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May 24, 2011
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USRider advises horse owners on the outbreak of EHV-1

Lexington, Ky. (May 24, 2011) – USRider would like to alert its Members and other Horse owners of a recent outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus type 1 (EHV-1) in Western states.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):

EHV-1 can be a serious disease of horses that can cause abortion and death. Clinical signs include high fever, neurological symptoms and nasal discharge. The virus can spread through the air, contaminated equipment, clothing and hands. EHV-1 is endemic to the United States and is usually handled by the states involved; USDA becomes involved in cases involving multiple states or movement of horses across state lines.


Several horses recently competing in the National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championship in Ogden, Utah, held April 29-May 8, have been diagnosed with EHV-1. Reports of affected horses have been received from multiple states and Western Canada, with several fatalities.
As of May 19, 33 confirmed EHV-1 or EHM (Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy) cases have been reported in eight states (CA, CO, ID, NM, OR, TX, UT, WA). Of these, 32 cases are horses that were at the Ogden, Utah event.

New travel restrictions
Given the highly contagious nature of the EVH-1, some states are tightening their travel restrictions. At press time, only Colorado and Wyoming had implemented enhanced state entry requirements in response to the on-going EHV-1 disease situation.

If you anticipate transporting your Horse across state lines it is recommended you contact each respective state/provincial veterinarian’s office before departure to determine if there are any restrictions or enhanced entry requirements due to the current EHV-1 incident. To find your state or provincial animal health office, visit www.aaep.org/us_canada_statehealthoffice.htm.

Exhibitors can expedite their passage through inspection points by having their health documents organized and their horses loaded in a manner that will allow visual inspection.

Traveling with your Horse
Even if you’re certain your Horse has not been exposed to the virus, be sure to check with your local and state/provincial veterinarian’s office before traveling with your Horse(s).

“We encourage Horse owners to become familiar with the symptoms of EHV-1. Stay vigilant and follow the advice provided by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP),” said Bill Riss, managing member for USRider, provider of nationwide roadside assistance especially for equestrians. “If any symptoms occur, contact a veterinarian immediately.”

The typical incubation period for EHV-1 is 4-6 days. Symptoms include a fever, which can then be followed by neurological signs, respiratory problems, decreased coordination, weakness or paralysis in the hind limbs, urine dribbling, loss of tail tone, hind-limb weakness, leaning against a wall to maintain balance, lethargy and inability to rise. Pregnant mares may abort.

It’s important to limit stress on your Horse as much as possible since stress will make the animal more susceptible to the virus.

For more information about EVH-1, visit http://www.aaep.org/EHV_resourcesowner.htm.Through its Equestrian Motor Plan, USRider offers nationwide roadside assistance especially for equestrians. The plan includes standard features such as flat-tire repair, battery assistance and lockout services, plus towing up to 100 miles and roadside repairs for tow vehicles and trailers with horses, emergency stabling, veterinary and farrier referrals, and more.

For more information about USRider and more equine trailer safety tips, visit the USRider website at http://www.usrider.org online or call (800) 844-1409.


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