PRCA Livestock Welfare News Animal Health Alert

May 16, 2011
The PRCA is closely monitoring the issues surrounding the outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) that has spread through the Western United States.   At this time we do not have any confirmation of any States that have restricted the transportation of horses, nor have any PRCA rodeos been cancelled at this time due to this outbreak.  We will continue to monitor the situation and share information via,

social media as well as these updates.  Please contact Cindy Schonholtz at 719-440-7255 or with any questions or concerns.

Information about the Outbreak: 
You can read all of the details below but basically 2 horses in CO tested positive for the virus
after attending the National Cutting Horse Association event in Ogden, Utah from April 30 to May 8.   Since the diagnosis of the CO horses, horses in several other states including Idaho, California and Washington were diagnosed - they also were at the Utah show.  Horses at a cutting horse show in Kern County, CA came down with the virus at the show.  One of those horses and horses in several other states have been euthanized do to the disease.  

Information on the disease:  
The EHV-1 organism spreads quickly from horse to horse and the neurologic form of the virus can reach high morbidity and mortality rates. The incubation period of EHV-1 is typically 2-10 days. 

Prognosis depends on severity of signs and the period of recumbency. There is no specific treatment for EHV-1. Treatment may include intravenous fluids, anti-inflammatory drugs and other appropriate supportive treatment. Currently, there is no equine vaccine that has a label claim for protection against the neurological strain of the virus.

Advice for Horse Owners: 
All horse owners who attended the Ogden, UT, event should notify their veterinarian and isolate and monitor their horses for clinical signs of the disease. Some horses may not show signs of the disease but may still be a carrier. Those owners are also encouraged to restrict movement of their horses and take the horses temperature 2 times daily, even if they show no other symptoms if the temperature is elevated contact your veterinarian immediately. 
Every horse owner should educate themselves on the symptoms and if their horse show any symptoms, ISOLATE, DO NOT MOVE THEM and CONTACT YOUR VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY.   

Symptoms include: 
Fever preceding neurologic signs (either in a horse diagnosed with EHM or in horses that
have been exposed to a horse diagnosed with EHM),
Decreased coordination,
Urine dribbling,
Loss of tail tone,
Hind limb weakness,
Leaning against a wall or fence to maintain balance,
Lethargy, and
Inability to rise. 


Full brochure on the disease from the USDA 


Practice good bio security at your horse facility
USDA information on the subject 



Before transporting horses interstate, contact the State Veterinarian in the state you are traveling to insure there are no travel restrictions.  

Directory of State Veterinarians 




Updated CO Dept of Ag Release

Equine Herpes Virus confirmed in two CO Horses  

Colorado Dept of Ag

Equine Herpes Virus 

California Dept of Food and Ag  


EHV-1 Alert
Idaho Dept of Ag

State veterinarian cautions horse owners about EHV-1
WA Dept of Ag 



Multiple States Affected in EHV-1 Outbreak 

The Horse Magazine 


Virus found in Idaho Horses  

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture  is investigating what it's calling "a suspected outbreak" of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) within the state.

Nebraska Vet quarantines five farms over potential contact with Virus in Utah  

LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska's state veterinarian has placed five horse farms under quarantine because of potential contact with a contagious horse virus during a championship event in Utah.  


CSU protecting horses during EHV-1 outbreak  Concerns over a growing outbreak of equine herpesvirus has prompted CSU to cancel all non-emergency appointments for horses and camelids at its world-renowned veterinary teaching hospital in Fort Collins, and to block any horses from entering or leaving its equine science center. 

Thank you for your interest and support in livestock welfare issues and the PRCA.  Do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance.

Cindy Schonholtz
PRCA Director of Industry Outreach
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