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The University of Georgia Large Animal Veterinary Teaching Hospital is temporarily closed due to an equine herpes virus (EHV-1) quarantine.
On the evening of January 31, a horse was admitted to the large animal intensive care unit at UGA. Due to its neurological symptoms, the equine was euthanized. Tests confirmed the next day that the horse was positive for EHV-1.
UGA says it is working closely with the Georgia State Veterinarian’s Office to alert and provide recommendations for quarantine procedures for the horses that were discharged from the hospital after the affected horse was admitted.
No other horses have shown signs of the virus connected to this incident, the hospital says.
EHV-1 is highly contagious among horses and can cause abortion, respiratory and neurologic disease.
The incubation period of EHV-1 is 1-10 days and signs are typically seen within 1-3 days. Viral shedding of the virus occurs for 7-10 days, but can occur up to 28 days from the onset of signs. Veterinarians recommend using proper biosecurity measures to help protect your horses from the potential spread of any illness.
Symptoms may 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.
EHV-1 may lie dormant for long periods of time and then re-activate during a horse’s period of stress, which can result in clinical disease.
UGA’s Small Animal Veterinary Teaching Hospital remains open for appointments and emergencies.