PULLMAN, Wash. – A university-owned horse euthanized last week at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine has tested positive for equine herpes virus or EHV-1.
The horse’s euthanasia was not related to its EHV-1 infection but was due to a long-standing lameness that had worsened. All horses in the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital are being closely monitored for signs of EHV-1.
The euthanized horse had not had a positive nasal swab for the disease, and at the time it was euthanized it had not shown any signs of the disease. The decision to test its lung tissue after death was part of the college’s monitoring efforts. The test confirmed the horse did have the active, neurotropic form of the viral disease despite having shown no symptoms before its death.
Five horses have been confirmed as positive for EHV-1at the university. The first horse was released to the care and control of the State Veterinarian’s Office. Three horses remain at WSU that are confirmed positive for EHV-1.
The number of horses confirmed to have, or have had, EHV-1 in the state stands at eight, with no deaths attributable to the disease. The ailing horses are located in Spokane, Thurston, Chelan and Asotin counties with one horse in each. Whitman County has three.
The new confirmation at WSU restarts the clock for the veterinary college’s isolation procedures. The restrictions for new, non-emergency horse or camelid patients coming to WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital remain in place for a minimum of 21 more days from today if no more new cases develop.
Emergency services are available but owners must call ahead first to ensure the hospital can make special accommodations to protect incoming animals. The phone number is 509-335-7073.
More complete information on this disease and its status in Washington can be found at:
Washington state disease updates: http://www.agr.wa.gov/FoodAnimal/AnimalHealth/HotTopics.aspx
USDA disease information and recommendations: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahss/equine/ehv/equine_herpesvirus_brochure_2009.pdf