A second horse at a Howard County equestrian facility has been diagnosed with the equine herpes virus (EHV-1), according to Maryland officials.
The horse was euthanized for “unrelated reasons” after test results confirmed the diagnosis, the Maryland Department of Agriculture said in a statement.
The results come two days after the index horse was euthanized. It showed neurological signs, but tested positive for the non-neuropathic form of EHV-1.
EHV-1 is a contagious viral disease that can cause respiratory disease, abortion and sometimes 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.
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.
Exposed horses at the Howard County stable are currently symptom free. The farm is quarantined by the state. Department officials say they do not know of any other cases in the state.
The neurologic form of EHV-1, also called equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM), is a reportable disease in Maryland.