Horse Channel

Thursday, May 19, 2011

EVH-1 Update

     As of May 25, 2011, Dr. David Fly, DVM, New Mexico State Veterinarian states: "It appears that the outbreak is under control; however due to additional exposures either at other events or horses that were exposed, but have not been identified, it has been determined that an additional 7 – 10 days is needed before normal equine movement can resume."

     There have been 9 reported deaths from EHV-M since the outbreak began in the first week of May.  One horse has been euthanized in New Mexico and there are three other reported cases at this time.  In all there have been 55 cases of EHV-1 reported in the western United States and Canada with the majority of the horses recovering and only the 9 cases exhibiting neurological symptoms (EHV-M). 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Equine Rhino EHV-1

      An outbreak of Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) has been traced to horses that attended the National Cutting Horse Association’s (NCHA) Western National Championships in Odgen, UT on April 30 - May 8, 2011. Affected horses have been identified in Arizona, California, Canada, Colorado, Idaho and Utah.  To date there have been no reported cases in New Mexico.  Although EHV-1 is highly contagious among horses, it does not pose a threat to human health.

     EHV-1 is transmitted primarily by aerosol and through direct and indirect contact. Aerosol transmission occurs when infectious droplets are inhaled. The source of infectious droplets is most often respiratory secretions.

Direct horse-to-horse contact is a common route of transmission of the virus, but indirect transmission is also important. This occurs when infectious materials (nasal secretions, fluids  etc.) are carried between infected and non-infected horses by people or inanimate objects such as buckets, etc.

     Fever is one of the most common clinical signs and often precedes the development of other signs. Respiratory signs include coughing and nasal discharge.  Neurologic signs associated with EHV-1 are highly variable, but often the hindquarters are most severely affected. Horses with EHV-1 may appear weak and uncoordinated. Urine dribbling and loss of tail tone may also be seen. Severely affected horses may become unable to rise.  EHV-1 can also cause abortion in pregnant mares.  None of these signs are specific to EHV-1, and diagnostic testing is required to confirm EHV-1 infection and many horses exposed to EHV-1 never develop clinical signs.

     If you suspect your horse has been exposed to EHV-1, contact your veterinarian. In general, exposed horses should be isolated and have their temperatures monitored twice daily for 10 days. If an exposed horse develops a fever or other signs consistent with EHV-1 infection, diagnostic testing should be performed. Testing of healthy horses is generally not recommended.

     The UC Davis website has useful information for recognizing, treating and preventing EHV-1 in horses.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

America's Favorite Trail Horse

Macho all dressed up and ready to go at his 
audition for America's Favorite Trail Horse
     Shelley Bachicha and her horse Macho, of Santa Fe, are soon to be national celebrities!  Shelley and Macho auditioned for the ACTHA America's Favorite Trail Horse reality television show - and qualified for the national competition.  They are 1 of 100 horse and rider teams nationwide to make the cut.  They will travel to Austin, Texas to compete with the other finalists over a course of 4 obstacles.  Judges will be watching each horse's personality, style, and abilities.  The competition will be televised as a 10 episode reality show and America will vote for it's favorite trail horse. ACTHA (American Competitive Trail Horse Association) hopes that American interest in trail horses and trail riding will be reawakened by seeing how wonderful these horses are and what a pleasure trail riding can be.  They hope that many Americans will want to get back in the saddle and rescue the many horses who need homes.

     Macho is the perfect ambassador for this project.  His mother was a BLM mustang and his father was a roping quarter horse.  When his original owners determined that he would not be large enough for his intended use they planned to shoot him.  Enter Shelley who saw in him a wonderful trail horse and potential friend for life.  You can follow Shelley and Macho's progress on his facebook page at Macho of Santa Fe.  Shelley and Macho are active members of ACTHA.  They do competitive trail riding and three day eventing.  For more information about ACTHA please visit

     HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, will air the series beginning in mid-summer of 2011.  Be sure to watch and to cast your vote for America's Favorite Trail Horse.  Congratulations and best of luck to Shelley and Macho!