An 18-year-old horse was euthanized earlier this month after being diagnosed with equine herpes virus, type-1 (EHV-1). Seven days after the Friesian mare developed hind limb weakness the diagnosis was confirmed, according to the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC).
Highly contagious, EHV-1 most often causes mild-to-moderate respiratory illness (rhinopneumonitis), but the infection occasionally leads to the life-threatening neurologic disease equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM). The mechanisms through which EHV-1 produces neurologic disease are not yet understood.
Two other horses on the King County property subsequently developed fevers and have been tested for EHV-1. Results are still pending. Meanwhile, 25 other horses at the boarding barn are considered potentially exposed and the entire facility is under official quarantine.
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