A horse in Saskatchewan, Canada has been confirmed with the neurological form of the equine herpes virus (EHV-1), according to officials with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan.
The horse is stabled at a boarding facility near Saskatoon, which is under a voluntary quarantine.
The contagious virus can cause respiratory disease, abortion in pregnant mares, and in more rare cases affect a horse’s nervous system.
Symptoms that should alert horse owners to the possibility of a neurologic EHV-1 infection include fever, weakness, incoordination, and urine dribbling or inability to urinate. Horses with these symptoms should be examined immediately by a veterinarian.
EHV-1 can be spread through various methods. Direct, horse-to-horse contact is a common route of transmission, but indirect transmission is also possible.
There is no vaccine currently on the market that has a label for prevention of the neurologic form of the disease.