EHV - 1 (Herpes) : Our Advice
There is a lot of concern and questioning lately about Equine Herpes Virus 1, and rightfully so as
the disease has shown up in several locations around the country. Horse owners do not need to
panic, but proper precautions should be taken regardless of the prevalence in the area.
EHV - 1 , or "Rhinopneumonitis", is a contagious viral disease that can cause respiratory disease,
abortion, and the big offender these days, Neurologic disease. A large majority of horses are
carriers of EHV and disease is only seen when activated by stress. The virus is easily spread
horse to horse in the air or on community items such as feed troughs, water tubs, etc. It cannot be
spread to humans but can be transported on clothing, shoes, etc.
The vaccine that is available for Rhino does not directly protect against the neurological
manifestation of the disease but keeping your horse up to date on the vaccination is highly
recommended. We recommend you vaccinate every 90 days.
Sick horses should be immediately isolated. New horses or those returning from another
barn/show should be isolated for at least seven days. Horses that you know have been exposed
should be isolated for at least 21 days. Body temperature should be closely monitored. Always
care for a sick or isolated horse last and do not enter the main barn with the same clothing/boots
you wore taking care of the isolated horse. Generic disinfectants such as bleach are effective at
killing the virus and can be used to clean the facilities.
Before you take your horse to a new area/barn, check on the current health status/risk of
exposure of the horses there. At this time, avoiding exposure is the best way to avoid risk. Our
Doctors are staying informed on all current developments in the EHV-1 outbreak around the
country and are happy to answer any further questions you may have. We will certainly keep you
updated on any new developments in this area.