There has been an outbreak of the EHV-1 virus in the upper Midwest that is killing horses and putting barns on lockdown. This outbreak has forced the cancellation of numerous equestrian events across the entire Midwest until it can pass and all the tests are done to determine that the virus is gone.
Horse infected with the EHV-1 Virus
EHV-1 is a highly contagious virus that causes respiratory and neurologic disease in horses. Symptoms to look for include fever, coughing, severe weakness and incoordination, and urine dribbling or the inability to urinate.The virus spreads when horses are in close contact with one another, but can spread indirectly through contact with physical objects contaminated with the virus, such as tack, grooming equipment, feed and water buckets, and people’s hands or clothing.
The virus does not affect humans or other farm animals.
The Stillwater Equine Veterinary Clinic in Stillwater, MN made this statement on Friday morning regarding the EHV-1 Virus:
On March 7, 2014 two barrel horses located North of Stillwater were tested positive for EHV1. One horse was euthanized. .
On March 17, 2014 one barrel horse located North of Stillwater in Wisconsin showed signs consistent with an EHV1 infection, and is currently down and unable to get up. Tests are pending.
On March 18, 2014 a Barrel horse was taken to the… University of Minnesota for neurologic symptoms ( EHV1 like symptoms) and was euthanized. Tests are pending
On March 18, 2014 a Barrel horse was examined in the west metro area for neurologic symptoms (EHV1 like symptoms) and is being treated. Tests are pending.
At this time we are recommending that barrel horses do not travel to shows until these tests are completed and the extent of this outbreak can be determined.
The typical cycle of how EHV-1 spreads
This outbreak as caused most barrel racing and equine events to cancel their shows through at least the end of the month all across the Midwest. Some of those events include but are not limited to the SC Productions LLC barrel racing event in Rochester, MN March 29-30, all events at the Oasis Equestrian Center in Lindstrom, MN, many events throughout Merrill and Tomah, WI, and all events located at Kuka’s Equestrian Center in Maple Plain, MN. It is important to call ahead to any event that you are entered in in the Midwest to make sure that it has not been cancelled. Even if it has not I would ask that all of you give it a second thought as to bring your horse here or call out until this outbreak is resolved.