University of Saskatchewan closes equine veterinary hospital following confirmation of new equine herpesvirus case

Veterinary officials say the latest case was not linked to EHV-1 outbreak originating in Ogden, Utah
Jun 24, 2011
By staff
Saskatoon, Canada – The University Saskatchewan’s large-animal veterinary hospital just closed its doors to non-emergency equine patients after a new equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) case surfaced in the area.

Veterinary officials from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s Large Animal Clinic say the voluntarily and temporary closure of the equine hospital to non-emergency patients was aimed at preventing the spread of EHV-1 after an area horse was confirmed positive with the virus.

The horse suffered from equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (the neurologic form of the disease) and was euthanized due to the severity of its condition. The horse was taken to University of Saskatchewan’s veterinary hospital on June 18.

"Because EHV is a contagious disease, we have placed all of our remaining equine patients under quarantine to minimize the risk of further disease transmission among horses," says Dr. Chris Clark, a specialist in large-animal internal medicine at the WCVM. "We’ve cancelled any routine elective appointments for horses at the WCVM Large Animal Clinic, but the WCVM’s equine field service is operating normally and we are still accepting any emergency equine cases."

The veterinary college reports it also working with area horse owners who have voluntarily quarantined farms.

The latest EHV-1 positive horse did not attend the national cutting horse competition in Ogden, Utah, nor was it in contact with any horses participating in the event. The recent outbreak caused 90 confirmed cases of EHV-1/equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM), according to the United States Department of Agriculture.