Everything You Need To Know About EHV-1
Learn about this highly contagious equine virus and how to curb its spread
It happens every year. First, it’s a 2-year-old that’s feverish and coughing. Then, a pregnant mare loses her foal. A week later, a seasoned sport horse becomes incontinent, falls down, and never gets back on his feet. Suddenly, you have a barn full of horses with fevers—and it seems like as soon as one gets better, two others get worse. If you’re lucky, none of the animals have moved to other locations recently where they might infect other horses.
What’s going on? Quite simply, an infectious microbe has declared war. Equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1), also known as equid alphaherpesvirus-1, has awakened from the depths of its hiding place in the immune or nervous tissues of one horse, replicated, and spread out of control among horses on your premises and beyond.
Fortunately, with advancing scientific knowledge, we’re learning how to curb EHV-1’s devastating—and sometimes deadly—path of destruction. In this article we’ll present you with the basics of this equine-specific virus and how we’re managing it in light of what researchers have learned through experience and laboratory studies.