Tag Archives: Equine Herpesvirus

Equine Herpesvirus Restrictions Soon to Be Modified at ESP Events

Wellington, FL – March 26, 2021 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) management is pleased to announce that the protocols currently in place regarding Equine Herpesvirus (EHV) will be modified as of Monday, March 29, 2021. This measure will include activities at both the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) and Equestrian Village, the homes of the Winter Equestrian Festival and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival, respectively.

This decision was made after conferring with state and local veterinarians, as well as the US Equestrian Veterinary Department, who all agreed that the restrictions were no longer needed due to the containment of the recent outbreak in Ocala. As of this upcoming Monday, horses that are located outside of Wellington, FL or any that have traveled recently will be allowed on-site for competition.

ESP urges all horse owners to continue biosecurity protocols and note that modified restrictions are still in place at PBIEC in order to maintain the health of all of the horses on the property. They are as follows:

  1. Anyone shipping horses into the PBIEC and Equestrian Village facilities will be required to sign a declaration stating that the horses entering the facility have not competed at other Florida venues outside of Wellington or been in close contact with horses that competed in other Florida venues outside of Wellington within ten (10) days prior to their arrival.
  2. Starting Monday, March 8, any horses shipping onto the property (both WEF and AGDF grounds) will require a health certificate or statement on official licensed veterinarian letterhead and must be dated by Veterinarian within seven (7) days of arriving.
  3. ESP will require all barns on PBIEC and Equestrian Village show grounds to maintain a temperature log with twice-daily temperatures recorded and recommend posting on each horse’s stall door. Random checks by approved veterinary staff may be implemented.
  4. ESP and USEF strongly recommend that equestrians do not ship horses throughout the state for the foreseeable future. In addition, we encourage you to cease any European imports you may have scheduled to Florida. We urge those with recently imported horses to isolate and monitor them for 10 days. Horses imported from Europe in the last 14 days and going forward will not be allowed into PBIEC or Equestrian Village show grounds.
  5. Any horse on the show grounds with a fever of unknown origin or of suspicious origin must be reported to ESP Management. It is always better to err on the side of safety. Isolation stalls will either be available on the grounds or at a local veterinary practice if the need arises.

It is our shared responsibility to keep our horses safe. Similar to the suggested protocols in place for humans due to COVID-19, we urge all equestrians to please remember and abide by the following biosecurity measures:

  • Take all horses’ temperatures daily and report any horse with a temperature above 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit or any signs of respiratory or neurological disease to your veterinarian and/or show management.
  • Take the temperature of all horses prior to shipping to WEF or AGDF, and do not bring any febrile horses to the show.
  • Avoid mixing of horses where possible; practice equine ‘social distancing’.
  • Ensure good hygiene and biosecurity at the show and your home farms.
  • Make sure your horses are currently vaccinated for influenza and EHV. Under no circumstances should a horse that has been vaccinated compete within 7 days.
  • You should be able to document your horse’s normal temperature before arrival. Please do not ship horses with elevated temperatures. It is recommended that you establish a log of temperatures taken at least twice daily. If there is an elevated temperature for more than a 24-hour period, please consult your local Veterinarian immediately.
  • Every effort should be made to minimize stress and commingling of horses shipped long distances. Extra hours on a horse van or moving from stable to stable is the fastest way to compromise your horses’ and your neighbor’s horses’ health.
  • Please take the time to review equine good hygiene practices and impress its importance to your grooms and barn managers in everyday care.

Further biosecurity protocols and additional resources can be found here:

United States Department of Agriculture Information on Equine Herpesvirus

American Association of Equine Practitioners FAQ on Equine Herpesvirus

United States Equestrian Federation Biosecurity Measures for Horses at Home and at Competitions

ESP has longstanding protocols to manage such events and will provide isolation facilities if and as required. Experience has taught us that early identification is key when dealing with disease outbreaks, and this requires cooperation from everyone within the community.

If you have any questions or concerns about your horse’s health, please contact our veterinary partners: Palm Beach Equine Clinic at 561-793-1599.

For more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

PBIEC to Amend New Horse Show Entry Restriction

Wellington, FL – March 6, 2021 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) is amending one measure of the restrictions that were put in place on March 3, 2021, at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) for the Winter Equestrian Festival and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival.

Previously, ESP was not accepting any new entries to WEF and AGDF that had not previously shown this year.

Management has consulted with USEF, the State of Florida Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Industry, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), and WEF/AGDF Official Veterinarians, Palm Beach Equine Clinic, to adjust this measure.

As of Monday, March 8, new horse show entries will be allowed if:

  1. The horse has not showed outside of Wellington venues in the last 10 days.
  2. The horse has not been exposed to horses that have competed at venues outside of Wellington.

Please note that all other restrictions are still in place and are as follows:

  1. Anyone shipping horses into the PBIEC and Equestrian Village facilities will be required to sign a declaration stating that the horses entering the facility have not competed at other Florida venues outside of Wellington or been in close contact with horses that competed in other Florida venues outside of Wellington within ten (10) days prior to their arrival.
  2. Starting Monday, March 8, any horses shipping onto the property (both WEF and AGDF grounds) will require a health certificate or statement on official licensed veterinarian letterhead and must be dated by Veterinarian within seven (7) days of arriving.
  3. ESP will require all barns on PBIEC and Equestrian Village show grounds to maintain a temperature log with twice-daily temperatures recorded and recommend posting on each horse’s stall door. Random checks by approved veterinary staff may be implemented.
  4. ESP and USEF strongly recommend that equestrians do not ship horses throughout the state for the foreseeable future. In addition, we encourage you to cease any European imports you may have scheduled to Florida. We urge those with recently imported horses to isolate and monitor them for 10 days. Horses imported from Europe in the last 14 days and going forward will not be allowed into PBIEC or Equestrian Village show grounds.
  5. Any horse on the show grounds with a fever of unknown origin or of suspicious origin must be reported to ESP Management. It is always better to err on the side of safety. Isolation stalls will either be available on the grounds or at a local veterinary practice if the need arises.

It is our shared responsibility to keep our horses safe. Similar to the suggested protocols in place for humans due to COVID-19, we urge all equestrians to please remember and abide by the following biosecurity measures:

  • Take all horses’ temperatures daily and report any horse with a temperature above 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit or any signs of respiratory or neurological disease to your veterinarian and/or show management
  • Take the temperature of all horses prior to shipping to WEF or AGDF, and do not bring any febrile horses to the show.
  • Avoid mixing of horses where possible; practice equine ‘social distancing’.
  • Ensure good hygiene and biosecurity at the show and your home farms.
  • Make sure your horses are currently vaccinated for influenza and EHV. Under no circumstances should a horse that has been vaccinated compete within 7 days.
  • You should be able to document your horse’s normal temperature before arrival. Please do not ship horses with elevated temperatures. It is recommended that you establish a log of temperatures taken at least twice daily. If there is an elevated temperature for more than a 24-hour period, please consult your local Veterinarian immediately.
  • Every effort should be made to minimize stress and commingling of horses shipped long distances. Extra hours on a horse van or moving from stable to stable is the fastest way to compromise your horses’ and your neighbor’s horses’ health.
  • Please take the time to review equine good hygiene practices and impress its importance to your grooms and barn managers in everyday care.

Further biosecurity protocols and additional resources can be found here:

United States Department of Agriculture Information on Equine Herpesvirus

American Association of Equine Practitioners FAQ on Equine Herpesvirus

United States Equestrian Federation Biosecurity Measures for Horses at Home and at Competitions

ESP has longstanding protocols to manage such events and will provide isolation facilities if and as required. Experience has taught us that early identification is key when dealing with disease outbreaks, and this requires cooperation from everyone within the community.

If you have any questions or concerns about your horse’s health, please contact our veterinary partners: Palm Beach Equine Clinic at 561-793-1599.

For more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Equine Herpesvirus: What You Need to Know

Photo: Taylor Pence.

Ask horse owners to name their most-feared horse diseases, and chances are equine herpesvirus, or EHV, will be on the list. With the competition season underway, it’s important for equestrians to be vigilant and take preventive measures, from vaccination to biosecurity.

A good first stop for information is the Equine Disease Communication Center’s website, which tracks outbreaks and provides disease information and biosecurity protocols.

EHV spreads from horse to horse through nasal discharge, whether by nose-to-nose contact, aerosol droplets sneezed or coughed into the air, or shared equipment and feed or water. The types equestrians are most likely to see, EHV-1 and EHV-4, often cause only respiratory illness with few long-term aftereffects, but EHV’s easy movement between horses and the fact that the virus can cause potentially fatal neurological symptoms have made it a serious concern for horse owners, facility managers, and competition organizers alike.

Fortunately, the neurological form of the disease – which is most often associated with EHV-1 and causes a horse to lose coordination to varying degrees – is rare. And there are steps you can take to reduce your horse’s risk, says Dr. Nathan Slovis, director of the McGee Medicine Center at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Ky. Slovis also noted that although there is a greater awareness and increased reporting of EHV cases, the incidence of the disease is not on the rise.

General Symptoms of EHV

Fever is a key symptom of both EHV-1 and -4, and in some cases it might be the only warning sign, according to the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the Equine Disease Communication Center. But horses can also display other symptoms in conjunction with an elevated temperature. Signs of the infection can include:

  • Fever, the single most significant symptom
  • Lethargy
  • Nasal discharge accompanying fever
  • Coughing
  • Swelling in legs
  • Hind-end weakness or lack of coordination
  • Conjunctivitis, or swelling and redness in the pink area at corner of the eye

“They won’t get neurologic without having had a fever,” Slovis said. “They’ll have fevers of 103 to 105 degrees, not a mild fever, but a significant fever. So if there’s a horse with a fever, don’t blow it off, especially if they just came back from a competition. Anyone with a fever should be isolated. The incubation period is 21 days, so if your horse has been exposed, they should spike a fever in a 21-day period. So keep checking their temperatures.

“Now that we have sophisticated testing, we can break it down and identify one strain versus another,” Slovis added. “But the bottom line is that herpes can cause severe illness and severe disease, and I can’t tell you which horse is going to get sick and which horse isn’t, if they have it. Each horse is different, and it depends on things like their immunity, their age, and their stress level. Just because a horse has it doesn’t mean it will come down with neurological signs, and it doesn’t mean it won’t come down with neurological signs.”

Neurological symptoms also can vary in degree, and horses can recover if the neurological signs are mild. “It all depends on the severity,” said Slovis.

The good news, Slovis said, is that the neurologic form of equine herpesvirus is also rare.

What Can You Do to Prevent EHV?

  1. Vaccinate.

“For the backyard horse that goes on an occasional trail ride, once or twice a year is more than adequate,” said Slovis. “For the horses that are competing more often, they’re going to need to get it done about every 120 days, about three times a year. That’s a good ballpark: early spring, late summer or early fall, and then again in the middle of winter.”

But don’t just think about your horse’s own activities. Consider what the horses around him are doing, too. You may only ride your horse at home, but if his stablemates travel regularly to compete, his exposure risk will be greater.

“If you board at a high-traffic barn, you might have to do the two- or three-times-a-year vaccine program,” Slovis explained. “Your animal won’t be stressed like an animal that travels a lot more, but if there’s intense traffic in and out of that barn, maybe three times a year is good for your horse, too.”

For information on vaccinating your horse against EHV, consult your veterinarian.

  1. Plan ahead.

“You don’t want to vaccinate a horse two days before a show. Do it at least seven days before a show and ideally two to three weeks before,” advised Slovis. “Some horses may get sore in the neck area, which is possible with any vaccine, so plan ahead. Some horses may have an active herpes infection and you might not even know, and when you go to vaccinate them their body will react tremendously: the legs will swell up, they’ll get a fever, they’ll feel blasé.”

  1. Monitor your horse’s temperature.

Know your horse’s baseline temperature, and monitor your horse’s temperature daily during and after a competition. “A horse with a temperature might act perfectly fine, so taking the temperature can give you a heads-up,” Slovis explained. “It’s good basic information to have.”

  1. Establish good biosecurity on the farm, at competitions, and in the trailer.
  • Even for a vaccinated horse, it’s always important to use good biosecurity protocols to reduce the chances of exposure to or spread of the disease.
  • Don’t share water troughs, buckets, or sponges.
  • If a barn or event facility has a communal hose, don’t use it. Use your own (and don’t share it) or remove the hose and fill your water and bathing buckets directly from the faucet. “People will often dip the end of the hose in a water bucket, and if a horse has the virus, this will contaminate the end of that hose,” said Slovis.
  • Clean and then disinfect hay nets, bags, or troughs after use, and don’t share them between horses. “The virus can live in that environment for a time under ideal conditions, and that can set you up for future infection,” said Slovis. “You can use any disinfectant. Even commercial household cleaners like bleach wipes can kill herpes.”
  • Clean and disinfect areas in the trailer where a horse’s nose or nasal discharge might be.
  • If you handle multiple horses, wash your hands before moving from one horse to the next.
  • For biosecurity guidance, see the USEF brochure “Biosecurity Measures for Horses at Home and at Competitions” and the Equine Disease Communication Center’s website, which features an area devoted to biosecurity.

by Glenye Cain Oakford

© 2018 US Equestrian Federation

UPDATED: Information Regarding Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) and Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM)

As of 12:00 PM EST on May 20, cases of Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) have been confirmed in eight states and in Canada. Please use the state veterinarian in your state as a resource for information and guidance regarding this disease.

Please see the USDA situation report for updated information: http://image.exct.net/lib/feef1d757d6307/m/1/USDA+EHV-1+Situation+Report.pdf.

Affected States’ State Veterinarian Contact Information:

California: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/animal_health/equine_herpes_virus.html
Phone: (916) 654-1447

Colorado: http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/Agriculture-Main/CDAG/1167928197091
Phone: (303-239-4161

Idaho: http://www.agri.state.id.us/Categories/Animals/animalHealth/healthehv.php
Phone: (208) 332-8544

Oregon: http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/__news_449105797.shtml
Phone: (503) 986-4680

New Mexico: http://www.nmbvm.org/
Phone: (505) 841-6161

Texas: http://www.tahc.state.tx.us/

Utah: http://ag.utah.gov/news/EquineHerpesOutbreak.html
Phone: (801) 538-7162

Washington: http://agr.wa.gov/FoodAnimal/AnimalHealth/HotTopics.aspx
Phone: (360) 902-1881, (360) 902-1835

Continue reading UPDATED: Information Regarding Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) and Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM)