Here is a message from the British Horse Society from earlier in the week. An easy post for me to publish while I am busy but also still very important that people recognise the symptoms. I might write next weeks Science Sunday post on this virus to give more information.
"You may have seen the recent news stories concerning an outbreak of
Equine Herpes Virus (EHV 1) in Gloucestershire. Two horses have been
shown to have the neurological form of the disease and one the
respiratory form. It appears that others are also showing signs but
have yet to be definitively diagnosed.
Although not a legally notifiable condition, EHV 1 is contagious and
does have the potential to be quite a serious disease. Indeed, the
neurological form can lead to paralysis. In most cases, EHV 1 is spread
via respiratory transmission so wherever horses are brought together
from different yards there is the possibility for the disease to spread
if one of the horses present is affected. For this reason the Heythrop
have very responsibly suspended hunting for a week.
It is important to be aware that the risk of your horse contracting EHV
1 is very small and there is certainly no need to panic. However, as
with any disease, spotting it early is the best thing for your horse so
the BHS felt it would be useful to provide a short refresher on EHV 1
and its signs.
Although aimed at a different disease (Strangles) our STEPS leaflet
provides lots of useful information about quarantining and isolating
Many of the clinical signs of EHV 1 can be confused with other
diseases. A high temperature is a key indicator and it is essential to
monitor the temperature of ‘at risk’ horses. Affected horses will tend
to be disinterested and off their food, as well as showing typical
respiratory disease signs such as coughing and a nasal discharge. If a
horse is affected by the neurological form of the disease you may see
some incoordination or just general ‘wobbliness’.
Should you have any concerns at all that your horse may be affected
please contact your vet immediately.
The BHS is part of the group that produces the HBLB Codes of Practice.
There is much helpful information about EHV in the Codes which you can
If anyone has any further concerns about EHV or would like more
information, please contact our BHS Welfare Team on 02476 840517 or