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Agriculture Today

Two Texas horses found with equine viral arteritis (EVA)

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December 7, 2011 | 2,900 views | Post a comment

The Texas Animal Health Commission has received results on Nov. 18, confirming two horses positive for equine viral arteritis (EVA) on one farm in Central Texas, according to a notice to accredited veterinarians found on the Texas Animal Health Commission website.

The initial case was a horse that developed a fever and showed signs of respiratory illness after attending two American Paint Horse Association shows in Waco and Fort Worth in late October and early November. Since the horse became sick, nine of the 15 horses in the same barn on the premises have shown clinical signs consistent with equine viral arteritis. Nasal swabs submitted on two horses on the farm were positive for the virus. None of the horses was vaccinated and there are no pregnant mares in the barn. The Texas Animal Health Commission has restricted movement on all equine at the farm until the horses recover.

Equine viral arteritis can be transmitted through both the respiratory and reproductive systems. Most horses infected with the virus are asymptomatic, but some exhibit flu-like symptoms for a short time and mares may abort. There is no specific treatment for equine viral arteritis and adult horses can completely recover. However, the virus commonly persists in the accessory glands of recovered stallions, making them carrier stallions. Carrier stallions continue to shed virus for years and remain a significant source of infection. Vaccination and isolation from other infected horses can help prevent the spread of the disease.

Texas Animal Health Commission regulations state that a carrier stallion is determined through virus isolation and positive tests on semen. All owners, managers, and/or caretakers of equine viral arteritis-carrier stallions must provide written notification to owners of mares that are to be bred to an equine viral arteritis-carrier stallion, either by live cover or artificial insemination, that the stallion is a carrier and the mare could become infected through breeding.

Equine viral arteritis
“Equine viral arteritis (EVA) is a viral disease of members of the horse family.

In the past years, few equine diseases have stimulated more interest or gained greater international notoriety than EVA. The disease was thrust into the limelight of industry attention following a 1984 epidemic on a large number of thoroughbred breeding farms in Kentucky. No outbreaks of EVA had previously been reported in thoroughbreds in North America.

Few equine diseases have been the subject of more misinformation or misperception than EVA. It is an acute, contagious viral disease known to affect horses and other members of the equid family only.

EVA is not transmissible to humans or other domestic species. Like influenza and rhinopneumonitis, it is considered primarily a viral infection of the equine respiratory tract.”

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

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