Fact 4the day: Equine Herpes Virus
The herpes virus, much like in humans, affects horses. There are five known subtypes in horses, but Equine Herpes Virus-1 (EHV-1) and EHV-4 are the two severest forms of the virus. EHV-3 is another type of major herpes virus, although it is normally associated with coital exanthema, a venereal disease that can be transmitted to horses.
The different classificatio...ns of equine herpes virus affect different systems; one affects the reproductive and neurological systems, whereas another causes respiratory issues. The virus type will also determine the symptoms the horse displays.
The incubation period for the virus depend on the subtype affecting the horse, but it is generally 2 to 10 days, after which the following symptoms may be seen:
•Decreased fitness performance
•Miscarriage in pregnant mares
•Weakness in hind legs
Neurological issues may occur, such as paralysis or involuntary body movements (ataxia). This is usually in cases of EHV-1.
There are different ways for the equine herpes virus to spread. In most cases, the herpes virus is contracted through inhalation; nasal discharge is another way to contract it. This virus is notoriously hard to cure, as it has a way of avoiding destruction in the horse's immune system and multiplies quickly.
A veterinarian can diagnose the equine herpes virus by testing for the presence of one of the EHV subtypes and assessing the horse's symptoms.
Unfortunately, there is no surefire cure for the equine herpes virus. It may remain dormant in the horse's body, re-emerge at any time and is resistant to the horse's immune system defenses. However, there are medications, such as antibiotics, that can help with the secondary infections and symptoms the horse may suffer from. Horses infected with the virus need plenty of rest and a proper, well-balanced diet, while those with the subtype affecting the respiratory system will require fresh, clean air. These horses may also require medication to break up the mucous that accumulates and clogs their airways.
Living and Management
It is imperative that a horse infected with the equine herpes virus be isolated from other horses to prevent the spread of the disease.
There are vaccines which can give a horse a short period of immunity against the herpes virus. These vaccines must be administered on a regular basis, usually every three to six months. There is even a vaccine that can guard against the miscarriage of a pregnant mare, a common symptom in certain subtypes of the virus. Consult your veterinarian to learn more about these vaccines and to see if it is of use for your horse.
Quote 4the day: Live life to the full and lean on your horse :o)
Thought 4the day: Sometimes in life you think you will never find the one so you go searching and you have a type of horse in mind but when you find the one you are going to take home they never look like the one you thought you wanted!! Thats life and its always the ones that you never think will be the one are the one...