Ontario Horse Hospitalized with EHM
A 22-year-old gelding in Wellington County, Ontario, was confirmed positive for EHM and referred to an equine hospital.
A 22-year-old gelding in Wellington County, Ontario, was confirmed positive for EHM and referred to an equine hospital.  | Wikimedia Commons

On April 13, a 22-year-old gelding at a boarding facility in Wellington County, Ontario, developed signs of vestibular disease and abnormal urination. He was referred to an equine hospital for assessment and treatment, where he was confirmed positive for EHM.

The horse is currently affected and alive, and the facility owner is working with their veterinarian to implement voluntary movement restrictions and biosecurity protocols.

EDCC Health Watch is an Equine Network marketing program that utilizes information from the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) to create and disseminate verified equine disease reports. The EDCC is an independent nonprofit organization that is supported by industry donations in order to provide open access to infectious disease information.

EHV 101

Herpesvirus is highly contagious among horses and can cause a variety of ailments in equids, including rhinopneumonitis (a respiratory disease usually found in young horses), abortion in broodmares, and EHM.

In many horses, the first or only sign of EHV-1 infection is fever, which can go undetected. In addition to fever, other common signs of EHV-1 infection in young horses include cough, decreased appetite, depression, and a nasal discharge. Pregnant mares typically show no signs of infection before they abort, and abortions usually occur late in gestation (around eight months) but can be earlier. Abortions can occur anywhere from two weeks to several months following infection with EHV-1.

Horses with EHM usually have a fever at the onset of the disease and might show signs of a respiratory infection. A few days later, neurologic signs such as ataxia (incoordination), weakness or paralysis of the fore- and hind limbs, urine retention and dribbling, loss of tail tone, and recumbency (inability to rise) develop.

Herpesvirus is easily spread by nose-to-nose or close contact with an infectious horse; sharing contaminated equipment including bits, buckets, and towels; or clothing, hands, or equipment of people who have recently had contact with an infectious horse. Routine biosecurity measures, including hygiene and basic cleaning and disinfection practices, should be in place at all times to help prevent disease spread.

Current EHV-1 vaccines might reduce viral shedding but are not protective against the neurologic form of the disease. Implementing routine biosecurity practices is the best way to minimize viral spread, and the best method of disease control is disease prevention.

Brought to you by Boehringer Ingelheim, The Art of the Horse

Share
Related Articles
Brown horse head of bay mare with water dripping from face, anim
Michigan Standardbred Tests Positive for Strangles
Horse in a Stable Box
2 California Horses Positive for EHM
Silhouette of a beautiful Arabian horse against sun shining thro
Unvaccinated Florida Pony Positive for EEE
Caballo con perfil recortado sobre fondo negro
Michigan Gelding Positive for Strangles
Newsletter
Don’t miss an important EDCC Health Alert! Get alerts delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for Horse & Rider’s newsletter.

"*" indicates required fields

Name*
Country*

Additional Offers

Additional Offers
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.