Health

Guard Against the Horse Health Threat Posed by Equine Herpesvirus

Gain peace of mind with an Equine Immunization Support Guarantee that covers EHV-1 and EHV-4 (respiratory).

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

Although equine respiratory disease due to EHV is a cause for concern for many horse owners, the guidance of your veterinarian and the right vaccination program can help you prevent it. Journal photo

Equine herpesvirus is a common virus that afflicts horse populations worldwide. Rhinopneumonitis due to EHV is three times more likely to cause equine respiratory disease than flu caused by equine influenza virus.1 Respiratory disease caused by EHV is most common in fall and winter among weaned foals and yearlings. Older horses are more likely to transmit the virus without showing signs of infection.

The two most common types of EHV are equine herpesvirus Type 1, which causes abortion, respiratory disease and neurologic disease, and equine herpesvirus Type 4, which usually causes only respiratory disease but can occasionally cause abortion. Both EHV-1 and EHV-4 infect the respiratory tract. They can spread via aerosolized secretions from infected coughing horses or through direct or indirect contact with nasal secretions, causing disease characterized by fever, lethargy, anorexia, nasal discharge and cough.2

The best way to help protect your horses against an EHV outbreak is to vaccinate before exposure. The FLUVAC INNOVATOR® line of vaccines can help protect them against EHV. FLUVAC INNOVATOR vaccines aid in the prevention of equine rhinopneumonitis due to EHV-1 and EHV-4; equine encephalomyelitis due to eastern, western and Venezuelan encephalitis viruses; equine influenza due to Type A2 viruses; and tetanus.

Whether you trail ride or compete in horse shows, keeping your equine partner in peak condition is important. When health issues arise, be prepared with AQHA's Common Horse Health Issues ebook.

“With the prevalence of equine herpesvirus outbreaks, it is important that horse owners consult with their veterinarians on a sound vaccination regimen based on the risks in their area,” says Dr. Kevin Hankins, Equine Veterinary Services, Zoetis. “The Equine Immunization Support Guarantee offers additional peace of mind to horse owners looking to help provide the best possible disease protection for their horses.”

Zoetis stands behind its trusted line of vaccines with the Equine Immunization Support Guarantee, a program that provides horse owners up to $5,000 for reasonable diagnostic and treatment costs if a properly vaccinated horse contracts a corresponding equine disease. The program was recently expanded to include the respiratory forms of EHV-1 and EHV-4.

“Properly administered vaccines help reduce the risk of infection, so we encourage horse owners to work with their veterinarian to formulate a complete vaccination program addressing the core and risk diseases,” Dr. Hankins says. “The Equine Immunization Support Guarantee program is an opportunity for horse owners to discuss their concerns with their veterinarian and ultimately help provide the best possible health care to their horses.”

Having an understanding of equine herpesvirus and other horse-health problems can help you be prepared when something happens. AQHA's Common Horse Health Issues ebook provides the knowledge you need to know about recognizing symptoms and providing treatments.

For horse owners to be eligible for the Equine Immunization Support Guarantee, a licensed veterinarian must administer the vaccinations. Veterinarians are an essential resource to help horse owners develop the most complete vaccination program based on geographic location, travel schedules and other factors that affect disease risk. Disease protection backed by the Equine Immunization Support Guarantee includes infection from West Nile virus, equine influenza virus, tetanus, eastern equine encephalitis virus, western equine encephalitis virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and respiratory forms of EHV-1 and EHV-4.

Although equine respiratory disease due to EHV is a cause for concern for many horse owners, the guidance of your veterinarian and the right vaccination program can help you prevent it.

For more information and details on Zoetis vaccines and the Equine Immunization Support Guarantee, contact your veterinarian or visit zoetisUS.com/isg.

1 Ostlund EN. The Equine Herpesviruses. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 1993;9(2):283-294.
2 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Equine Herpesvirus (EHV) Myeloencephalopathy. Available at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahss/equine/ehv/equine_herpesvirus_brochure_2009.pdf. Accessed March 31, 2015.
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