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Warning to Arizona horse owners after horse tests positive for E - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Warning to Arizona horse owners after horse tests positive for Equine Herpes Virus

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On Monday, Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) Director Mark Killian ordered the quarantine of a cutting horse training facility in northern Maricopa County after a nasal swab on a gelding tested positive for Equine Herpes Virus-1 (EHV-1) "wild strain."

On Friday, March 2, Dr. Peter Mundschenk, the Arizona State Veterinarian, received notification confirming the diagnoses of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) in a Quarter Horse gelding with a positive nasal swab of EHV-1. This horse had been at Southpoint Arena in Las Vegas earlier in the month for a Cutting Horse event and also attended the Arizona Cutting Horse Association show in Queen Creek the weekend prior to developing neurological signs.

As a precaution, the State Veterinarian of Nevada is reaching out to eighteen states that had participants at the event not including Nevada and Arizona. The Arizona Cutting Horse Association is also reaching out to all contestants to inform them that all horses that attended the events and horses in barns should be observed for signs of illness and to contact their veterinarians for testing as they may have been exposed.

The event center at Queen Creek is in the process of doing a second disinfection of the facility. The next cutting event scheduled for Paso Robles, California has been postponed as a precaution.

Equine Herpes Virus-1 is highly contagious among horses but poses no threat to humans. The symptoms in horses may include a fever, nasal discharge, leg edema, wobbly gait, hind-end weakness, dribbling of urine and diminished tail tone. The virus is easily spread by airborne transmission, horse-to-horse contact and by contact with nasal secretions on equipment, tack, feed and other surfaces. Caretakers can spread the virus to horses if their hands, clothing, shoes or vehicles are contaminated.

State Veterinarian, Dr. Peter Mundschenk, encourages Arizona horse-owners who may have been at these events to take their horse's temperature twice a day and to contact their veterinarian if the temperature is greater than 101.5 or if they show any symptoms listed. Horses exhibiting signs should be isolated from other horses at the facility and one should contact their veterinarian to draw blood and obtain nasal swabs. 

Contact the State Veterinarian's Office (602-542-4293) if there are questions about this quarantine. Arizona veterinarians should report any horses exhibiting neurological signs to the State Veterinarian immediately.

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