Texas horse has equine herpes myeloencephalopathy

The Texas Animal Health Commission received confirmation of equine herpes myeloencephalopathy, the neurologic disease linked to Equine Herpes Virus, in a hunter jumper horse visiting Texas from Wyoming.

The EHM positive horse traveled to Katy, Texas, to participate in a hunter jumper event that began on Jan. 29. The infected horse has not visited any other events in Texas.

The infected horse was immediately isolated and quickly relocated to a Brazos County veterinary hospital for care after showing signs of ataxia and other neurologic signs consistent with EHM.

Horses that were known to have come in direct contact with the infected horse were in an isolated area of the facility, and the directly exposed horses are now under quarantine and veterinary monitoring.

Owners of horses that attended the event are encouraged to take precautions, such as clean and disinfect tack, boots, equipment and grooming supplies. When you return to your farm, isolate the horses that attended the event for at least two weeks. Have their temperatures monitored twice daily for at least 14 days after last known exposure. If a fever or other signs consistent with EHM develop, contact your veterinarian.

When doing feeding and chores, work with the returning horses last, wear booths and coveralls, and remove them before working with your other horses. Don’t forget to wash your hands.

Owners should work with their veterinary practitioners to establish appropriate monitoring and diagnostic plans for any potentially exposed horses.