Horse Health

Equine Herpes Virus Scare Spreads

Update by R.T. Fitch

Rumors and Gossip May Cloud Critical Facts

Being both an Equine Advocate and a responsible horse owner I cannot help but keep an eye on the spreading news story regarding the outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus that occurred in Utah last week.  Since that time there have been reports from the bulk of the western states, including Texas, and even up into Canada of infected horses being diagnosed but one may wonder if the news media may be driving this alleged “outbreak” harder than the reality of the situation.

The virus has always been around, this is nothing new and the situation most certainly needs to be monitored and watched closely but I am beginning to detect a bit of hysteria in the air and slipping off over the edge will do the horses no justice what so ever.

So let’s watch, listen and stay in touch so that we can ensure that our equine charges will be healthy, safe and secure for many years into the future.

As an update we have included a listing of the latest, overnight breaking stories on the issue:

5 Utah horses diagnosed with equine herpes virus

Salt Lake Tribune – ‎9 hours ago‎

By dawn house This weekend’s Wild Horse and Burro Festival at the Salt Lake County Equestrian Park has been postponed after an outbreak of equine herpes virus was traced to an Ogden horse competition earlier this month. Preliminary lab results on Utah

Horse virus fears cancel children’s rodeo – ‎11 hours ago‎

Courtesy High River Agricultural SocietyA children’s rodeo in High River has been cancelled because of concerns about equine herpes virus. The Little Britches Rodeo was supposed to be held on May 23, but the event has been called off because the High

Highly contagious horse virus puts Kitsap equestrians on alert

Seattle Post Intelligencer – ‎11 hours ago‎

An outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus type 1, or EHV-1, has been traced to a National Cutting Horse Association event in Ogden, Utah, April 30 to May 8, which the Bremerton horse attended. According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture,

Equine Herpes Virus 1 Causes Concern

KGWN – Jade Cunningham – ‎4 hours ago‎

It sounds like it’s not a very nice virus going around, so we need to try and prevent it if we can.” The virus started in Utah, and has spread to four states including Idaho, California and neighbor Colorado. Idaho, Washington and Canada are also

Equine herpes virus found in horse

660 News – Craig Lester – ‎7 hours ago‎

A potentially deadly horse virus is causing concern for horse owners and agricultural societies across the province. The equine herpes virus (EHV) has been found in one animal in Alberta and as such, the High River Ag Society has shut down its facility

Equine herpes found in Albuquerque, Hobbs

Carlsbad Current Argus – Stella Davis – ‎5 hours ago‎

CARLSBAD — An outbreak of equine herpes virus-1 (EHV-1) traced to a recent horse event in Utah has put the horse community on alert across the United States and Canada. The disease can cause respiratory and neurological problems as well

Clackamas County horse confirmed sick with potentially deadly equine herpes virus – Eric Mortenson – ‎8 hours ago‎

By Eric Mortenson, The Oregonian A Clackamas County horse tested positive for a potentially deadly strain of equine herpes virus, and two others at the same farm may have been exposed to the disease, the Oregon Department of Agriculture said.

Coastside Horses on Lockdown Following Equine Virus Outbreak – Kristine Wong, Camden Swita – ‎37 minutes ago‎

Ranch owners along the Coastside have quarantined their horses in the wake of news that 800 horses from several Western states were likely exposed to a neurological form of equine herpes virus (EHV-1) at the National Cutting Horse Association’s Western

Horse illness cancels High River rodeo – ‎16 hours ago‎

The High River Agricultural Society will be closing their facility for precautionary measures due to an outbreak of EHV-1 (Equine Herpes Virus) for 21 days. The decision was made to protect all the animals involved in the festivities.

Arizona horse contracts equine herpes virus (blog) – Angela Gonzales – ‎9 hours ago‎

An Arizona horse contracted a herpes virus that it may have gotten at a championship event in Utah a few weeks ago. The Arizona Department of Agriculture received confirmation last night of Equine Herpes Virus, or EHV-1, in the horse, which has showed

Hundreds attend information session on horse herpes virus

AZFamily – Stacey Delikat – ‎3 hours ago‎

Hundreds of horse owners stood in the pouring rain Wednesday night for an information session about equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). So far one horse is confirmed dead from the virus, and at least three others are infected.

Horse Owners Trying To Stop Spread Of Equine Herpes Virus

NBC Montana – Adam Painter – ‎8 hours ago‎

None of Schuler’s horses were in Utah when the herpes virus showed up. But he’s worried, after all, it’s very contagious and can be deadly. John said, “Yes it’s life threatening, and that is a problem among people we know. Some of them have lost horses

Neurotropic Equine Herpes Virus -1 Reported In The United States And Canada

Standardbred Canada – ‎11 hours ago‎

Equine Canada’s Health and Welfare Committee is notifying horse owners that Neurotropic Equine Herpes Virus-1 (nEHV-1) has been reported in horses in the United States, with confirmed cases in Alberta (1) and British Columbia (3).

Equine Virus Outbreak Elicits Caution, Not Panic in Woodside – Dave Colby – ‎33 minutes ago‎

An outbreak of EHV-1 (Equine Herpes Virus) during a cutting horse event in Ogden, Utah on April 29 – May 8 has put some horse owners in the western portions of the United States on guard. Horses exhibiting symptoms associated with EHV-1 such as high

Six confirmed cases of horses with Equine Herpesvirus in Colorado

Ag Journal – ‎11 hours ago‎

The Colorado Department of Agriculture continues to investigate the spread of Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) within the state. • Five of the confirmed EHV-1 positive horses had recently attended the National Cutting Horse Association’s Western National

Ore. finds horse testing positive for virus

San Jose Mercury News – ‎9 hours ago‎

The horses have been quarantined and so far have not shown any symptoms of the disease known as equine herpes virus. Authorities have said that 18 Oregon horses were at the National Cutting Horse Association’s Western National Championship held

Horse being treated for equine herpesvirus in Snohomish

HeraldNet – Gale Fiege – ‎10 hours ago‎

“This virus is endemic among horse populations. It’s like herpes in humans. If you get stressed, you get a cold sore,” Mollat said. “But it has become more aggressive over the years. The concern about death among horses is a newer development.

Texas takes steps to keep scary horse virus from spreading here

Houston Chronicle (blog) – ‎12 hours ago‎

The NCHA continues to closely monitor the situation of reported cases of Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) that were reportedly first clinically diagnosed in horses that attended the NCHA Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah conducted April 29 – May

Equine herpes virus outbreak grows; California state veterinarian confirms 10 …

DVM 360 – Daniel R. Verdon, Rachael Whitcomb – ‎13 hours ago‎

National Report — The California state veterinarian’s office reports 10 new cases of equine herpes virus (EVH-1) have been confirmed today. The multi-state EHV-1 outbreak is spreading with cases now extending beyond Colorado and Washington state.

Equine herpes concerns rise in West

Western Farm Press – ‎11 hours ago‎

An outbreak of Equine Herpesvirus-1 in several Western states has raised concern that this disease that affects horses, llamas and alpacas may soon reach Oregon. An outbreak of Equine Herpesvirus-1 in several Western states has raised concern that this

Equine herpes scuttles High River rodeo

Calgary Sun – Michael Wood – ‎6 hours ago‎

The society called the move to cease operations for 21 days “a precautionary measure,” in light of a recent North American outbreak of equine herpes virus, or EHV-1. “This decision has not been made lightly but with the consultation of all stakeholders

Equine Herpesvirus Q&A

Horsetalk – ‎2 hours ago‎

It is the neurological form of Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). These so-called neuropathogenic strains of EHV-1 are known by the shorthand, nEHV-1. EHV-1 strains can actually cause four manifestations of disease, the neurological form being but one.

Equine herpes outbreak hits Western US states

Reuters – Keith Coffman, Alex Dobuzinskis – ‎May 17, 2011‎

Equine herpes virus (EHV-1) is a highly contagious disease that is spread through nasal secretions by nose-to-nose contact when horses nuzzle each other, according to orange county STD check ….

Veterinary associations outline strategies to respond to equine herpes virus …

DVM 360 – ‎16 hours ago‎

National Report — For veterinarians looking for guidance on the response and treatment associated with an equine herpes virus outbreak, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and American Association of Equine Practitioners have published

State Vet Confirms Horse Herpes Case In Oregon

KPTV Portland – ‎6 hours ago‎

An Oregon horse has tested positive for a neurological form of equine herpes virus-1 traced to a horse show in Utah. The state veterinarian has confirmed that the EHV-1 has been found in horse in Clackamas County that was in close contact with other

Equine Herpes Virus Outbreak Traced to Cutting Horse Show at Ogden, Utah

KCSG – Jack Wilbur – ‎15 hours ago‎

by Jack Wilbur, Contributor (Salt Lake City, UT) – The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is investigating cases of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) within the state. There have been several cases of the disease in horses from surrounding states that

Highly contagious horse virus

KLEW – Tracci Dial – ‎1 hour ago‎

Animal health experts are monitoring an outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus One. At least nine horses in the western US and Canada have been infected. The outbreak appears to have started at a Utah competition on May 8th. Some 500 horses were there.

Horse herpes forces quarantine of Colbert vet office

Northwest Cable News – Ashley Korslien – ‎7 hours ago‎

More than three hundred horses could be infected with herpes. The equine herpes virus has killed two horses in Idaho, and infected at least one horse in Washington, but some vets are saying there is no need to panic. All horses at McKinlay and Peters

Equine Virus Forcing Cancellation of Horse Competitions

KHSL – Britt Carlson – ‎7 hours ago‎

The threat of the equine herpes virus is creating a huge problem for equestrians across the nation. Most horse competitions are being cancelled or postponed. Evans says, “They can’t have people hauling in and out of their facility in case that their

Wis. state vet warns of equine herpes outbreak

Chicago Tribune – ‎May 17, 2011‎

Robert Ehlenfeldt says horses from at least 29 states — including two in Wisconsin — may have been exposed to equine herpes virus-1 at a recent Utah competition. There is no human health threat. Ehlenfeldt says horse owners need to isolate their

13 replies »

  1. There have been 2 farms in New Jersey that have been quantined because of EHV-1 and Pennsylvania State extension has sent out warnings. I don’t think I would be transporting any horses to shows or other places with horses right now. My ponies stay in the pasture.
    I would also think the BLM should not round up any more of our wild horses and expose them to this disease affecting out domestic horses.


  2. Another example of the 24/7 news media needing to keep talking, and talking and talking…I’d rather watch the yuletide log for a few hours…


  3. The auction’s are an easy target for this, as they day in and day out share the bridles/bit’s, which is horrible and a disater to begin with. Precaution’s are the best prevention, lay low…


  4. i’m not wanting to sound like we should downplay the seriousness of this problem but once again, i smell the makings of media hysteria. this virus, just like west nile, has been around for a long time and i’m sure lots of unreported cases have come and gone. i had a friend call me and say that she wouldn’t bring her horse over for a trail ride (same county) if there were going to be other horses there from neighboring counties. come on people let’s don’t buy into once again, being made fools of by the ‘controllers’. keep your horses happy and healthy, their immune systems stong and all will be well.


  5. This was actually the first news piece where I live Tues night. The anchor was at Golden Gate Fields. He said so far the disease has not gotten there but by being at the track–it makes it that much scarier.

    There is one barn where the owner is taking precautions. No horses in and no horses out for 30 days. You leave–you can’t come back for 30 days.

    I don’t know too much about equine virus. I know there saying this strain is neurologic and there isn’t a cure as such. You have things to watch for and by doing so–you get help much quicker to the horse. I think part of the problem is some of the state’s vet hospitals aren’t taking any more horses.

    Time is of the essence if your horse has a temp. It is not a reason to panic. But do call the vet. And I know there are other supportive measures you can take. The horse has to fight this one out on his own. But this isn’t a reason to abandon him.


    • Not actually owning a horse I haven’t read a lot about this. If a horse does contract this disease is it normally fatal? Is there a very large percentage of horses that have a complete recovery with no lasting side effects? Are they then a carrier since this is herpes?


  6. at this time 1 horse from Canada was put down, 2 others in Colo have been put down, i think 7 others have also been put down. YES THIS IS VERY SERIOUS!! 30-35 horses from Montana were at that show, all have been quartine by the State Vet and their local vets. all are holding our breath on this. all shows have been canceled til mid June.


  7. Here’s the USDA’s official guideline about EHV-1:

    Click to access equine_herpesvirus_brochure_2009.pdf

    It sounds pretty serious to me. Keeping heresies from interacting outside their own barn herds, canceling shows and events, and following all the other recommendations that are being made makes sense to me. I’d much rather people get excited now and react with proactive measures and stop the virus from spreading quickly, than to think it’s just a big over-reaction, and let the matter reach epidemic proportions. More horses have already died from this current outbreak in 2011 than died with it in years 2001-2006 added together.

    Yes, EHV-1 has always been around, but with our society becoming one that is so fluid- with our horse-owning population transporting horses from barn to barn, state to state, and coast to coast by the tens of thousands per day, we now have a very different scenario for passing viruses and diseases than was present in the days when horses seldom left the counties they lived in.

    Just my opinion, but I’d sure rather see people being a little over-protective now (call it hysteria if you want), than considering the red flags a big joke and having thousands of horses die because no one responded when alerted.


  8. Here’s the latest from Horsetalk. Colorado seems to be the hardest hit so far.

    BTW, read Cornell’s Equine Hospital was under quarantine for EHV-1 from March 20th to April 19th. Two horses with confirmed cases – a foal who died, and a gelding who recovered – with a potential of 69 exposed. No reports of further outbreaks resulting from those exposures. My point is that, by following proper procedures, they keep things under control. I know they’re a very sophisticated facility, but what they did is pretty much what’s being recommended to others.

    The bone I have to pick is with owners who suspect or KNOW there’s something wrong with their horse, and take it to a competition in spite of the danger it may pose to other animals. Better to be responsible and stay home than to go in hopes of glory and end up with something like this on your conscience!


  9. I can’t say for certain that it will CURE equine herpes; but, if I had a horse who either had it or had potentially been exposed to it, I’d be making colloidal silver by the gallon and keeping in in the water bucket. I don’t sell anything to do with it; but, I swear by the stuff and saved one of my dogs with it when my vet had given up hope. All it takes to make it yourself is: the .9999 silver wire (which lasts a long time), distilled water, a glass container, 2 alligator clips, and an AC/DC converter (preferably in the 28 to 32V output range, the lower the mA the better; but, in a pinch, I’ve even used a 12V adapter – it just takes longer.) A red laser pointer is also handy for checking to see if “it’s done.” Don’t “overcook” thinking that it’ll make it stronger – smaller sized particals absorb better internally. If you happen to overcook a batch, set it back for treating cuts, sores, etc. Big pharma HATES this stuff and does everythng it can to try to discredit it; but, it really IS the best antibiotic, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal on the planet! There are NO drug interactions and NO resistant strain related problems. The ONLY potential side-effect is something called argeria, which is purely cosmetic. Obviously, I’d also use anything the vet gave me; but, I’d be “slamming” the horse with colloidal silver at the same time. Why let any animal die just because the pharmacutical companies can’t get rich on something that works better than what WILL make them rich??? For more information, just do a search of “colloidal silver.” Please paste a copy of this on any other relevant forums. Even if you don’t use it yourself, it might save someone else’s “fur-kid.”


    • Kathy R. Your on the right track with CS. I use CS @ 2000ppm /mg/l @ .0007microns.
      It will penetrate most all tissue. It is deadly against most all microbes / bacteria-viruses, algae, known to man. It was used in its basic form since Roman times. In fact, it was used by MDs in America, up to the early 30’s when a Dr. Fishbein, AMA head at the time, had it removed and replaced with the ‘new’ antibiotics, coming on line at that time. Why?…Rx drugs are patentable and it was very profitable. CS ( colloids of silver) is a natural substance and natural substances aren’t patentable.
      Your right about the AMA..the FDA.. and their continued efforts in trying to discredit CS for use,a s an antibiotic for humans. The Rx Corps. are lobbying against it, and have been for sometime now.
      Of course.. hundreds of thousands of people now, are wise to the Rx Cartels unjustified and corrupt efforts and so..many make their own CS today.
      As for Equine bacterial or viral infections… CS will destroy over 650 known deadly micro-organisms and Herpes Virus is but one of them. Yes, I suggest using it in their drinking water. I’ve used in on cats w/ feline Leukemia and their alive today. Lots of benefit with no negative side-effects. By-the-way, Silver is still used in hospitals today.. both on most burn victims and All babies born, where they get their eyes irrigated with a Silver solution to prevent STDs etc. With diseases today, running around affecting us and our loved animals…it pays to have a bottle or two or more in your medicine chest, at ALL times. Semper Paratus.


  10. Jan. 28 2012. Indio Polo Grounds, Calif. Recent reports and actions taken by State of Calif. have closed down to-date, planned Polo Events, putting horses in the area, in isolation, due to one horse found with EHV-1 virus. The horse diagnosed with the virus was euthanized Monday. Horses in designated areas will be quarantined for 21 days, as per information provided. See updated article in Desert Sun Newspaper -Valley Section B, Friday- Jan. 27 2012.


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