A Minnesota horse tested positive for equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM), a neurological disease caused by the equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). Officials say the horse was located at a Scott County stable prior to being euthanized.
The horse was stabled at Dark Horse Farm located in Prior Lake, according to state health officials. The equine exhibited neurological symptoms including a lack of coordination and urinary incontinence, but no initial fever. Tests confirmed the diagnosis after the horse’s arrival at Cleary Lake Veterinary Clinic. The horse was euthanized on February 12th.
The horse reportedly had not been off the farm’s property since being treated for a severe colic in October.
The boarding stable is under a mandated quarantine for at least 21 days. The farm’s owner has been proactive taking to social media to inform the community about the case. “We will be taking other biosecurity measures as well to ensure that this disease is not spread through any fault of our own out into the surrounding community.”
Symptoms that should alert horse owners to the possibility of neurologic EHV-1 infection include fever, weakness, incoordination, and urine dribbling or inability to urinate. Horses with these symptoms should be examined immediately by a veterinarian.
This is the first case of the disease in Minnesota this year. EHV-1 is highly contagious to horses, but poses no threat to humans.