May 14, 2014 6:28 PM by Elaine Sheridan
LAKEWOOD, Colo. - Important news for horse owners. The state veterinarian's office is investigating a Colorado horse that is exhibiting signs consistent with the neurologic form of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalitis (EHV-1).
"As soon as the EHV-1 test results are known we will provide updated information. The Department is responding quickly to investigate, control and mitigate this possible disease," said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr. "We will continue to trace the potential contacts of this horse in order to protect Colorado's equine population."
The horse and its stable-mates have a history of travelling to events within Colorado over the last few weeks and there is a potential link to other horses that have attended the National High School Rodeo and Colorado Junior Rodeo Association events located in around the state, including on in Rocky for last weekend.
The Colorado State Veterinarian's office is in the process of contacting all Colorado contestants that were involved in these events.
"At this point, we have no knowledge of any other horses displaying signs consistent with EHV-1," said Roehr. "The most common way for EHV-1 to spread is by direct horse-to-horse contact but it can also spread through the air, contaminated equipment, clothing and hands; this certainly highlights the importance of following basic biosecurity practices."
This is the second horse to come down with the illness this year. The first horse however, didn't travel to events with a lot other horses.
Symptoms include fever, decreased coordination, nasal discharge, urine dribbling, loss of tail tone, hind limb weakness, leaning against a wall or fence to maintain balance, lethargy, and the inability to rise. While there is no cure, the symptoms of the disease may be treatable. EHV-1 is not transmissible to people; it can be a serious disease of horses that can cause respiratory, neurologic disease and death.
An EHV-1 breakout in 2011 caused many quarantines and event cancellations around the state.