View Full Version : Rhino at MD tracks?

Jan. 23, 2006, 04:58 PM
We've been hearing that there have been EVH-1 outbreaks at Pimlico, Laurel & Charlestown (WV). What's the word on this?

Apparently, the Middleburg Training Center is closed to horses coming in from Maryland and possibly WV as well, but that status seems a bit questionable.

Any info would be appreciated.

Jan. 23, 2006, 05:31 PM
Charles Town is closed to any and every outside horse. As of Saturday there was no cases at CT

Mega Rock
Jan. 23, 2006, 05:36 PM
Looks like other tracks have joined the ranks of restricting entries from Pimlico. Also putting Pimlico on quarantine


Jan. 24, 2006, 11:58 AM
Doubtful anyone would want horses from any MD track... or training facility or farm that conducts work & go-s, or any horse that has run here recently.
This has shown to be a strain w/ neurological attacks only and the vaccines are pretty much useless. Your modified lives have a slightly better result w/ this strain if used BEFORE an outbreak w/ exposure. As well, a horse sheds the virus well before showing outward signs.
Really, your best shot is checking your horse's temp twice daily, establishing a norm for each animal so should he/she spike (and you happen to notice) begin treatment for this virus ASAP. Meanwhile, you've drawn blood & sent it directly to the lab and can decide on continuing treatment pending your animal's titer level (low, boarderline, high). Regular temp checks will not prevent your horse from getting ill but will definately ten-fold his odds of recovery through rapid response.
Updates include a pony/outrider horse testing positive from Laurel today and a horse at Penn Nat. (who ran here recently) falling ill prior.
You might note test results on different horses can vary and not always match the reality of a condition! So keep your eye on the temps and any unsteadyness in your horses.

Jan. 24, 2006, 12:05 PM
Right now Penn, Philly, all MD tracks and Ct are on restrictions for outside horses. Here at MNR they are not letting in horses from PA, MD and KY. The restriction for CT went into effect at 1pm on sunday. MNR is thinking about clsoing to all outside horses. Meaning only horses stabled at MNR will be allowed to race. The commission was supposed to be having a meeting today about it.

Jan. 25, 2006, 04:46 AM
Another Horse Stabled in Maryland Positive for EHV
by The Associated Press
Date Posted: 1/24/2006 5:21:04 PM
Last Updated: 1/24/2006 5:45:53 PM

A horse at Laurel Park has tested positive for the equine herpesvirus that has already claimed two horses at nearby Pimlico Race Course and prompted a state quarantine at the home of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
However, the Laurel horse has not shown any symptoms of the disease and it is not clear whether the horse is contagious, or merely has been exposed to the virus in the past like many other horses, said Guy Hohenhaus, state veterinarian for the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

The horse, an outrider used in training race horses, has been brought to Pimlico for isolation and further testing. The tests will most likely be in the form of nasal swabs that will be cultured to see if the virus is present in the respiratory tract as well as in the bloodstream.

If the swabs test positive, "then that horse probably needs to be restricted until it tests negative," Hohenhaus said.

The disease, which does not affect humans, can cause upper respiratory infections in horses as well as neurological symptoms that may affect the ability to walk and run. At least 11 horses at Pimlico have shown signs of the virus this month and two horses have been euthanized.

Isolation at Pimlico is expected to continue at least until the middle of next month. Hohenhaus said state animal officials are looking for a three-week disease free period before they are comfortable that the outbreak has passed.

"We're looking for an exit, at what point in time do we declare this over," Hohenhaus said.

The first barn could be released from the quarantine order as early as next week and "the earliest we could be out of this is mid-February," the state veterinarian said.

The Pimlico racing season begins in mid-April and includes the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown, in May. The racing secretary for the Maryland Jockey Club, Georganne Hale, said the virus might affect racing dates.

Horses that race at Laurel are drawn from a pool of about 2,000 horses statewide, including about 500 at Pimlico, as well as horses from other states. The Pimlico horses are now unavailable to race at Laurel and some states are not allowing horses to travel to Maryland, limiting the number of horses available to race at Laurel.

David Zipf, a veterinarian for the Maryland Racing Commission, said the virus is normally not very contagious, but the strain or strains that have hit Pimlico appear to be more easily spread and more virulent.

One horse that tested positive at Pimlico, for example, was in a barn at the opposite end of the race course from the others.

"We can't explain that and this is what makes it a scary situation," Zipf said.

Why the outbreaks are occurring now is still a mystery, Hohenhaus said.

"There's no smoking gun or leading theory coming out about what might have triggered this," Hohenhaus said.

Copyright © 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Mega Rock
Jan. 25, 2006, 10:48 AM
Just got word from a trainer at Philly that they are going to quarantine the track there for 3 weeks. Haven't heard if this is related to what is happening in MD.

Jan. 26, 2006, 04:50 AM
Neurologic Equine Herpesvirus Q&A
by: Stephanie L. Church, News Editor
January 2006 Article # 6468

It isn't just our imagination--we have been hearing about more neurologic equine herpesvirus outbreaks in the past several years than we were aware of previously. The current outbreaks in Kentucky and Maryland bring the disease back to the forefront, and there are many questions that horse owners, trainers, and even veterinarians have about the illness in its current state.

The University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center has the only Office International des Epizooties (OIE, or World Organization for Animal Health) reference laboratory for equine herpesvirus in the Western hemisphere. Thus, samples from most of the outbreaks are sent here so George Allen, PhD, professor in veterinary science at Gluck and head of that laboratory, can type these viruses and know which strains are circulating. Yesterday (Jan. 10) The Horse interviewed Allen, David Powell, BVSc, FRCVS, professor in veterinary science, and Peter Timoney, FRCVS, PhD head of the Gluck Center, on the basics of neurologic EHV-1, characteristics of the current outbreaks, and what we've learned about preventing the illness and controlling its spread.


Q: With all of the different herpesvirus outbreaks over the past few years, there is a lot of confusion and fear among horse owners because they don't understand it. What would you like horse owners to understand and what do you think the horse owning population needs to know about herpesvirus in general and neurologic herpesvirus?

A: Allen--I think the most significant thing is there seems to be an increase in the occurrence of disease caused by these neuropathogenic strains of herpesvirus. This particular disease is one that's especially of concern because it has the potential for causing devastating outbreaks and for shutting down much of the industry, especially the racing industry.

Powell-- It's only within recent years that it seems there's been an increase in the incidence of this neurological form, which came into prominence with the outbreak in northern Ohio at the beginning of 2003. Since then, we've identified outbreaks of this neurological form occurring throughout the United States in different breeds and in different areas. In 2003, we examined material from five different outbreaks in five states (the initial outbreak in Ohio at Findlay University, cases in Kentucky at Turfway, Virginia, Oregon, and a racetrack in Pennsylvania) of the neurological, whereas in 2004 we saw just one or two (Maryland and Michigan). We saw in 2005 an increase--six outbreaks reported in Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York.

I think it's also interesting to observe that overseas, there's been an apparent increase in the incidence of this particular manifestation, particularly in Europe. England is where it has been primarily reported in Europe.

Allen--Previous to 2003, the most number of outbreaks that we were aware of in all those preceding years was on average one outbreak per year.


Q: Are the current outbreaks at Turfway, in Henderson, and at Pimlico caused by a strain that is distinctly different from others seen recently (as in Findlay, Churchill, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and others)? Or all they all the same thing?

A: Allen--All isolates of EHV-1 recovered from neurologic outbreaks share a common mutation, so they're the same genetic strain, but different from the strains of EHV-1 that cause only respiratory disease and abortion. There are other minor strain differences (between EHV-1 isolates), but none of those are associated with any known difference in clinical disease except for the specific ones that we've discovered and talked about (the neurologic strains).


Q: When does this mutation happen? Is it a regular herpesvirus, per se, that gets into the horse and mutates there, then the horse spreads it as a mutated virus, or did the virus mutate once and that mutated strain is what's spreading?

A: Allen--That's the question we wish we knew we had the answers to, but you just identified the two possibilities, either there's a reservoir of horses that carry this mutant herpesvirus and that latent virus is periodically reactivating and spreading to other horses, or it may be that each new outbreak of this disease is a result of an independent and new mutation event. And we just don't know the answer to that. A mutation of the wild type regular strain into the paralytic strain, that mutation event may be occurring in multiple cases--each case giving rise to another outbreak.


Q: It has been said that these horses have higher titers of EHV in their blood than in past outbreaks. Are you finding this in all herpes cases or just specific outbreaks? What do these higher titers mean?

A: Allen--The higher titers is referring to the viral load that's present in the circulating blood of these horses--it's called viremia--it's virus that's present within the lymphocytes (white blood cells) of the horse. It's those lymphocytes that carry the virus to the central nervous system. So, horses that are infected with these neuropathogenic strains have higher numbers of virus-containing lymphocytes that are constantly bombarding the central nervous system, so there's an increased risk of infection of the CNS because of that.

Timoney--There are three characteristics of the response of the horse to these neuropathogenic strains. (The viremia) occurs earlier, it reaches a higher peak, and it lasts longer (he refers to a figure that ran with an update in Equine Disease Quarterly).


Q: Please describe the clinical signs in the current outbreaks.

A: Powell--The initial feature is the animal developing quite a high fever, and one of the new features of this manifestation is that they very quickly become ataxic (incoordinated) or paralyzed in the hind legs, usually they display incontinence, and the feature is the very rapid progression of the disease to the extent that a number of animals have become recumbent and unfortunately have been euthanized within two, three, or four days. And this is something that hasn't been observed before--the progression of the disease has previously been much slower than that.


Q: When you say previously, does that mean before the 2003 outbreaks, or before the current ones?

A: Powell--I would say that prior to the Findlay outbreak, there was a pattern of disease that was somewhat different, and subsequent to the Findlay outbreak we've seen a much more rapid progression of clinical signs in the horses.


Q: What is the incubation period of the illness in the current outbreaks?

A: Allen--It's during that febrile phase that the horse is most infectious, most contagious, to others. And then, anywhere from six to 12 days later is when the neurologic signs set in.


Q: Are these horses displaying respiratory signs?

A: Allen--The majority of the horses that get this don't show any respiratory signs, and those that do show only a mild nasal discharge.

Powell--One might add that in situations where pregnant mares have been exposed, those mares have usually aborted.


Q: It has been said that the virus can spread 35 feet in the air. Where did that figure come from, and is it possible that in the outbreaks we've seen recently, that it can spread farther?

A: Allen--I don't know where that figure came from either. We do know that it gets spread from one end of the barn to the other end in quite a rapid time period. Part of that spread is from horse-to-horse-to-horse, it just runs down that aisle of stalls.


Q: Does it spread this way through touching noses, or from picking up the virus particles in the air?

A: Allen--It can be either of those. Primarily it's airborne infection.

Timoney--Clearly there is a potential for aerosol transmission, i.e. infective viral particles are in the air that's exhaled by an infected horse and then inhaled by a susceptible animal. However, within barns, there's always the potential for horse handlers to transfer the infection by indirect means. They may come along and put a shank on a horse…they don't give a second thought if the horse looks normal…there may be a total absence of any respiratory signs. Then they'll go down the stall row and handle some other horses. It's part of their daily routine. You can't exclude or say definitively that contagion couldn't be transmitted indirectly through a person's hands or other objects, if they put their hands around the nostril area of an asymptomatically infected horse and then proceed and handle other healthy horses.


Q: What are your vaccination recommendations when EHV is detected at a facility?

A: Allen--You are asking all the hard ones that there are no hard answers to.

Powell--As far as the respiratory and the abortion form of the disease in concern, we think vaccination is very helpful, although it certainly doesn't prevent individual animals from succumbing to cases of abortion.

As far as policy on vaccination for the neurological form of the disease, historically it was recommended that during an outbreak it was unwise to vaccinate the in-contact animals because some thought that there might be an immune-stimulated/mediated reaction. But I think the most recent work that Dr. Allen has undertaken indicates that might not be the case and that we're dealing with some more virulent strain of the virus. So I think in terms of neurological form of the disease, we may have to rethink our philosophy on vaccination, but because of the rapidity of the disease in terms of the manifestation of clinical signs, it's unlikely that vaccination of immediate animals in contact is going to have any great benefit, and as it has already been said, the virus is probably spread to those animals within a relatively short period of time. So, I think the bottom line is in the context of these neurological cases, we may have to rethink our philosophy on vaccination and how we approach the problem, in terms of whether we're looking to develop new vaccines or whether we change the routine.

Timoney--Getting to the core of it, there has been one report that would suggest that the modified live virus vaccine against herpes 1 has some efficacy against the neurologic form of the disease.

Allen--What that study really showed was that the vaccine was efficacious in minimizing the non-neurological clinical signs-- fever and virus shedding--but it was not a study that provided firm evidence that the vaccine prevented the neurological manifestations. In fact, in our own studies here recently, we found that the horses that are most likely to develop the neurologic signs following EHV-1 infection are those that show no fever at all. So that study, in my view, is not as strong in making the claim for vaccine efficacy against EHV-1 neurological disease as those investigators have stated.

In terms of preventing infection, I think vaccination is still a recommended activity. But in terms of vaccinating already exposed horses, it's still an open question.


Q: What is the length of quarantine you recommend? Is it still the 21 days after the last fever resolves?

A: Allen--As far as I know that's still the quarantine that the state veterinarian's office is sticking to and they found it to be effective.


Q: People have said horses are being moved off the grounds at Turfway in the barns that aren't under quarantine. How do we know that one or more of these healthy-appearing horses isn't carrying the virus back to naïve horses at home?

A: Allen--I would say that it's essential for the racing industry to be able to move their horses and if movement is curtailed, then racing is going to be shut down. So there has to be some happy medium of restricting movement in those horses that are likely to have been exposed vs. those that are not so likely to have been exposed. But there's still the chance that there may be one or two in that latter group that has been exposed, but that's one of the risks that has to be taken to keep the racing going.

Powell--The risks can be mitigated by checking the horses before they are moved, particularly the temperature records. I think in the outbreaks that have occurred, this has been a very effective tool for identifying possible animals--it's not perfect (fever might persist only for a short period and can be missed even if temperatures are taken every 24 hours), but it's an excellent and very simple tool to apply without having to resort to any laboratory procedures. I think it is a simple procedure that only takes a short period of time, and it can be done by any personnel at the farm or at the racetrack.

Timoney--If we completely close down movement, you're essentially going to undermine confidence in the industry and it will likely result in significant economic loss. What the state veterinarian is doing is essentially carrying out risk assessment and trying to mitigate the risk factors and yet allow for controlled movement to occur. You can't have a zero risk situation. Through the work that Dr. Allen and others have done, we know that this particular group of viruses has the ability to establish latency in a very high percentage of exposed and infected animals, so there is a carrier reservoir out there. It's analogous to herpes simplex virus infection in man. What do you do? Do you restrict every one that develops cold sores from consorting with those that are not affected?

We must bear in mind that a lot of these procedures have been implemented in the past, namely the period of quarantine or restricted movement. They've been found to work in curtailing spread of the disease. There is a historical background that we can draw upon and say, "Look, we're not plucking intervals of times or procedures out of thin air."


Q: Why are these outbreaks seemingly spotty, they disappear, and then they pop up again? What can we learn from this in preventing outbreaks?

A: Timoney--You could ask that question of many, many infectious diseases. We don't know when they're likely to occur, all we do know is they will recur, and our ardent hope is that we minimize the number of animals that express clinical signs of whatever disease it is, whether its respiratory disease , whether it's abortion, whether it's whatever. But we're not at a point where we can say with any degree of certainty or assurance that we're not going to continue to see sporadic occurrences and outbreaks of this or other diseases. Hopefully, any such outbreaks will involve minimal numbers of clinically affected animals.

Allen--One factor that's probably involved is stress. It's been shown that astronauts that go into orbit almost invariably show serologic evidence of reactivation of latent herpesviruses. Any stress situations could be a factor in those spotty episodes that are seen and I think minimalization of stress should be one of the management goals. Again, stress is part of the activities of a horse's life--a performing horse or a breeding horse.


Q: Currently, how long does it take for a diagnostic test to come back?

A: Allen--If you send it to me, it takes three days. If you send it to the diagnostic lab, they have a 24-hour turnaround time.


Q: I understand there might be a need for a high-speed PCR. Do you think that is something the diagnostic center should have?

A: Allen--Yes, a high-thoroughput (PCR)


Q: What other entities can test for EHV?

A: Allen--Most state animal disease labs have the capability to test for EHV.


Q: Any closing remarks?

A: Timoney--People need to realize that the neurologic form of this disease has existed and has occurred for a significant number of years, long before the Findlay occurrence, and in some instances with major economic consequences for the industry…not just in North America, but in Western Europe. What we're talking about here as a clinical pathologic syndrome is not unique. What Dr. Allen and his colleague (researcher Nick Davis-Poynter, PhD, head of infectious diseases at the Animal Health Trust in England) have been able to demonstrate is there is a scientific basis (the mutation) for the behavior of equine herpesvirus in situations where it's associated with neurologic disease, which is a terrific advance.

Powell--From a research point of view, (the current state of equine herpesvirus) emphasizes how important it is to be studying a problem over a long term and not suddenly jumping from one situation to the next. Dr. Allen has spent his career (25 years) working on equine herpesvirus and following the manifestations of the virus in its genetic and clinical sense. A great deal of what we know now and some of this new information would not necessarily have arisen unless that long-term commitment to research on the problem had been undertaken.

Readers are cautioned to seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian
before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.

Jan. 26, 2006, 03:21 PM
Not to lighten the seriousness of this issue, but this made me chuckle. I ride at the Bowie Training Facility in MD. Last week our trainer was torn whether or not to run. I ride a string of about ten everyday.We have about 35 in the barn. One of them is a nice colt going into his second race. I really wanted to see how he ran but didn't want to risk his health of course. So he ran...didn't finish great. Today was his first day back in training. Every groom takes temps before horses train. My groom throws me up and says " Not sure if the boss wants to train his temp is 104." So I call the boss and dismount. We put him back and start thinking about where to isolate him. Turns out the groom...who is spanish wasn't very clear in his speech and the colt's temp was only 100.4! PHEW! You should have seen us. We have tried to do everything to prevent the spread of the disease which isn't even at our facility. Can never be too careful. This definitely made me chuckle this morning.

Jan. 26, 2006, 04:16 PM
Ack, the horse from barn A was put down today. I have mixed feelings on that call, which I'll not share (& are just my own thoughts), just giving an update. All the others are doing very well http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Jessi P
Jan. 26, 2006, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by SeaOat:
Ack, the horse from barn A was put down today.

Barn A at which track?

Jan. 26, 2006, 04:50 PM
BloodHorse 1/26/06 - "Another Horse Euthanized at Pimlico; Laurel Park Cancels Two Racing Cards" (http://news.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=31927)

Another horse has been euthanized at Laurel Park after testing positive for equine herpesvirus (EHV-1). A private veterinarian of trainer Joe Delozier euthanized General Strike Jan. 25. The 3-year-old showed no signs of improvement after testing positive for the virus Jan. 19.

Since Jan. 1, 11 horses have tested positive for the virus causing the Maryland Jockey Club to place Pimlico Race Course under quarantine Jan. 21. Three horses have been euthanized, while eight horses from Barns 5 and 6 are currently in isolation in the Detention Barn.

In connection to the virus, officials at the MJC have decided not to card live racing Jan. 29 and Feb. 5. Laurel will continue to race four days a week, on a Wednesday through Saturday schedule.

A shortage of entries, stemming from a quarantine of 500 horses at Pimlico and restrictions on the movement of Thoroughbreds in and out of the state due to EHV-1, led to the scheduling to decision by chief operating officer Lou Raffetto after discussions with Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association president Richard Hoffberger.

"We are working with a limited pool of horses and it has taken its toll on our entries," Raffetto said. "Cutting back to four days a week the next two weeks will allow us to have the quality and quantity we were accustomed to before the outbreak of the virus."

Since the restrictions began Jan. 6, the average field size has been 7.3 per race. In 21 live days in December, Laurel averaged 8.6 starters per race.

Races from Jan. 29 will be used as extras for Feb. 1. The races in the condition book for Feb. 5 will be used as extras for Feb. 3-4.

Equine herpesvirus causes upper respiratory infections in horses and is also known to cause neurological disease. There is currently no known method to reliably prevent the neurologic form of EHV-1. It is recommended to maintain appropriate vaccination procedures in an attempt to reduce the incidence of the respirator for of EHV-1, which may help prevent the neurologic form.

Jan. 27, 2006, 04:52 AM
Hold Ordered on Maryland Farm for Suspected EHV-1 Cases
Date Posted: 1/26/2006 8:11:50 PM
Last Updated: 1/26/2006 10:58:17 PM

(from Maryland Jockey Club release)
Suspected cases of equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) caused the Maryland State Veterinarian to place an "Investigational Animal Hold Order" Jan. 26 on a private farm in Kent County.
The farm is used as an off-track training facility for a Pimlico-based trainer, but the state veterinarian office said it would not identify the farm or its location.

The farm received a horse from Pimlico on Jan. 10 before track officials closed movement to and from the facility. The Maryland Department of Agriculture is waiting for test results, which are expected next week, to determine the cause of illness for one horse euthanized Jan. 26 and another showing neurologic signs.

"This new occurrence is extremely unfortunate and we are working closely with everyone involved and using the best science available in the equine research community to prevent any possible spread of illness," said Guy Hohenhaus, Maryland state veterinarian. "It is believed that this incident is not a distinctly new case. We encourage horse owners with concerns to contact their private veterinarian to determine if a vaccination or booster is recommended for their horses at this time."

Updates will be posted daily on the MDA Web site.

Copyright © 2006 The Blood-Horse, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Jan. 27, 2006, 05:47 AM
Apparantly there is a new vaccine:

A new drug by Pfizer has been created to protect against EHV-1. "I would recommend that healthy horses about to be shipped or exposed to unknown horses get vaccinated with Rhinomune," said Holland. "This vaccine contains a modified live EHV-1 virus that triggers a very effective immune response."

In a limited study by a professor of equine virology at Cornell, horses were vaccinated against EHV-1 and then exposed to a strain of the virus retrieved from a deadly 2003 outbreak at the University of Findlay in Ohio. Horses vaccinated against EHV-1 using the modified live vaccine Rhinomune consistently had lower fevers, no neurological disorders, and shed less virus in their nasal fluids compared to those vaccinated with an inactivated vaccine, which employs a killed virus to activate an immune response.

Jan. 27, 2006, 11:18 AM
As luck would have it - or not - we sent a string of horses to Maryland for the winter. They're stabled and trained at Bowie, but now I'm spooked about going to Laurel to run. The races aren't filling and, while it's a great opportunity to run in small fields, at what risk? My one and only horse is there too.

This winter has really turned out to be a bust! Sal had intended to run at Penn, Charlestown, Philly and Laurel and now, of course, he's quarantined. I just want the powers that be to do whatever they have to do to get this under control...fast!

Jan. 27, 2006, 03:36 PM
I was going to run last Sunday at Laurel before they decided to shut the track down at Pimlico. Then it became a moot point, but I will share my plan anyway.
1. Ship the horse myself, with no other horse in the trailer.
2. No pony, if you have been reading between the lines, you would know that this is probably the most important points of my plan.
3. I bought several cans of lysol and clorox disinfecting spray and had planned to go nuts on the stall several minutes before unloading the horse in the receiving barn. Paying special attention to stall fronts on both sides as that is where horse like to hang out and tend to bite at the wood there.
4. Make sure the groom flips the lip for the horse ID man as opposed to letting him touch her mouth.
5. Carry hand sanitizer in my pocket and use liberally.
6. Don't use the wash rack in the test barn if we got so lucky as to go there. Clean the horse off with my own bucket and sponge outside of the receiving barn once we got back there.

Obviously I never got to implement my plan, but I really think that I reduced the risk to near zero. I was the fave in the form in a msw with a first timer that I bought for a dollar. I tell you, I wanted to cry when it went off as a three horse field.

Jan. 27, 2006, 04:38 PM
1. The horse received from Pimlico into Kent County was previously a Fla ship-in who was stabled at PIMLICO (barn A at *Pimlico*) until recently.

2. Sanitizing your horse for a run at Laurel is fine but guess you'd have to have it break from the starting gate all alone w/ a personal gate guy as well. And stay the heck out of receiving barn and out of breathing room/spray of pack you're running in company with. Having allowed a horse to run from barn where FIRST horse was euthanised just a couple of days after was a compromise, as well as continueing to ship everyone at Pimlico on both sides together not helping. But who kows how many were exposed before anyone ever showed signs at all, eh?

3. Horses at Bowie are running with horses at Laurel who are running w/ out-of-state horses (like Penn Nat) who are in turn allowed to ship into Bowie. Just received a couple new horses at Bowie from Penn Nat. As well, horses from across the street (& off grounds) at Charlestown have been, for the most part, shut out of CT racing & are shipping into new training/running facilities on MD tracks.

4. Health Certs should be the main doc required before transporting anywhere....not because it certifies anything about a horses health but it allows a horse to be tracked by leaving a good paper trail. We must provide/receive coggins but that's all when entering grounds.

5. Rummors today of a horse from another barn having herpes stems from a horse that started his symptoms after flipping over while being treated for a lameness issue. He was tested for herpes but pretty sure that's not what caused his neurological signs which appeared right after flipping & why he was put down.

Modified lives only have a slightly better result % w/ neurological form, but it's what I use on our ponys.

Personally, I'm terrified of avian flu right now. Seriously...one trip to CDC or WHO website will do it for most.

sapphire bay
Jan. 27, 2006, 05:24 PM
i just read a news article in today's paper that said the florida horse was a carrier of the virus - i wonder about the other horses on the transport truck - or ones that got on the truck since that horse got off - wouldn't that also be a concern? doesn't the virus live for a couple of days on equipment and other objects?

Jan. 27, 2006, 06:04 PM
Originally posted by J Swan:
Apparantly there is a new vaccine:

A new drug by Pfizer has been created to protect against EHV-1. "I would recommend that healthy horses about to be shipped or exposed to unknown horses get vaccinated with Rhinomune," said Holland. "This vaccine contains a modified live EHV-1 virus that triggers a very effective immune response."

In a limited study by a professor of equine virology at Cornell, horses were vaccinated against EHV-1 and then exposed to a strain of the virus retrieved from a deadly 2003 outbreak at the University of Findlay in Ohio. Horses vaccinated against EHV-1 using the modified live vaccine Rhinomune consistently had lower fevers, no neurological disorders, and shed less virus in their nasal fluids compared to those vaccinated with an inactivated vaccine, which employs a killed virus to activate an immune response. Rhinomune is not new, I have been using it for years. Of course, you can't use it in pregnant mares or young foals but we vaccinate all mares as soon as is prudent after foaling with the rhinomune and foals once they are of age. Pregnant mares get the usual. Not much you can do other than hope once they've been exposed.

Jan. 28, 2006, 09:25 PM
It looks like they are going to lift the quarantine at Pimlico on the 4th if all goes well. I am surprised to an extent that they are doing it that quickly, but I talked it over with my vet and he was ok with it. I guess I will do with his opinion then.
I am entering two of my three for Saturday if we get the go ahead. Could be a busy day. Let's pray this nightmare really is over and remember those who were lost.

Feb. 1, 2006, 06:04 AM
See Moesha's post:
By Baltimoresun.com Staff

January 31, 2006, 12:10 PM EST

The Maryland Department of Agriculture confirmed today that Hey Ralphy, a filly trained by Rodney Jenkins at Laurel Park, was infected by the equine herpes virus (EHV-1).

The 3-year-old was euthanized Thursday with a suspected pelvic injury. A hold order has been placed on Barn 9 at the Central Maryland track. Jenkins has elected not to train any of his horses until the hold order ends.

Feb. 1, 2006, 01:39 PM
Is there any news on PA national? I know they had one horse diagnosed, but I havent heard anything knew about what is going on there.

Feb. 1, 2006, 02:46 PM
Now with another possible suspect in isolation & barn taped off (at Bowie)....hoping this will turn out to be nothing.

Feb. 1, 2006, 05:49 PM
The horse from Penn National was taken off the grounds as soon as she began showing symptoms and is isolated in a private facility all by herself. Her recovery has been very rough, but they think she will survive at this point. She will never race again.
As soon as they suspected there was a problem they immediately quarantined the affected barn and also closed the stable area. Horses on the grounds that were not in the affected barn are allowed to race, but no one comes or goes, PERIOD. That is how you handle an outbreak IMO. They are going to be over and done with before MD is and they started two weeks later than us. This is so frustrating!

Feb. 2, 2006, 12:23 PM
It just gets seemingly worse

Washington Post 2/2/06 - "Herpesvirus Scare Hits Bowie Barn" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/01/AR2006020102279.html)

If positive, the horse would be the first infected at Bowie, a former racetrack now used exclusively for training, since the outbreak of the virus was diagnosed Jan. 5 in a horse stabled at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Feb. 7, 2006, 11:44 AM
Horse & ponies at Bowie cleared as are barns 5 & 8 at Pimlico. Hoping rest are soon to follow.
For the most part, MD was able to keep racing up *and* control the outbreak fairly well, w/ only a few bloops (lessons learned).
Hats off...

Feb. 7, 2006, 07:53 PM
Originally posted by SeaOat:
For the most part, MD was able to keep racing up *and* control the outbreak fairly well, w/ only a few bloops (lessons learned).
Hats off... SeaOat, I generally enjoy your posts and respect your experience. However, this comment shows incredible lack of sensitivity and respect for the horses who died of this disease, and the owners and caretakers who loved them. These horses were exposed to the disease BECAUSE horses were allowed in and out of Plimco AFTER the disease was diagnosed. I would hardly call that "a few bloops." Those are horses who were loved. They and the people connected to them deserved much, much better.

I can't accept that those in charge of this situation deserve kuddos for choosing the profits associated with the track over the lives of other people's horses. --Jess

(Edited to add: please read the incredibly moving posts about some of the event horses who have died in this outbreak of EVH-1, and tell me if you still want to raise your hat to those in charge. Or better yet, tell the people who loved those horses.)

Feb. 7, 2006, 08:06 PM
Originally posted by SeaOat:
Horse & ponies at Bowie cleared as are barns 5 & 8 at Pimlico. Hoping rest are soon to follow.
For the most part, MD was able to keep racing up *and* control the outbreak fairly well, w/ only a few bloops (lessons learned).
Hats off...

If you check over on the Eventing board, you'll see that they've pretty much destroyed the life of a local event trainer. She unknowingly took in an exposed horse from a friend. (with friend's like that, who needs enemies!) Her 15 year old daughter cradled her horse's head in her lap while put down. Her own international prospect, if he survives, is ruined. Another horse she bred and raised also had to be put down. As one horse starts to improve, another spikes a fever.

Of course, MD had no problem shutting down her barn within ONE HOUR of notice. Not that they needed to. She's completely out of business while she spends 24 hours/day trying to save the 19 horses in her care that were exposed thanks to Maryland putting race profits over control.

You may call that a bloop. I call it criminal.

I remember when EIA was a scourge. My father's first and last excursion into racing ended when he horse he bought turned out to be a carrier. We eradicated that disease through very strict controls. Maybe that's something to consider for the neurologic version of herpes.

Feb. 8, 2006, 12:30 PM
How ridiculous that you *think* I'm referring to the deaths as "bloops" and not the MISTAKES made in the handling of the outbreak. Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt. I just assumed most people know bloops (bloopers, flubs, goofs, etc) means mistakes or f'ups.
FYI, my SO is the vet who took care of the first horse euthanized and half a dozen of the ones that survived. I myself helped in the afternoons & grew quite fond of a couple of them & am concerned of their future homes.
We also arranged for antiviral meds to be taken to Kent Co. farm in hopes any further horses exposed might have a better chance.
No one, outside of those immediatly caring for the horse of Delozier's, knew the horse shipping out to Kent Co had been exposed (btw, we don't treat Delozier) but your friend who accepted the horse certainly saw MD racetracks were having an outbreak, no? I personally would not have accepted a horse onto my farm from the track BUT I am very sorry for the loss and too found it appalling (as did many of us) that her "friend" would ship a potentially exposed horse to some poor show barn less educated on the subject. Hope the antivirals helped the others.....
Edited to ad: When show horse facilities are experiencing outbreaks, do they stop all showing/hunting/endurance events or simply try to confine the known effected areas?
We came close to shutting down racing but made, what I consider to be, a good choice and held racing with a watchful eye. When you take in all the BROAD reaching facilities/horses off the tracks that come in contact with a racing animal/caretaker it is pretty amazing it was this minimal.

Feb. 8, 2006, 01:57 PM
Edited to ad: When show horse facilities are experiencing outbreaks, do they stop all showing/hunting/endurance events or simply try to confine the known effected areas?

Yes. Case in point, last year at Columbia Horse Center. Hats off to those who worked last year's tradegy at CHC.

As a horse owner in Maryland and one who watches the news twice a day and reads three newspapers (all of which would consider this virus as newsworthy) I was not aware of an outbreak until weeks after the first death.

Seems to me, the race tracks didn't inform the public as did Columbia Horse Center and the agriculture department was quick to shut down CHC, but not the tracks?

Feb. 8, 2006, 02:07 PM
Not to speak for SeaOat as she can obviously do that for herself. My take on her question was did they cancel all the shows/events in the state when their was a breakout at the columboa horse center. The obvious answer to that is no.

If I had been in charge I would have shut Pimlico's gates day one and let racing continue at Laurel for Bowie and Laurel horses. That is what they did at Penn National and as a result only one horse became ill, and none died.
Keep in mind that I am at Pimlico, so I am hurting my own pocketbook when I say that, but in my opinion it would have been the correct way to handle it.
The Kent County farm wouldn't have been an issue in the above scenario.

Feb. 8, 2006, 02:44 PM
Just so all of you know....it was not up to MD Racing but it was the STATE Veterinarian's call. His decision wasn't based on anything related to horsemen's earnings, I can assure you.

For the person unable to watch the various news reports, there was plenty here on this BB as well as your local vet and general buzz. I said in one of my earlier posts that acceptance of horses in contact w/ racing stock was doubtful. No one w/ any sense would want such a ship in.

I had breeding stock a few years ago that was constantly w/in a stone's throw of a dressage neighbor's events....on any given weekend 20-30 horses would ship in then hack around the area afterwards. They thought nothing of walking over & petting my foals or letting their horses nose mine over the fence. The stupidity of it was exausting and I must say that if there was anything going around amongst them I'd have quite possibly been clueless.

LaurieRace and others can argue the bloops and I'll not dispute there were likely ones we all agree on. However, for the general hindsighted fingerpointing that follows after any disaster, I pretty much feel it a waste of discussion.

Feb. 8, 2006, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by Laurierace:
If I had been in charge I would have shut Pimlico's gates day one and let racing continue at Laurel for Bowie and Laurel horses. That is what they did at Penn National and as a result only one horse became ill, and none died. I wholeheartedly agree that THIS would have been the responsible course of action. I don't think and didn't suggest that racing should have been shut down. I think that shipments out of Plimco should have been shut down. The track should have been held to as high standards as the private barn that was affected. And as you said, this would have prevented the spread of infection.

SeaOat, you characterized the mistakes made in the handling of this outbreak as "a few bloops." I pointed out that the CONSEQUENCES of these "bloops" were that horses died. That elevates the mistakes above "bloops" in my book. When the consequences are needlessly high, I don't think those responsible for them deserve kuddos. --Jess

pet's mom
Feb. 8, 2006, 02:58 PM
I am a relative newcomber to the horse world and have unfortunately been the victim of what I would consider some very poor decision making by "those in charge." I am the owner of the horse that was euthanized in Kent County, MD early Sunday morning. Below, I have attached the tribute to my beautiful mare, Pet.

The purpose in my posting on this forum is to obtain some feedback from those in the racing business as to how we,"the collective" horse world can do a better job in the control of this horrendous disease. As in the cases at Pimlico, poor management and control of this disease affects everyone. Short-sided decisions have had tremendous consequences for all involved.

I agree that closing facilities may not be the answer. Lack of contact (close or otherwise) is the only full proof prevention for this disease. So, as in the situation of Pimlico, why could there not be some form of notice provided to owners, trainers, ... and, I don't mean a post on the State Ag website. I mean notice given to everyone on the premises that the disease is present there. Notice would give the owners/trainers the opportunity to take their own risk by keeping or shipping a horse into that facility. In our case, I don't believe that the owner of the filly would have sent her to Pim and certainly the farm would not have accepted her.

Time is of essence in the communication of information about this disease. In the case of my horse, she had a fever 4 days, 1 day neuro and that was it. A dead horse is not the point at which we should be communicating. From what I read here, temps are taken on many of the horses that are being trained. Temps are the first indication of the disease.

I have posted similar messages on the Eventing website and would appreciate thoughts and feedback. Eliminating and containing this disease (which KILLS and disables horses) is in all of our best interest. (if you're interested in reading about this lovely mare,please do...if not, just skip) But, I would really appreciate some thoughts here. Thanks



Her name was Test Pattern, she was a 16.2, chestnut thoroughbred mare, seven-years old this spring, a top-preliminary eventing champion. Kim (her breeder and trainer) told me that they started with “Pat” but it didn’t fit, so Pet was the name that evolved for this beautiful animal, who was more dog than horse.

I have pretty much started everything in life a little late. I always loved horses and my family actually won a horse at a soccer game in Kansas City, who turned out to be in foal, so actually I guess I won two horses, Craemer and Gidget whose fates are still unknown to me, as we were not financially equipped to keep those horses. We ended up at Kim’s farm by chance, when our daughter needed to move her long-outgrown pony from another barn. I would wander around the farm and look at these beautiful animals, Pet was the special one. I met her when she was three, I was forty-three (I really meant late in life). I hadn’t ridden a horse since Gidget, when I was 9. which at that point consisted of a bareback mount around the back-yard.

I took lessons at the barn on another horse for about 9 months and then the owners asked if I wanted to buy Pet. Again in the position of not being able to afford either the purchase or the board, my dear husband gave a nod and the newest member of our family was added. I never sat on Pet before we bought her. I was terrified and excited all at the same time. Terrified perhaps by the knowledge of the dangers of the sport and the too much realization of my age, I preceded at a walk and then a trot on this fairly newly broken young mare. Kim used to refer to us as “learning together.” I was blessed with a trainer who was long on patience with me and terrifically talented and dedicated to her horses.

Our first months were a little bumpy, Pet clipped a rail injured her leg and we walked and walked and walked until she got better. By the end of winter in 2004, Pet was ready to do some competing. And so, Kim and Pet launched into the event world that spring, owner in tow, most of time soaking up anything and everything about what they were doing (I had no clue). I guess that it was early April that year that my husband and I also found out that we were pregnant with twins ( I really meant that I started everything a little late). So far as the horse went though, we never missed a beat, Kim and I decided I would help her train Pet (she was always very generous on my side of the contribution here, I groomed and she trained.) and she would continue to compete her.

There were more than a few people who gasped when I told them I was having twins, even more when I told them that I rode Pet (a five year old then) until I was about five-months pregnant. Granted, we were not galloping in some open field, we were just doing our walk-trot thing around the indoor ring. When I couldn’t’ ride anymore, I spent all my ride-time, helping Kim with Pet. I watched the majority of her training, I groomed and washed her everyday and I intently watched as she and Kim had a great time together out there doing their thing. It was an experience I will always cherish.

The last competition that year was in late October. My husband and I drove three uncomfortable hours to the event (I was eight months pregnant) to watch Kim and Pet take home 2nd place. Frank has always supported my enthusiasm with Pet, even when it meant he had to drive me, the time together offered an opportunity to talk (we also have a 10 and 13 year old) about whatever was happening in our lives, but mostly we just gushed about Kim and Pet.

In November, 2004 Jack and Nellie arrived (and yes, they are the most beautiful babies). Life changed for me in a lot of ways, with a part of that figuring out how to find the time to ride Pet and get back to the barn. I can’t say I jumped right back in. I think it was late January before I actually sat on Pet again. And, true to form, we started to do that walk-trot (and now canter and a few jumps ) thing. Pet was an amazing animal, she could go out and do these amazing athletic events and then stand by the truck as if she were out in the field grazing.

My sister, who is deathly afraid of horses, brought her three kids out to visit (all teenagers). Of course, I had to take them to the barn. I was so proud of Pet, she was so special. All the kids jumped on to “take a ride” around the indoor ring. I will never forget my 16 year-ld nephew doing the giddy-up thing and Pet just walking lazily along. By the end of the six kids taking a ride on Pet, my sister, after witnessing the gentleness of this creature, set her camera down and took a ride on Pet. Pet will never understand the incredible gap that she closed from sheer terror to “that wasn’t half bad.”

Pet was just a wonderful horse. She was the alpha-mare bitch in the field, she was a tough and talented competitor and she was my friend.

Almost 10 days ago, we lost her Pet’s full sister Ting (Just Testing) to the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1). How this virus traveled to our barn is a horrific act of negligence by “some” in the racing industry but certainly not the focus of this memorial. Approximately 3-days prior to Ting’s death, Kim was notified that one of the horses who had been shipped to the farm, had co-existed in a barn that had a confirmed death from the neurological form of EHV-1 at the race track. Even though Kim took precautionary steps to segregate this horse upon its arrival to the farm, the notification came too late. The barn had contracted this deadly disease.

After a significant amount of research and fueled by a pit in my stomach that kept me up at night, I discovered that in actuality, there had been three horses put down at this track, all confirmed with EHV-1 and all in different barns. Now with Ting’s death, another horse going “neuro” and other fevers at the farm, Kim was catapulted from national event-rider/competitor, trainer and horse owner into a one-person 24-hour horse nursing care provider for all of these precious animals. Kim took temperatures on eighteen horses two to three times a day. Each day some progress, each day some set backs, as another horse begins showing neurological symptoms and another treated horse begins to recover.

Pet showed an elevated temperature one day, that was normal the next.. She bounced a couple of times but the pit in my stomach stayed firmly in place. I felt helpless beyond words to support Kim during this crisis and would run supplies, paint and food to her so that she could stay focused on the animals. When I walked into the indoor ring that morning to see Pet, I knew. She was different. I don’t know how to describe it in technical words or maybe even in horse language, but it looked like every muscle in her back had just let go. She was standing, moving, albeit dragging her feet, and if you didn’t know her you would just think that she didn’t feel good. I think that what I saw was in her eyes. Obviously, horses can’t talk, and it is weird because my babies don’t talk either, but I can tell the cry of pain, or “I just lost my binky, or even “Jack just took my toy.” Maybe it is being a new mom, maybe it is a tuition thing, maybe it was just the pit in my stomach, but I knew something was really wrong. I called the vet and I spoke with Kim and everyone assured me that horses recover from this and that she was not as bad as Terra or Meryl.

The next morning when I got to the barn the DiDi (our vet) was there with Kim in the ring. They had already catheterized Pet, as her bladder was paralyzed. She was up, but staggering, unsteady and continually moving right to catch her balance. You could tell that she just wanted to lean against something. Didi asked me to call the hospital to get another catheter so we could put it in her. In the time that I went to make the call in the house, Pet went down. Before I left for the hospital, I ran to see Pet, she was on her right side and Kim, Kelly and Didi were rubbing her legs and stroking her neck. That damn pit in my stomach. I drove madly to the hospital, where the very concerned hospital administrator laid out for me 4 different catheters. I picked the largest and the smallest hoping they would be the right ones.

After the half hour drive to and from the hospital, I arrived back at the farm, where the very
concerned State Vet personnel were talking with Kim and Didi. They did not go see Pet, they did understand our concern and left some “biosecurity booties” and literature on the disease. Upon entering the ring, Pet was still on her right side and Didi was in process of inserting the catheter to which Pet objected thoroughly (which was a good sign). We then tried to get her up.

I’ve never witnessed a horse that can’t rise. I don’t ever want to watch it again. After her third or forth attempt, I had to go outside. I couldn’t watch anymore. It was pouring rain, I paced frantically, it was beyond description. I went back to the ring and they were going to try again. Pet was pissed. We were trying to get her on her left side, no way, she rolled she put her feet out and everyone rapidly pulled the ropes off her so she wouldn’t get tangled. She stood.

Pet wandered around the indoor without stopping for about 15 minutes. I had my husband run and get her treats, from the other barn.. I grabbed small bits of hay to feed her. I walked with her the entire time. I feed her all her treats and continued her hay. We set up the barrels to put the hay on and her water. She wandered to the other side of the ring and started to stagger. She was desperately trying to catch herself. She crashed into the barrels, her hind legs unable to hold her anymore and she was down.

We all stopped, took a break. Didi left. We all went into the house and ate. It was a waiting game. She needed to rest. I went to the barn before I went home to relieve our babysitter and told her how proud I was of her. She was a fighter and she would get better.

On my way home, I called my sister in Kansas. I sobbed. I just could not help her. I was so afraid and this damn knot in my stomach. I talked to the vet again, she was now at home. I told her to tell me what was the worst thing that could happen. I wanted to know. I needed to be prepared. i got home and fed the babies. Nellie could not sleep. She cried and cried. I cried and cried. My husband called a few hours later, no change. Pet was on her side, they were rolling her every couple of hours. He called again to say he was coming home. Five minutes later Kim called. She’s worse.

On the way to the barn my knot went away, I knew. I got in the indoor ring. Kim and Kelly were laying with Pet. Kim at her head, Kelly on her body. Pet was spasming every 10 seconds or so. I took my place at her neck and told her it was ok. She needed to let go, it was ok. The half an hour that it took the vet to get there was a life altering experience. Pet seemed to have less intense spasms, it was more involuntary than anything.

Didi arrived she looked at Pet, checked her eyes, her heart, touched her legs and looked directly at me and said “ I can sedate her which will prolong her life, but I can not guaranty that she will be any different when she wakes up.” I told her that I did not know my options. I wanted her to tell me what to do. She looked at me directly and said “you should put her down.” I shook my head, I could not talk. Didi went to the truck. I walked around to Pet’s head. I said goodbye. We all told her how much we loved her, how special she was and how blessed we were to have her as a part of our lives.

Today, Pet is up there jumping big fences, grazing green fields and being the alpha-bitch of heaven. I am down here, today, broken-hearted but thanking God for gracing my life and giving me the opportunity and privilege of knowing this wonderful and beautiful animal, Pet.

Feb. 8, 2006, 03:05 PM
JaGold: Whan in hell are you talking about????? Moral authority? Get a grip, I just helped take care of the horses.

The STATE vet allowed racing to continue and most EVERYONE else went out of their way to keep it from spreading, from hotwalkers on up. I think we learned from our mistakes and did well to recover from them. It could have been worse. Everyone thought his decision, at the time, was a good one. To have shut down all of Pimlico AFTER sick & exposed horses had shed the virus BEFORE ever showing syptoms was moot. Should Frock been allowed to run days after the first was euthanized of his? IMO, no. But well BEFORE his horse died it had already exposed others abroad who ran at Laurel. Not to mention work & gos in & out of Pimlico to farms mixed with non-racing stock.

Again we ask: Does ALL showing/eventing/hunting, etc. cease when the show world has an outbreak? I boarded our pricey Fjord (& loved family member) at a facility (show) two years ago and she was exposed, thanks to the comings and goings of show animals that had been competing w/ a MD barn in quar't. Hmmm.

Feb. 8, 2006, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by SeaOat:
JaGold: Whan in hell are you talking about????? Moral authority? Get a grip, I just helped take care of the horses.
I didn't mean to post the last part, as evidenced by the incomplete sentance. I'm ticked off but (thought) I'd thought the better of saying so. Technology got the best of me and I apparently hit post before delete. I've now edited the post.

Again we ask: Does ALL showing/eventing/hunting, etc. cease when the show world has an outbreak? No, it doesn't. And no one has suggested that ALL racing should shut down. Only that the facility affected should be under quarantine, which IS the standard to which show facilities are held. (Evidence Columbia Horse Center, as well as the immediate quarantine at Kim's barn.) Want to tell me where I've said that all racing should be shut down? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

I answered your question, so here's one for you. Do you think that Plimco should have been subject to quarantine when EVH-1 was diagnosed? (Note that I'm NOT asking whether racing should have been shut down across the state of MD.)

Finally, what does the price of the horse have to do with anything? Why does it matter that your Fjord is "pricey?" If for some reason it does matter to you, I'm sure that Kim's four star, has-been-around-Rolex horse is also "pricey." Which is so completely not the point. --Jess

Feb. 8, 2006, 03:22 PM
Notice would give the owners/trainers the opportunity to take their own risk by keeping or shipping a horse into that facility. In our case, I don't believe that the owner of the filly would have sent her to Pim and certainly the farm would not have accepted her.

We were in a full blown outbreak. NO ONE coming to or going from Pimlico was not aware of that. Everyone moving horse knew. I have no idea what promted the foolish move that exposed your horse. No matter what you were told. I'm sorry for your loss but there are some things you may not be aware of, like:

Taking temps is very important, but often the spike is brief and can be missed. Rodney Jenkins religiously (regardless of any outbreaks) takes a.m. & p.m. temps & he lost a horse.
Some show no signs off illness at all but do shed the virus to others. There were a couple of horses put in isolation, that had the first horse who died NOT shown such obvious symptoms, we'd have never known they were infected w/ herpes. Those horse not showing signs would have meandered in w/ the others. It is almost fortunate that Frock's horse did show such obvious signs. No one suspected Herpes until it was too late to treat his successfully & it died. Others that became VERY sick made it thanks to very promt treatment. I can't comment on what went wrong with your horse though I'm sure you tried your best. Again, we are sorry for your loss.

Feb. 8, 2006, 03:29 PM
Nonetheless, quit swearing at me

You question my moral integrity (now edited) and you have the nerve to ask me to stop swearing at you? Piss off.

I mentioned "pricey" because you spoke of the "international prospect" in your own previous post, so get off your high horse if I can't make a point about my little horse.

You asked other questions I've already answered. Regardless, I've nothing else to say to you.

Feb. 8, 2006, 03:33 PM
Originally posted by SeaOat:
I mentioned "pricey" because you spoke of the "international prospect" in your own previous post, so get off your high horse if I can't make a point about my little horse.
No, I didn't. That was mairzedoats's post. --Jess

Feb. 8, 2006, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by SeaOat:
JaGold: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Nonetheless, quit swearing at me

You question my moral integrity (now edited) and you have the nerve to ask me to stop swearing at you? Piss off. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
1) I didn't question your moral integrety, I questioned your moral authority.
2) And, as I said, I didn't mean to "say that out loud," and removed it as soon as I realized I'd posted it.

Feb. 8, 2006, 03:43 PM
There seems to be the notion that closing Pimlico's gates after the first test came back positive (or before) would have spared the spread.
No more than a person with the flu SHEDDING the virus up to three days BEFORE he starts to feel aches, knows not to go to work or drink from his kids glass (then send that shedding kid to school). Before anyone ever feels ill they've started a flu outbreak.
Horses, we *think*, go MANY more days longer shedding before possibly becoming ill.
Some think Pimlico gates should have been closed, I personally don't since Laurel, Bowie and work & go horses had already mingled in close quarters BEFORE the first horse was euthanized. I do NOT think anyone in their right mind should have moved a horse off the grounds onto a farm though many panicy owners did. The horses in Kent Co. were just unfortunate ones to get exposed by such owners. Many owners called asking what they should do trying to get a personal approval to move their horse(s). While told it was not reccomended (or likely to be received anywhere) oodles decided to ship out anyway. Hmmm, now there's morality for you.

Feb. 8, 2006, 03:47 PM
Originally posted by SeaOat:
I do NOT think anyone in their right mind should have moved a horse off the grounds onto a farm though many panicy owners did. The horses in Kent Co. were just unfortunate ones to get exposed. Many owners called asking what they should do trying to get a personal approval to move their horse(s). While told it was not reccomended (or likely to be received anywhere) oodles decided to ship out anyway. Hmmm, now there's morality for you. And THAT is why I think there should have been a rule in place to prevent horses from leaving. To keep people from making either poorly informed or selfish decisions that have consequences for others. --Jess

Feb. 8, 2006, 03:50 PM
"And THAT is why I think there should have been a rule in place to prevent horses from leaving. To keep people from making either poorly informed or selfish decisions that have consequences for others. --Jess"

Is that what they do with the show/event/hunt/endurance horses? Everyone stops moving/competing that has been exposed? Nope....and you don't see them begging the State Vet to stop movement. Impossible and not scientifically feasable!

Feb. 8, 2006, 03:50 PM
So you really think Kim would have taken in the filly from Pimlico if she'd been told that the filly had been exposed to the virus? Obviously there was not enough information about the outbreak available. And immediately quarantining the track would not have prevented every single case, but how can that not be the responsible thing to do? Why would you still let horses move around on and off the track if there is a contagious virus there? Why not let it run its course in the horses that have already been exposed and not let it spread any more?

Feb. 8, 2006, 03:55 PM
Candle: Are you reading anything above about how a virus works? No wonder the Avian Flu is going to get us in deep pooh.
What if Kims ship in would have come from Bowie? Or a farm that had work & gos from say Bowie? Or howabout horses from Penn Nat & CT that run with us who have been exposed to Pim? If she knew about the outbreak would she have accepted a farm horse (not racing say) that was stabled w/ work & gos?

Edited to add: Mistakes are made in things like this. Kims may have been to accept a horse w/ out knowing where it came from & what it was exposed to. Letting high traffic animals into your facility from any sport are a risk. Many facilities insist on 2 week isolations before allowing them to interact w/ the others. Lesson learned.

Feb. 8, 2006, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by SeaOat:
Is that what they do with the show/event/hunt/endurance horses? Everyone stops moving/competing that has been exposed? Nope....and you don't see them begging the State Vet to stop movement. Impossible and not scientifically feasable!
That IS what they do when, as at Plimco, the outbreak is geographically centered. The facility at the center of the outbreak is quarantined. Individual competitions don't have horses permanently on grounds*, so you can't quarantine a show, because by the time a horse gets sick, there are no horses (and often no stalls, since we usually use portables) left at the facility. But a barn with an infected horse IS quarantined. For example, when Pleasant Hollow had herpes several years ago, they were quarantined, horses boarded there could not leave to go to competitions even if they were asymptomatic, and the competitions that would have been held there were canceled.

I am not and have never said that all racing should have been canceled. I'm not saying that Bowie and Laurel should have been put under quarantine. I am saying that Plimco, the facility with active cases of an infectious disease, should have been quarantined, and that IS the standard by which the eventing and showing world operates. --Jess

*The exception to this would be "circuts" like Indio or WPB, where horses are stabled at the competition grounds for several weeks. I don't know how they would handle something like this -- it hasn't been an issue yet -- but I would HOPE that a quarantine would be imposed. Almost every other show is a one week affair, at most.

Feb. 8, 2006, 04:01 PM
But a barn with an infected horse IS quarantined

We did that.

Feb. 8, 2006, 04:12 PM
It was interesting to see how badly Bush's requested Avian Flu quarantine plan was received. That his financial request was billions short for vaccine production.
People said he was trying to creat Leper colonies when really the plans are to inforce quarantines of areas/neighborhoods w/ known outbreaks. The shortage of security boggles the mind on that one.
Would be great if people understood a bit more about how a virus, even well known ones, can be difficult to contain & what is reasonable & what isn't.
What happened with the horses gives you an idea of how they can vary & change. I'm feeling feverish just talking about it here....g'night all.

Feb. 8, 2006, 04:20 PM
PS: In case there was any doubt, I'll say it again...many of us felt terrible when we heard someones pet fell ill due to being exposed. While there is disagreement on the quarantine I'd hope there is no argument on our sympathies.

pet's mom
Feb. 8, 2006, 04:37 PM
seaoat...I am sorry that this posting thread appears to be so heated and perhaps not so productive, that was not my intention. I apologize.

I do not know what the protocols at the race track are, but you should know that my concern is the timing. as i indicated in my post, timing is incredibly important. the horse that was transported to the farm in kent county arrived at Pimlico on january 8th and went to KC on the 10th.i may be incorrect, but at THAT time, i don't believe it was a full blown outbreak. there was 1 death, a second to be reported on the 13th. the facility was not in a full shut down. the way that the STATE handled it was on a barn/barn basis...maybe not so smart in retrospect, given that it has now affected 3 barns, two other facilities (penn national/ laurel) and of course kent county.

I agree with your comments on symptoms and the shedding of the virus. what went wrong was that the owner of our farm was not notified of suspected herpes until 1/19. the press on pimlico did not go full tilt until that weekend, which prompted the track to close the facility down (good, but too late on the 21st).

i totally agree that the state did not handle this outbreak appropriately which is why i am saying that notice is so important. given that we are talking about a span of almost 3 weeks between the first death (1/2) and the closure by maryland racing, my focus is on the actions of all in those first and critical couple of days after 1/2 and 1/9 when it was confirmed ehv-1. that had to be the time of the transmission because the horse left on the 10th. the filly that went to kc md was in barn A.

the state vet,(whom i have spoken at length) pointed directly to barn a as having transmission from FLA, which has since been corrected (which is not the case based upon the virus typing)and blew off my concerns about how easily this virus can spread based upon the casual interaction of the horse.

ok, now back to my question which is the required notice to owners/ managers when the virus is known to be present (actual date known was the 9th, horse transported to kc, md on the 10th) if there had been notification, this would not have occurred.

the devil is in the details and i have spent the last 2 weeks reading and speaking to a lot of people regarding this situation (much before my horse was even sick)and learning as much as i can about this disease. I have spoken several times to Dr. Allen in KY regarding how our information and tracking of the horses at our barn can help his research and have sent him that data... there are lessons that we can learn here, I would just like to see if we can figure out what they are...together.

Feb. 8, 2006, 05:15 PM
Hi Pet's Mom,
Please, no apologies to me, but you certainly have mine.
We had 7 or 8 horses in isolation, 5 very ill (I'm fuzzy on exact #s at that moment), when barn A's horse was put down. Barn A is on the other side of the track from barns 5 & 8. Each barn with a suspected case was quarantined BEFORE test results came back one way or another. Taped off, guarded w/ boot dip by doors. And stayed that way days after even a neg test was returned.
There was some media coverage but not nightly like it soon became.
Later, a horse at Laurel had to be put down and Penn Nat had one who'd run at Laurel (not remembering who became sick first).
I just want to say viruses are really really hard to control and the success of an outbreak is as much luck as quick action that everyone agrees on.
I personally would like to see every horse require a HEALTH CERTIFICATE when shipping anywhere public/high equine traffic. These leave a better paper trail that make it easier to follow an animal in outbreaks. A note of an outbreak on a health cert of the horse shipping into your barn would have possibly given your owner heads up.
It's odd how we do things, like a horse with a current coggins can be exposed after his annual check but still go on about his way until his next annual. A surviving exposed horse is put down to spare the weak who would fall ill. In the 70's that was the controversy.
It really is past my bedtime but wanted to chat w/ you. One of the horses SO treated is this adorable 14.1 (standing on his toes) flashy little tough guy. He was pretty sick but happy to report the bugger looks like he'll recover. Another I fell for, is a plain looking sweetheart filly who really was touch & go (but a mint eating piggy no matter how sick)...very thin now but eating well & walking much steadier too. Another stinkin mean filly never had an off day, of course.
I am so sorry you had to go through this. I have horses I adore on the track as well as one of my own there....scared us all and it has nothing to do w/ $$ with some of them, just love.

Feb. 8, 2006, 05:48 PM
Originally posted by SeaOat:
"And THAT is why I think there should have been a rule in place to prevent horses from leaving. To keep people from making either poorly informed or selfish decisions that have consequences for others. --Jess"

Is that what they do with the show/event/hunt/endurance horses? Everyone stops moving/competing that has been exposed? Nope....and you don't see them begging the State Vet to stop movement. Impossible and not scientifically feasable!

Um, the state DID close the eventers barn.

Most horse shows don't last long enough to have an outbreak. And a lot of shows get cancelled when there is an outbreak in the area. And a lot of people choose to stay home.

As I recall, Findlay closed their doors when they had their outbreak.

I've been in 3 barns where a horse came in with something contagious (strangles and shipping fever). In 2 of 3 barns, the BO closed the doors from 1st diagnoses to 90 days after last horse recovered. No horses in; no horses out. And these were little people with shoestring budgets who could least afford it.

The multi-millionaire that didn't quarantine, continued letting horses out of his barn to spread the pain, and took in boarders (myself included) while hiding the sick horses on another part of his property, ended up with his reputation ruined, ostracized and driven off his beautiful bayview property within 2 years.

I was able to save my horse's life only by extensive nursing, doing my own research, fighting like heck for appropriate medical treatment, racing to get my barn useable (and nearly destroying both elbows in the process), and finally getting my horse home to quarantine. Instead of my dream dressage prospect, I ended up literally with a goat so he'd have company.

So yes, Pimlico should have locked down immediately. ONly horses going to a the owner's private property should have been allowed, but not to public places to infect the unsuspecting.

Would that have totally prevented the spread? Obviously not. But it would have kept it at an absolute minimum.

Feb. 8, 2006, 06:13 PM
I really want to go over each response to this thread before I write my "opinion". What I do see is a lot of mention regarding the state vet. Perhaps, it would do a lot of us good instead of fighting to understanding what the Maryland State Vet- had as his opinion of doing what was best?

With saying that, last year the MD Governor tried very hard to make betting on horse racing legal within his state. Initially, I was in support of that. Now seeing how the recent virus outbreak was dealt with, I withdraw my support.

Feb. 8, 2006, 07:15 PM
Originally posted by LGW:
I really want to go over each response to this thread before I write my "opinion". What I do see is a lot of mention regarding the state vet. Perhaps, it would do a lot of us good instead of fighting to understanding what the Maryland State Vet- had as his opinion of doing what was best?

With saying that, last year the MD Governor tried very hard to make betting on horse racing legal within his state. Initially, I was in support of that. Now seeing how the recent virus outbreak was dealt with, I withdraw my support.

What in the hell does that mean? Are youi trying to tell me that all those people at Laurel and Pimlico every single day of the week are betting illegally on horses? And now that the state vet didn't close Pimlico down when the outbreak started, you don't want betting on horse racing to be legal? WTF??????????

Feb. 8, 2006, 07:36 PM
I read the article on how Findlay controlled their outbreak. They successfully controlled it but they had to use a hell of a lot more than just taping off their barns and putting boot dip by the door. I have been reading about how viruses work. And I still think the person in charge of how this was handled was too lax.

Feb. 9, 2006, 03:09 AM
Gee, is that all we did? Put boot dip out & tape off barns? I give up....let the girl who's just "been reading" about viruses tell us how she'd do it!

Laurie, if we don't go to the pokey for all our illegal gambling then it'll surely be for swearing http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif Glad you're up & running....know it's been rough.

Jessi P
Feb. 9, 2006, 03:34 AM
Just goes to show you that not everyone who has an opinion has a GOOD one. Nor an INFORMED one.

Feb. 9, 2006, 05:47 AM
You know I was so floored by hearing that gambling on horse racing is illegal in Maryland (wonder how they can't spot the 112,000 people all gathered for the preakness and cart them all off to jail) that I didn't even address the comment about the state vet. The Guy guy came across as a total idiot in my book. He was the one fighting to keep the place open while the track state vets were recommending closure. In the end the track state vets won out, but this could have been halted sooner if they had not listened to the "expert"

Feb. 9, 2006, 06:45 AM
Laurierace & others,
My apologies for writing a very quick respond without re-reading it for errors. The post was completely wrong, I meant to write about how much of a supporter I was of Governnor Erhlich when he campaigned for slot machines at tracks to boost the state economy and the race industry. There was nothing more than I wanted than for the horse industry to thrive and I thought the Governor's position was a good one, or that is how it was explained to me. Of course, how it was explained to me and the benefit the state and tracks would receive was at a fundraising dinner so I am sure they had the Governor's best interest in mind.

Feb. 9, 2006, 11:56 AM
You know what SeaOat? I'm actually not in any position to discuss the semantics of boot dip or taping off barns because I'm not there. I'm sorry.

What I'm all up in arms about is how you seem to believe that everyone was well informed about the outbreak, and that somehow it was Kim's fault for taking in the filly. I just find that very hard to believe and I don't believe that information was spread about the outbreak in an appropriate manner. I'm obviously not doing any good here, so I'm going to go off to Eventing and see if I can do any good for Kim.

Feb. 9, 2006, 04:25 PM
LGW: You're off the hook http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Candle: Your comments along w/ a few other posters have been presumptuous and accusatory...making those of us dealing w/ this to feel as if you think we are heartless to the plight of the horses lost (putting words & thoughts into my posts that were far from how I obviously intended). Like our pockets were all we were concerned about through this! Yes, these horses are only a livelyhood to many but to most they are that AND very much loved critters. We too often have pet horses that snuck home with us so could only imagine the horror (of Pets Mom) had we taken the virus home as well.
Some people actually stayed up all night for weeks either guarding, treating or re-thinking what, in terms of quarantining, needed to be done. Forget running jugs into sick horses w/ fevers for other reasons & trying NOT to create panic while answering phone calls & questions all day at the same time. It wasn't being gaffed off or mishandled & certainly not for lack of efforts!
If you (Candle) could/would read you'd get it; that NO ONE was blaming Kim for an error in taking in a high traffic horse w/out proper quarantine (something many of us risk everyday w/out consequence)...just pointing out a HINDSIGHTED mistake. Just as we have been discussing HINDSIGHTED mistakes made w/in racing confines. There was (here) a lot of early on blaming racing folks from ground up for being selfish & crimminal in our negligence. Hopefully now you may have learned there were MANY minds w/ MANY ideas on how it was to be handled best w/ the State Vet, I believe, making the final call using very good input. It doesn't matter WHAT I think about should or shouldn't have Pimlico shut it's doors (I never said what I thought personally)....I just was laying out some facts as I understand them. While Pimlico could have shut it's doors, Laurel would have stayed open w/ ponies going in & out & then we had the one euthanized there. Had Kim's ship-in come from *that* Laurel barn who would you blame & what 20/20 advice would you throw in?
Also pointed out: while we also isolated barns, here it was handled much tighter than when there is an outbreak beyond our gates where horses are much more scattered into smaller facilities (showing for example). Our horses also leave a better paper trail....but w/ Health Certs all could be followed/tagged a bit better. I have expressed (sincerely) deep symathy for Kim's loss so kindly knock off the Seaoat's so cold-hearted crap.
Lastly, on a note of expenses, I have found that many of the people (who scream loudest in these ordeals) are often people who fall short on vaccinations and even consider taking 2bid temps to be too much effort. Forget talking them into staying put. Curious if those folks w/ mobile ponies would want that extra monthly Health Cert expense for the saftey/knowledge of all? Pffft, forget it, I already know the answer.

Feb. 9, 2006, 08:14 PM
Sea Oat
I am confused about what good a health certificate would do. Don't they last for two weeks? That's enough time for a healthy horse to be exposed to Rhino & start showing symptoms.

Feb. 9, 2006, 09:49 PM
SeaOat, I didn't mean to start a fight over here. I am truly sorry for what you've gone through, and I really don't think you're heartless.

Feb. 10, 2006, 04:38 PM
Health Certs are good for 30 days in most states....while the overall health of a horse is usually noted as good, based on veterinary inspection before recieving, I think it's real value with horses that ship a lot, is it gives you a better idea of where an animal has been.

A side note on quarantine mistakes: I paid dearly for one this past summer....we had a 30+ yr old box turtle named Bob who we've had free roaming our house forever (she slept in a terracotta pot that layed on it's side in corner of my bedroom), & had been *everywhere* with us. We even hatched out & gave away her two babies years earlier, the result of her escape & meeting of a male some 5 years earlier than her egg laying!). If we ever rescued another box we never let Bob come in contact, we washed after handling, etc. Well on the way into Bowie I saw this spunky little young female box crossing the road. Since she was heading into developing area I decided her future wasn't so hot there anymore & opted to keep her. I cut her quarantine (I'd decided on 2 weeks) short as she was so healthy looking.... & she became ill (stress of new enviroment can trigger virus to become active, in horses also) a few days later & died quickly. I was mortified when a few days later Bob, w/ her unexposed system, got a runny nose. After $500.+ in vet bills, traumatic antibiotic injections (I later learned were probably a mistake), daily fluids....she died. It was horrible & Jordan (away at work out of state) wouldn't speak to me for weeks. I also learned that quarantine for turtles & snakes is several MONTHS & even then at risk. So when it comes to quarantine mistakes I am queen as far as that goes.
Crike, here I go blubbering all over again.
Anyway, mistakes are made w/ living things that sometimes have awful endings whether in a hospital, riding stable, school or the educated guesses we make daily in our own households. Leaves people kicking themselves afterwards for want of doing it differently if given another chance.

No hard feelings Candle. I'm cranky these days (gee, there's something new!).

Meanwhile a very big outbreak of Avian in Africa w/ 1 new human death. With every outbreak the closer this virus gets to human-human mutation. The odds greatly increase should a person having a bout of a flu that then comes in contact w/ bird flu wheras the two viruses in one body can swap & merge into a new deadly human transferable. I'm no henny-penny, this really is something to watch & educate yourselves on. Alaska is being watched closely as spring migrations are around the corner.

Feb. 10, 2006, 06:44 PM
I have the official letter from the State of DE vet downstairs, but he is now requiring vaccination certificates for all horses traveling in DE (show to show, race to race, or just overall I'm not sure without the letter) and vaccinations given by veterinarians or @ least purchased from veterinarians. I work tomorrow, but will try to remember to grab the letter and post it word for word for you guys ...

Evalee Hunter
Feb. 10, 2006, 08:09 PM
I understand there is a new case at Fair Hill Training Center & the Training Center is under state police guard to prevent horses from entering or leaving.

Showponymom Aefvue Mid Atlantic Division
Feb. 11, 2006, 12:17 AM
Originally posted by Evalee Hunter:
I understand there is a new case at Fair Hill Training Center & the Training Center is under state police guard to prevent horses from entering or leaving.

I haven't heard about that, but I am sure by the end of the weekend we should have someone respond to that.

Feb. 11, 2006, 05:25 PM
According to the article below there is no case of Rhino at Fair HIll but they did close off the training center in order to prevent any contagious horses coming in.

from the thouroughbred times .com

Posted: 2/11/2006 3:19:00 PM

Fair Hill Training Center temporarily closes to avoid EHV-1

In a move to avoid equine herpesvirus (EHV-1), which has affected horses at the Maryland tracks of Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park, Fair Hill Training Center has closed for three weeks and has hired state troopers to monitor the gates around the clock to make sure no horses enter or leave the grounds.

Fair Hill President Kathleen Anderson, who is also a veterinarian, said no horse among the 400 stabled at the facility has been confirmed with the disease. The closure was ordered by the Fair Hill board of directors on February 3 after discussing the issue with owners and trainers, the Wilmington News Journal reports.

Trainers stabled at Fair Hill include Graham Motion, Mike McCarthy, Michael Matz, and Steve Klesaris.

"We don't want to call it a quarantine because we don't have a problem," Anderson said. "We had 100% approval from the barn owners and about 95 (percent) from the trainers to close the facility. There were people who were not happy about it, but the result is they don't have a real vested interest like many others do. We feel that we did the right thing."

There have also been no EHV-1 outbreaks at Bowie Training Center, where approximately 600 horses are stabled.

Evalee Hunter
Feb. 11, 2006, 07:00 PM
Thanks, NRB, I did read the article this morning after posting last night. My sources are telling me that this article is putting a good "spin" on things - that, in fact, there is a positive filly stabled in Fair Hill Training Center but she is not neurologic so far. Don't know who to believe.

Feb. 11, 2006, 08:21 PM
...not been informed of anyone positive at FH (not suggesting there isn't, just that we're *usually* up to snuff on those things), only knew they closed up to all incoming/outgoing traffic early on.
Edited to add: Well, no one told MD but apparently FH does have a positive & a barn is quarantined. Nice to learn it through the media! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/sigh.gif

sapphire bay
Feb. 13, 2006, 03:47 PM
someone on the event forum just heard on the news today that a horse was positive for EHV at Fair Hill -