A third horse that attended the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Stallion Stakes has tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus – type 1 (EHV-1). Officials say the horse is from the Las Vegas area.
The Equine Disease Communication Center reported a 10-year-old gelding tested positive for the non-neurological form of EHV-1 in a test taken on April 17. The Center, which tracks equine disease outbreaks, said the Nevada State Veterinarian was notified on April 19 after the test was confirmed positive.
The horse, which is said to be recovering, is one of two horses from Clark County to test positive for the non-neurological form of the infection after the NRCHA Stallion Stakes. A California horse also tested positive for non-neurological EHV-1 after the premier event that concluded earlier this month at the South Point Equestrian Center.
The EHV-1 virus can manifest itself in horses in a number of ways, including as a respiratory infection or a neurologic condition. Officials say the non-neurological, respiratory form of EHV-1 is similar to the flu in humans.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) said that signs of the neurological form of EHV-1 — which, in severe cases, can result in death — include nasal discharge, incoordination, hind-limb weakness, loss of tail tone, lethargy, urine dribbling, head tilt and the inability to rise. Horses also may lean against a fence or wall to maintain their balance.
The NRCHA urged horse owners to keep their equines up-to-date on booster shots and monitor their horses’ eating and drinking habits, as well as the animals’ demeanor. Those who handle horses should avoid sharing equipment between horses and, if possible, avoid shared areas at horse shows. Disinfection of shared areas is important.
The state of Nevada has reported 7 positives — some neurological and some non-neurological — in horses that either reside in the state or competed at an event in the state over the past two months. Additional biosecurity measures were taken at last week’s National Reining Breeders Classic after show organizers learned a Houston-area horse that attended a reining event in Ardmore, Oklahoma, later tested positive for neurological EHV-1 .
A barrel horse in Texas also tested positive recently for neurological EHV-1. The horse had attended two multiple-day barrel races in the state in the weeks before its diagnosis, officials said.
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