“As a precaution to Utah horse owners, I advise they take extra biosecurity steps to safeguard the health of their animals, said State Veterinarian, Dr. Bruce King. “Don’t let your horses touch other horses, especially nose to nose. Isolate horses that return to the farm from a show or event,” added Dr. King.
This highly contagious disease can spread rapidly among horses through the air, nose-to-nose contact, contaminated equipment, clothing, and human hands. EHV-1 is not transmissible to people, however EHV-1 can affect a horse’s reproductive, respiratory and nervous systems and can lead to death.
No other horses have shown signs of EHV-1 across the state.
Symptoms of the infection include fever, decreased coordination, nasal discharge, urine dribbling, loss of tail tone, hind limb weakness, leaning against a wall or fence to maintain balance, lethargy, and the inability to rise. While there is no cure, the symptoms of the disease may be treatable. Horse owners should watch their horses carefully and call their veterinarian immediately if any abnormal signs are observed.