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Laura Martlock

2nd Horse Tests Positive for EEE

By | Informational Articles and News

SECOND VIRGINIA HORSE TESTS POSITIVE FOR EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) today announced the second case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a horse this year. The horse, an American Quarter Horse stabled in Chesapeake, was euthanized due to its illness, and was necropsied at the NCDACS’ Rollins VDL in Raleigh on August 20. Later lab results confirmed EEE. The disease has an 80 to 90 percent mortality rate.

The horse had an incomplete vaccination history. For full effectiveness, horses must be vaccinated initially with a follow-up booster, and then again every six to 12 months.

Sometimes called sleeping sickness, EEE is a mosquito-borne illness that causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death. Once a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito, it may take three to ten days for signs of the disease to appear.

For more information on how to control mosquitoes around horses, see vdacs.virginia.gov/animals-eastern-equine-encephalitis.shtml. Horse owners may also contact VDACS’ Office of the State Veterinarian at 804.692.0601 or consult their local veterinarian.

Elaine Lidholm
Director of Communications
Va. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor St.
Richmond VA 23219
804.786.7686

VA Horse Tests Positive for WNV

By | Informational Articles and News

VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS,
Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686, www.vdacs.virginia.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 15, 2018

Virginia Horse Tests Positive for West Nile Virus

~ Pony had not been vaccinated ~

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) today announced the state’s first positive case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in a horse this year. The nine-year-old pony mare from Fauquier County tested positive for WNV at VDACS’ regional animal health laboratory in Warrenton and a USDA lab in Iowa. The horse was not vaccinated for WNV and has recovered. Symptoms included loss of control of bodily movements and partial paralysis in the hind limbs, dazed appearance and lack of ability to stand.

Dr. Joe Garvin, head of VDACS’ Office of Laboratory Services, urges horse owners to check with their veterinarians about vaccinating their animals for WNV. “West Nile is a mosquito-borne disease,” he said, “and we generally start seeing our first cases in August and September. The disease is usually preventable by vaccination, as is Eastern Equine Encephalitis, so many veterinarians recommend vaccination at least yearly, and in mosquito-prone areas, every six months.” He adds that complete vaccination requires an initial shot, followed by a booster. Full immunity takes about six weeks.

Prevention methods besides vaccination include destroying standing water breeding sites for mosquitoes, use of insect repellents and removing animals from mosquito-infested areas during peak biting times, usually dusk to dawn. Continuous, effective mosquito control can minimize the risk of exposure of both horses and humans to mosquito-borne diseases. Equine owners should consult their veterinarians if an animal exhibits any neurological symptoms such as a stumbling gait, going down, facial paralysis, drooping or disinterest in their surroundings.

These websites provide more information on WNV and how to protect humans and horses.

Elaine Lidholm
Director of Communications
Va. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor St.
Richmond VA 23219
804.786.7686

EEE In Virginia Horses

By | Informational Articles and News

VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS,
Contact: Elaine Lidholm, www.vdacs.virginia.gov Ph. 804.786.7686
FOR RELEASE:  Aug. 10, 2018

Contact:  Elaine Lidholm,

 

IT’S AUGUST, TIME FOR EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS IN VIRGINIA HORSES

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) today announced the first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a horse this year. The horse, a Quarter Horse mare from Suffolk, entered the North Carolina State Veterinary school hospital in late July and subsequently died. The disease has an 80 to 90 percent mortality rate.

The hospital received notice yesterday of the EEE positive result. The horse was vaccinated incompletely with an initial vaccination but not the follow-up shot. For full effectiveness, horses must be vaccinated initially with a follow-up booster, and then again every six to 12 months.

Sometimes called sleeping sickness, EEE is a mosquito-borne illness that causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death. Once a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito, it may take three to ten days for signs of the disease to appear.

For more information on how to control mosquitoes around horses, see vdacs.virginia.gov/animals- eastern-equine-encephalitis. shtml. Horse owners may also contact VDACS’ Office of the State Veterinarian at 804.692.0601 or consult their local veterinarian.

Elaine Lidholm
Director of Communications

Va. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor St.
Richmond VA 23219
804.786.7686

Equine Infectious Anemia confirmed in Maryland

By | Informational Articles and News

Equine Infectious Anemia confirmed in Montgomery County

July 10, 2018

 

Farm Placed Under Investigational Hold Order

ANNAPOLIS, MD – A horse stabled in Montgomery County has tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). The positive horse was discovered during a routine wellness examination by a private veterinarian and was confirmed positive July 9 by the National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, Iowa. The infected horse will be euthanized. EIA is not known to effect human health.

The State Veterinarian’s office has placed the farm under a 60-day investigational hold order. The department will do initial EIA tests on the remaining 42 equines on the farm. The animals will be tested again after 60 days, at which point the hold order will be released barring any positive test results.

Equine Infectious Anemia is a blood borne virus typically transferred by biting flies or infected needles. The infected horse did not display any clinical symptoms, but was determined to be in the carrier stage of the disease. Confirmed cases of EIA typically result in euthanasia or lifetime isolation for the infected horse.

The department’s Animal Health Program will continue to monitor the situation closely, and reminds all horse owners to remain vigilant in protecting the health of their animals—this includes routine disease testing. More information on EIA is available from USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

UPDATE to Confirmed cases of EHV-1

By | Informational Articles and News

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS, Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686, www.vdacs.virginia.gov

For Immediate Release
March 1, 2018
No Additional Exposed Virginia Horses in Confirmed Equine Herpesvirus-1 Cases

~No Virginia horses have had any contact with either property, including trail riders~

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has completed its epidemiological investigation after a diagnosis of Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) in two horses in central Virginia. As reported on February 28, 2018, the State Veterinarian’s Office at VDACS confirmed that two horses exhibiting neurological signs were euthanized and tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1), the virus that causes EHM.

There is no link between the two horses and the timing of the EHM finding is coincidental. One horse was housed at the Hazelwild Equestrian Center in Fredericksburg and the second was located on a private farm in Powhatan County. Both facilities have been placed under quarantine. All exposed horses are being monitored twice daily for fever (temperature over 101.50 F) and other clinical signs.

No additional Virginia horses have been exposed. Several horses from Maryland visited the Hazelwild Equestrian Center last weekend for an Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) show; the farms in Maryland associated with these horses have been quarantined and all horses will be monitored. The immediate neighbor of the Powhatan County farm is voluntarily quarantining their horses due to casual contact. No Virginia horses have had any contact with either property, including trail riders.

There is no cause for alarm concerning the general horse population in Virginia. EHV-1 is a virus that is present in the environment and found in most horses all over the world. Horses typically are exposed to the virus at a young age with no serious side effects. A large percent of horses carry the virus with no clinical signs for the remainder of their lives. Rarely, exposed horses develop the neurologic form of the disease. Horse owners with concerns should contact their veterinarian.

The Equine Disease Communications Center Biosecurity web pages equinediseasecc.org/biosecurity have more information on best practices for disease prevention in horses and VDACS has more information on EHV-1 at vdacs.virginia.gov/animals-equine-herpes-virus.shtml. Horse owners also may contact VDACS’ Office of Veterinary Services at 804.786.2483.

Elaine J. Lidholm
Director of Communications
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor Street
Richmond VA 23219
804.786.7686

New unrelated cases of EHV-1 detected in Virginia

By | Informational Articles and News

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS, Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686, www.vdacs.virginia.gov

For Immediate Release
Feb. 28, 2018

Virginia Horses Test Positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has confirmed a diagnosis of Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) in two horses in Virginia. On Tuesday, February 27, the State Veterinarian’s Office at VDACS confirmed that two horses exhibiting neurological signs tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1), the virus that causes EHM. Both horses were euthanized.

There is no link between the two horses and the timing of the EHM finding is coincidental. One horse was housed at the Hazelwild Equestrian Center in Fredericksburg and the second was located on a private farm in Powhatan County. Both facilities have been placed under quarantine. All exposed horses are being monitored twice daily for fever (temperature over 101.50 F) and other clinical signs, and VDACS is working with the facility owners to determine if any exposed horses have left the premises. Owners of exposed horses will be notified and are advised to isolate and observe their horses closely for signs of the disease.

There is no cause for alarm concerning the general horse population in Virginia. EHV-1 is a virus that is present in the environment and found in most horses all over the world. Horses typically are exposed to the virus at a young age with no serious side effects. A large percent of horses carry the virus with no clinical signs for the remainder of their lives. Rarely, exposed horses develop the neurologic form of the disease. Horse owners with concerns should contact their veterinarian.

The Equine Disease Communications Center Biosecurity web pages equinediseasecc.org/biosecurity have more information on best practices for disease prevention in horses and VDACS has more information on EHV-1 at vdacs.virginia.gov/animals-equine-herpes-virus.shtml. Horse owners also may contact VDACS’ Office of Veterinary Services at 804.786.2483.

 

Elaine J. Lidholm
Director of Communications
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor Street
Richmond VA 23219
804.786.7686

2nd Horse in Central VA Facility Tests Positive for EHV-1 

By | Informational Articles and News

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS,
Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686, www.vdacs.virginia.gov

 

For Immediate Release

Feb. 6, 2018

Update: Second Horse in Central Virginia Facility Tests Positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1 

 The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has confirmed a second diagnosis of Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) at the affected farm in central Virginia. On February 1, 2018, a horse-boarding stable in Chesterfield County was placed under quarantine after a horse with fever and neurologic signs tested positive to the equine herpes virus-1 (EHV), the virus that causes EHM.

Since that time, nine horses in the stable have developed fevers, but none exhibited neurologic signs. Veterinarians tested three of these horses for EHV and one tested positive. Testing for the remainder of the febrile horses will continue over the next several days. The facility will remain under quarantine for 21 days past the last positive finding of EHV.

The febrile horses, which are horses with fever, have been isolated on the farm and are under veterinary care. The stable transferred four of these horses to the isolation unit at Marion Dupont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg for additional care and monitoring. Because these horses were admitted under the established isolation protocol, the Equine Medical Center is not under quarantine and is admitting and treating patients normally. Neither the Chesterfield stable nor the equine medical facility poses a risk to the Virginia horse population.

Generally, VDACS advises horse owners to develop biosecurity protocols with their veterinarian for any horses that enter or travel from another farm. Such practices should include isolating returning or new horses from resident horse populations for 14-21 days. Isolated horses should have temperatures taken twice daily. Contact your veterinarian if any horse has a temperature over 101.50 F.

Additional information on biosecurity protocols is available at The Equine Disease Communications Center Biosecurity web pages equinediseasecc.org/biosecurity

Elaine J. Lidholm

Director of Communications
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor Street
Richmond VA 23219
804.786.7686

Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy in Chesterfield County, Virginia

By | Informational Articles and News

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

On January 31, 2018 the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) confirmed a diagnosis of Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) in a horse in central Virginia. A horse exhibiting neurological signs and a fever is housed in a horse-boarding stable in Chesterfield County that has been placed under quarantine. All exposed horses are being monitored twice daily for fever (temperature over 101.50 F) and other clinical signs, and VDACS will be working with the stable’s owner to determine if any exposed horses have left the premises. For more information go to:

https://aaep.org/sites/default/files/Documents/DiseaseFactsheetEHM.pdf

and

https://aaep.org/sites/default/files/Guidelines/EHV1_4_Final.pdf

EHV-1 in Culpepper, VA

By | Informational Articles and News

Source: Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

On August 11th  a horse exhibiting neurologic signs was transported to the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, VA from a farm in Culpeper, VA. The horse was immediately isolated from the hospital population and has not come into contact with any other patients. On Aug. 12, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (VDACS) Animal Health Lab in Warrenton confirmed a diagnosis of Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) due to EHV-1. The horse remains isolated while undergoing supportive care. On Aug. 14th, a second horse from the same farm developed a fever and neurologic symptoms and was euthanized. VDACS’ Animal Health Lab confirmed a diagnosis of EHM. The farm is under quarantine. The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center employed strict biosecurity measures and disinfection upon arrival and will continue to do so during the entirety of the horse’s hospitalization. The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center is operating normally.

Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) infection in horses can cause respiratory disease, abortion in mares, neonatal foal death, and/or neurologic disease. The neurologic form of EHV-1 is called Equine Herpes Virus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM).

Transmission likely occurs by inhaling infected droplets or ingesting material contaminated by nasal discharges or aborted fetuses. Clinical symptoms may include a fever, difficulty urinating, depression, and stumbling or weakness in the hind limbs. Supportive therapy is often used to treat these cases. In severe cases, horses will be unable to stand; these cases have a very poor prognosis. EHV-1 is not transmissible to humans.

 

For more info go to:

http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/animals-equine-herpes-virus.shtml

and

https://aaep.org/sites/default/files/Documents/DiseaseFactsheetEHM.pdf

Critical Information Regarding the Horse Protection Act

By | Informational Articles and News

Critical Information Regarding the Horse Protection Act

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing amendments to the horse protection regulations section of the Horse Protection Act. The proposed changes can be found at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/newsroom/news/SA_By_Date/newsroom-2016/SA-07/hpa-changes . 

The Horse Protection Act covers all breeds, although violations have typically been associated with Tennessee Walking Horses and Racking Horses. The proposed changes are being evaluated by the VHC for impacts to Virginia horsemen and the horse industry in Virginia.

The Significant Changes and Impacts Identified Thus Far Include:

  • APHIS would assume responsibility for training, screening and licensing horse inspectors.  The new cadre of inspectors would be veterinarians and veterinary technicians… (emphasis added)
  • APHIS would ban the use of all action devices, pads, and foreign substances at horse shows, exhibitions, sales, and auctions, for Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses or related breeds (emphasis added)
  • Additional costs to horse shows for additional inspectors, a farrier, and record keeping
  • An “Identification Card” will be required for all horses presented for inspection   

     

    Please Click Here for More Information!