Here is info on the current outbreak of Equine Herpesvirus that has been spread throughout the western states by horses that were exposed at an Ogden, Utah cutting horse championship. Horses that left that event may have been exposed and would now be showing symptoms and possibly spreading the virus to other horses on their home ranches. This is a highly contagious disease, that can not be spread TO humans, but is easily spread BY humans to other horses.
It is important to note that this particular strain of EHV-1 is NOT protected against by the common EHV-1 vaccinations available to people in typical 3- 4- and 5-way vaccinations! This is a neurological form that has severe symptoms beyond the common “flu” version of the virus! Once the disease has become very evident, it is often beyond much in the way of successful treatment–several horses have already been euthanized. If you think your horse may have been exposed, the best way to catch the virus early is to track the horse’s temperature 2 or 3 times daily: anything above 102 degrees is a red flag! Contact your vet immediately! Other symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, and incoordination.
Here are some helpful sites with accurate information about the current outbreak:
- No Kittitas Valley Trail Riders rides will be scheduled in the near future.
- The Alpine Lakes Riders’ fun ride for Saturday, May 21st at Joe Watt Canyon has been cancelled.
- The Old Mill Country Store Fun Ride, Sunday, May 22nd, at the Washington State Horse Park has been cancelled.
- A Drill Team competition scheduled for the State Horse Park will take place, but competitors will be kept separate from day use riders.
- Eastern Washington Quarter Horse Association schooling show at Dragonwood, May 22nd, cancelled.
- The Columbia Basin Reiners competition at the Franklin County Saddle Club May 20-22, cancelled.
- The Supreme Cowboy Challenge at the Franklin County Saddle Club May 28-30, cancelled.
- I have not been able to find any information concerning the John Wayne Pioneer Wagons cross-state ride–If you’ve heard anything, either way, let me know and I’ll update it here.