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Eighth horse in Washington confirmed to have virus

Fri., June 3, 2011, 8:19 a.m.

KENNEWICK – The eighth case in Washington of a highly infectious horse disease has been confirmed.

A horse euthanized last week at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine has tested positive for equine herpes virus, or EHV-1. The horse belonged to the university and was put down because of long-standing lameness that had gotten worse. Its death was not related to the virus.

Like all horses at the clinic, this horse previously had been tested for the disease through a nasal swab. That test turned up no signs of EHV-1.

But when veterinarians tested the horse’s lung tissue postmortem, the active, neurotropic form — the kind that attacks brain and spinal cord — of the virus turned up in the samples.

The horse had shown no symptoms of the disease before it was put down.

This brings the total number of EHV-1 cases at the university to five. The first horse was released to the state veterinarian’s office. Three horses remain at WSU that are positive for EHV-1.

The new confirmed case restarts the clock for the veterinary college’s isolation procedures.

The veterinary teaching hospital will not take in any horses or camelids — such as llamas and alpacas — for three weeks.

Emergency services are available, but owners must call ahead to ensure the hospital can protect incoming animals from the virus.

If you need the hospital’s services, call 509-335-7073.



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