Horse Virus Could Affect Travels, Boarding

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- If you own horses and have plans to take them out of state, there's a warning out for a disease.

Outbreaks have occurred in the last few months in states including Florida and Tennessee.

Doctor Shaylen Crawford said that if there's nasal discharge, a fever or a horse if off their feed you need to monitor your horses.

Equine herpes virus is highly contagious and it's possible that it could make it's way to Virginia, since so many people are traveling to show horses in warmer states right now.

If you think your horse has come into contact with another sick horse during travels, you have to quarantine your animal for 21 days.

When traveling, horses often are in close contact with others at unfamiliar barrns.

There are different forms of the virus and the biggest concern now is the neurological form, which you can't vaccinate against.

Equine herpes virus can lay dormant, so that's one of the reasons why you must keep a horse separate from others if they have it.

"If you are planning on traveling with your horse out of state especailly to a state that has had diagnosed cases of equine herpes virus you should call ahead to the facility or barn where you'll be traveling to or show ground and make sure they're not currently under a quarantine or suspecting a quarantine to be happening," Crawford said.

Doctor Crawford said this outbreak started at a popular horse show in Florida because there were a lot of horses in close contact there.

In Harrisonburg, you can make sure stalls are clean and if you suspect your horse may have the disease you can call a vet.

Vets are able to perform diagnostic tests to confirm it.

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