Equine influenza is a well known disease within the equine industry
and most horses are protected against it; but have you ever heard
of equine herpesvirus?
Equine herpesvirus is also a very contagious respiratory disease
in the horse. Your horse is constantly placed at risk when introducing
him to many other horses. A high proportion of the horse population
is believed to carry equine herpesvirus (EHV) so its important
that you protect yours.
There is currently only one vaccine available to give protection
against the two most important of EHV, which are known as EHV1
and EHV4. EHV is not only considered to be one of the most common
causes of viral respiratory infections, but it also causes abortion,
stillbirth and foals with severe respiratory distress. EHV is
highly infective. An infective virus is spread by being squeezed
into the air and inhaled by other horses in the vicinity. EHV
is also capable of surviving and remaining infective on horsehair
for over a month.
There are many signs of EHV
- Fever, temperature as high as 41 degrees centigrade
- Dry cough
- Lack of appetite
- Nasal discharge– watery at first but can become thick and
- Eye discharge
- Swollen and firm glands under jaw
- Viral pneumonia may develop, potentially fatal in foals
- Poor co-ordination, collapse and occasionally paralysis
- EHV can cause abortion of the unborn foal
- Lengthy time off work during recovery
Horses become carriers of the disease once infected with EHV.
However, they may not show signs of the disease, but can shed
the virus and spread it to other horses. Excitement or stress
often causes shedding, for example at a competition, travelling
or mixing with new horses. Youngsters and foals are particularly
at risk as their immune system is not fully developed. An EHV-infected
horse will also be at risk of secondary viral of bacterial infections
due to the fact that the natural immunity will be suppressed.
How do vaccines work?
Vaccines rely on the presence of the relevant antigens. These
antigens are usually killed particles of the infecting virus or
bacteria, and effective adjuvants, substances which safely enhance
immunity. Strains of viruses can change with time so vaccines
have to be continually developed and clinically tested before
they gain licensing authority approval. You can see that EHV poses
a potential hazard to your horse. Vaccination with Duvaxyn EHV
1,4 will provide your horse with the protection he deserves against
this highly contagious disease and in addition with help limit
the spread of EHV to other horses.
Cover clients based in Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Berkshire and East
Hampshire 24 hours a day – 365 days a year. The Anvil team currently
consists of 3 Veterinary surgeons – Alastair MacVicar (Principal),
Mike Barrott and Liz Brown, supported by Dr David Platt who carries
out our major surgery. Anvil also have 3 equine veterinary nurses,
and an office support team of 3. The Clinic consists of a theatre
and recovery room, an X-ray area with treatment facilities and
stocks for the more difficult horses and procedures. With these
and a wide range of modern equipment the clinic is now prepared
for a wide range of diagnostic and treatment techniques.
Anvil Equine Veterinary Clinic, Tuckmans Farm,
Copsale, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 7DL
Tel: 01403 731 213 Fax: 01403 733992