Equine Disease Communication Center Updates for Early October 2018

Horses confined in their stable.
Horses confined in their stable. John Clark

Newsdate: Thursday, October 4, 2018, 2:30 pm
Location: GILROY, California

The first priority of the Equine Disease Communication Center is to protect and improve the health of horses in North America. Real-time information on infectious disease outbreaks, quarantines, and regulations are vital to helping horse owners keep their animals safe and healthy.

Coughing horse.

Coughing horse

Infectious disease outbreaks have a lasting effect on local economy and result in millions lost in revenue due to horse loss, quarantine, and cancelled events.
© 2010 by S. Hanusch

Infectious disease outbreaks have a profound and lasting effect on local economy and can result in millions lost in revenue due to horse loss, quarantine, cancelled events, resources allocated to containing outbreaks, and decreased horse movement. Over the past few weeks, cases of West Nile virus, equine infectious anemia, and Strangles have occurred in the US and Canada. Here are the latest alerts from the EDCC:

In Canada, between September 17 and October 2, 2018, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs was notified of five  positive test results for West Nile Virus (WNV) infection in horses. The horses ranged in age from 2 to 6 years of age and they were all female. Clinical signs included muscle fasciculations, ataxia, collapse in the front or hind end and recumbency.

All horses recovered with treatment. The horses were located in the following counties; 2 from the Regional Municipality of Niagara, 2 from Perth County and 1 from the Regional Municipality of Hamilton. The total number of cases in Ontario  for  2018 is seven. www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/nhd_surv2018.htm

On October 04, 2018, the Office of the Arkansas State Veterinarian has confirmed two cases of equine West Nile virus. A 6-year-old gelding at a private facility in Madison County showed an onset of clinical signs on September 18th, 2018 including neurological signs.

Testing done at the Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center confirmed WNV. The horse was not vaccinated. A 6-year-old Quarter Horse mare at a private facility in Franklin County showed an onset of clinical signs on September 26th including neurological signs. Testing done at the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory confirmed WNV. The vaccination status of the horse is unknown.

On October 04, 2018, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has confirmed a case of strangles in a three-year-old Quarter Horse filly from St. Clair County. The horse, which recovered, had nasal discharge and a cough. It was unclear if the horse had been vaccinated against the disease. No quarantine was issued. This case brings the total number of confirmed 2018 strangles cases in Michigan to 18.

The Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office at CDA has continued to work to trace and test horses involved in the August 2018 Equine Infectious Anemia incident in Colorado. As of 10/3/2018 the following has been confirmed: 1.) The index premises in Weld County is under a Quarantine Order; two associated premises are under Hold Orders.

The exposed horses under quarantine on the index premises will be re-tested on or after 10/19/2018 (sixty days after last exposure to the positive horse). 2.) 63 premises are under Hold Orders in 24 Colorado counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Boulder, Costilla, Crowley, Delta, Douglas, Eagle, Elbert, El Paso, Fremont, Gilpin, Gunnison, Huerfano, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa, Moffat, Montrose, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, and Weld. 

3.) Six premises have been released from Hold Orders after the 60-day re-tests were completed for all exposed horse(s) on those premises and found to be negative.

4.) 145 exposed horses have been located in Colorado (out of approximately 153 we expect to be in the state). CDA is working diligently to locate the remaining eight horses.

5.) 72 exposed horses have been located in 12 other states (out of approximately 81 we expect to be out-of-state): Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.

6.) Many of the exposed horses will be eligible for their final 60-day EIA re-test over the next two weeks.

The CDA has informed owners of exposed horses to work with their veterinarians to get the re-testing done after the date stated on their Hold Orders. The date varies depending on the last date that their horse was exposed to the EIA-positive horse. At this time only the exposed horses need to be tested, not all of the horses on the premises under the Hold Order.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has confirmed its third Equine WNV case for 2018. The horse was a 5-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse gelding from Winnebago County that had been vaccinated in the past but was not current as he had not been vaccinated this year. He was euthanized September 12th after exhibiting severe neurologic signs.

As of October 03, 2018, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry has reported a confirmed case of equine West Nile virus. The 6 year old Quarter Horse mare located in Wagoner County was showing moderate neurologic signs. The horse was currently vaccinated for WNV. A quarantine was not issued. For more information visit: http://www.ag.ok.gov

The Office of the Kentucky State Veterinarian has confirmed a case of equine West Nile virus. A 3-year-old Thoroughbred filly in Fayette County presented with acute progressing ataxia on September 28th, 2018. The horse could rise and stand with assistance but was not drinking, was hypersensitive to touch, and had muscle fasciculation on muzzle and tricep areas.

As of October 2nd, the horse is reported to be much improved with a favorable prognosis. The horse had no WNV vaccination history reported in 2018 but had been vaccinated in 2016 and 2017. For more information go to www.kyagr.com/statevet/west-nile-info.html

As of October 02, 2018, the Iowa State Veterinarian’s Office has confirmed 2 cases of equine West Nile virus. A 2-year old Quarter Horse mare & 4-year old Quarter Horse mare in Polk County first developed ataxia on September 24th. The horses are being treated symptomatically. Neither horse was vaccinated.

About the Author

Flossie Sellers

Author picture

As an animal lover since childhood, Flossie was delighted when Mark, the CEO and developer of EquiMed asked her to join his team of contributors.

She enrolled in My Horse University at Michigan State and completed a number of courses in everything related to horse health, nutrition, diseases and conditions, medications, hoof and dental care, barn safety, and first aid.

Staying  up-to-date on the latest developments in horse care and equine health is now a habit, and she enjoys sharing a wealth of information with horse owners everywhere..