Three horses at a Roanoke County, Virginia, stable have been confirmed with equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy, the neurological version of equine herpesvirus 1, and two more cases are suspected, according to a Jan. 20 alert from the Equine Disease Communication Center.
A press release from Hollins University in Roanoke identified its school riding center as the affected barn and said that one horse has been euthanized.
“On Sunday, January 15, a horse stabled in the Hollins University Riding Center began showing neurologic symptoms consistent with equine herpesvirus (EHV-1), a DNA virus that commonly occurs in horse populations worldwide,” the Jan. 19 statement read. “Riding center staff immediately summoned an equine veterinarian, who, after thoroughly examining the horse and finding that she had become recumbent (unable to rise after lying down), made the decision in consultation with the riding center to euthanize her.”
A necropsy subsequently confirmed Jan. 18 that the mare was positive for EHM. On the same day, a second horse at the barn began showing EHV-1 symptoms. It was taken to the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, for further evaluation and treatment and currently is in stable condition, according to the statement.
Twenty-eight horses were exposed, and the barn has been quarantined—including being closed to outside human visitors—until at least Feb. 9.
“In accordance with guidance provided by state officials, our herd is being monitored with twice-daily temperature checks,” the Hollins University statement said. “If symptoms should appear, our equine veterinarian will institute testing procedures in accordance with state requirements.
“In addition to informing students in our equestrian program, we are also briefing our colleagues in equestrian programs at colleges and universities in our geographic area to keep them up-to-date on this situation,” the statement continued.
No horses have traveled outside the facility in the past six weeks, according to EDCC’s disease alert.