Cases of neurological form of EHV-1 in barrel horses in upper Midwest

The EHV-1 virus
The EHV-1 virus.

An equine veterinary clinic in America’s upper Midwest is recommending barrel racing horses do not travel to shows in the region following an outbreak of the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus-1 (EHV-1).

The Stillwater Equine Veterinary Clinic, in a statement posted on Wednesday, said that on March 7 two barrel horses north of Stillwater tested positive for EHV-1. One was euthanized.

Ten days later, on March 17, a barrel horse located north of Stillwater, in Wisconsin, showed signs consistent with an EHV-1 infection. The animal was down and unable to get up, the clinic said. Test results are pending.

On March 18, a barrel horse was taken to the University of Minnesota because it was showing neurological symptoms and was euthanized. Test results are pending

That same day, a barrel horse was examined in the west metro area because of neurological symptoms and is being treated. Test results are similarly pending.

“At this time we are recommending that barrel horses do not travel to shows until these tests are completed and the extent of this outbreak can be determined,” the clinic said.

Millhouse Veterinary Clinic, also in Stillwater, said: “There seems to be an EHV-1 outbreak developing in the twin cities area with barrel horses being the focus at the moment.

“There have been a few that have tested positive and a few with tests pending but showing neurologic symptoms.

“At this time we recommend no horse travel, especially to barrel racing events, to limit exposure until we have more information.”

The cases have prompted the cancellation of several barrel-racing events in the area.

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