Nebraska’s state veterinarian is warning horse owners about the risk of an equine herpes virus.
The virus causes a disease known as Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) and it has been confirmed in North and South Dakota and Wyoming.
Dr. Dennis Hughes, State Veterinarian, says the South Dakota horse is believed to have attended rodeo events in both Lincoln and Hastings
“Some horses will go through an episode and recover on their own in just a few days,” Dr. Hughes tells Nebraska Radio Network. “In extreme cases, some horses will succumb to it. It depends on each horse’s individual response.”
Dr. Hughes says the suspect horse from South Dakota is expected to make a full recovery, but proactive protection is needed.
“Biosecurity is key to making sure that horse owners do whatever they can to prevent the horse coming in contact with the virus,” Dr. Hughes explains. “The best thing is to not have nose-to-nose contact with other horses.”
Other precautions to take include not sharing feeding and water equipment, and making sure people wash their hands before touching your horse as well as disenfecting equipment and boots.
Dr. Hughes says EHM has no cure, but symptoms may be treatable.
Symptoms 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.
Additional information from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture is HERE.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:43]