We continue to monitor horses both at the clinic and in the field; we are pleased to report no additional horses have developed neurological signs.
Field-testing of private barns is almost completed and we have begun the process of releasing these facilities from quarantine. Scheduled retesting of horses currently quarantined at the hospital will begin this week. Once all test results are negative, we will begin to discharge patients and the hospital will go through an extensive disinfection process.
Mid-Rivers Equine has been hospitalizing horses since 1987 and over the past 28 years we have safely cared for hundreds of patients affected with infectious diseases while successfully protecting our other patients. Over time and for numerous reasons, infectious diseases can change how they affect patients. Providing care for potentially infectious patients is a crucial, if not vital, responsibility of an equine hospital, and though this quarantine has been difficult it is a risk we understand and accept as a potentially unavoidable reality. Infectious diseases are a daily risk for horses as well as humans. All horse owners, trainers and veterinarians must stay informed and vigilant in protecting our horses. Rest assured that our doctors and staff are implementing all appropriate and necessary biosecurity measures to protect the health of the horse community we serve as well as the community beyond our service area.
One fact becoming very clear is patients vaccinated twice a year with a Rhino/Flu vaccine appear to have better protection from developing typical clinical signs of infection and a significantly reduced incidence of shedding high levels of the EHV-1 virus. As EHV is a herpesvirus, once patients are infected they will carry the virus for life. Most horses have been exposed and are carriers, but typically the infection is not apparent. However, be aware stress can result in viral shedding and clinical signs of infection. In these instances they may shed high levels of virus and become a risk to themselves and other horses. If vaccinated every six months the risk of high shedding is significantly reduced.
Should you have questions please feel free to contact the office 636.332.5373. As a reminder, we continue to provide ambulatory farm calls and 24/7 on-the-farm emergency care.