Horse Owners On High Alert For Equine Virus

EHV-1 impacts North Texas horse industry

By Sara Story
|  Monday, May 23, 2011  |  Updated 6:13 PM CDT
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Horse Owners On High Alert For Equine Virus

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A deadly horse virus that originated in Utah is impacting the horse industry in North Texas.

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Horse Owners On High Alert For Equine Virus

A deadly horse virus that originated in Utah is impacting the horse industry in North Texas. So far, animal health officials have confirmed one case of the Equine Herpevirus, or EHV-1, in Texas.
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A deadly horse virus that originated in Utah is impacting the horse industry in North Texas.

So far, animal health officials have confirmed one case of the Equine Herpevirus, or EHV-1, in Texas.

"We should all be on high alert and be watching our horses closely," Clayton Smith, Equine Veterinarian said.

He said  there aren't any confirmed cases in Denton County, but this doesn't mean horse owners are in the clear.

"They are telling us to stay put, and of course, it impacts your business. People are emailing me left and right whether they should even come for lessons, whether they should do anything," Kim Ferguson, the owner of Sliding K Ranch, said. 

Ferguson travels to horse shows every weekend, but her business has paused now that shows are canceled for fear of spreading the virus.

"The organizations that put on the shows, they are losing tons of money, tons of money," Ferguson said.

"We will not see the full effect of this probably for a few months down the road. But, as people cancel their training sessions, cancel their shows, cancel their rides, it's going to affect everyone," Wenzal Hardwick with the American Stock Horse Association said.

Vets are encouraging horse owners to lay low for a few weeks because the virus is airborne and could take up to 10 days for symptoms to appear.

"I think it's important that if you have a horse that fits these descriptions: that is not eating well, has a fever, is depressed, I think you should test it," Smith said.

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