Horse Dialog | What Is EHV
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Horse Dialog | What Is EHV

October 20, 2019


Equine HerpesVirus is a contagious virus disease
of horses and these viruses cause respiratory disease, abortion and fortunately less frequently
neurological disease. These viruses are related to but are different from the human cold sore
and chicken pox, shingles viruses. They’re transmitted by coughing, respiratory discharges,
close contact with infected horses, contact with aborted foals and from the discharges
from mares that have aborted and also by contact with tack, feed bowls, water troughs and very
importantly your hands. In stable yards and especially in barns these viruses transmit
very efficiently by aerosol and this can result in rapid spread of infection through a group
of horses. Just like cold sores and chicken pox and shingles in humans, Equine HerpesVirus
is lying dormant in the horse after it is recovered from infection and will periodically
recur. Now in horses when this recurrence happens horses will shed virus but very often
appear clinically normal. We know this happens at shows and competitions and so be careful
because that apparently normal horse could be a horse which is shedding herpes viruses
and is an infection threat to your horse.

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