Flu outbreak prompts survey on Equine Herpes Virus

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Horses carrying EHV may appear to be perfectly healthy yet spread the virus via the secretions from their nostrils.
Horses carrying EHV may appear to be perfectly healthy yet spread the virus via the secretions from their nostrils.

Hot on the heels of Britain’s recent equine influenza outbreak, horse owners are being urged to take part in a survey about Equine Herpes Virus (EHV), another common and debilitating infectious equine respiratory disease. 

Equine Herpes Virus can cause respiratory disease, abortion and more rarely neurological disease. Once a horse is infected with EHV it can harbour the virus throughout its life and potentially spread the disease to others.

Animal health company Zoetis is asking horse owners and veterinarians to take part in a survey, which aims to find out more about horse owners’ awareness and understanding of the risks EHV poses. Results will help identify the most effective prevention strategies and then ensure that they are accessible, said Wendy Talbot, the company’s National Equine Veterinary Manager.

Infected horses often don’t show outward signs of infection but if they do, symptoms may include a high temperature, nasal discharge and a dry cough in younger horses. The horse may also show signs of depression and lack of energy.

“EHV has potentially serious health, performance and financial implications across every sector of the equestrian industry,” Talbot said, noting that reducing the spread of EHV through management and vaccination is key to disease control.

The survey closes on March 15 and is running in parallel to a separate survey for vets.

More information: customersupportUK@zoetis.com or 0845 300 9084 (option 1).

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