus.
It is imperative that as horse owners we all take responsibility for our horses’ care and well being.
At press time – No public arenas have announced whether they will be closing their facilities.
Horse owners armed with the virus information can make their own decision whether they wish to attend any functions at public arenas. Check with arena management regarding their policy on refunding of deposits.