Nevada horse owners are being urged not to travel with their animals by the state's veterinarian following a recent outbreak of equine disease.
The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) received reports Feb. 18 of horses that had
contracted equine herpes virus type 4 (EHV-4) and Streptococcus equi bacterial
infection, commonly known as strangles or equine distemper, a release posted on the
Nevada Farm Bureau Federation website said.
The two upper respiratory diseases can lead to lifelong
illnesses in horses, and the effects of the disease may not be visible
immediately. Following a recommendation from the state's veterinarian, Dr. JJ Goicoechea, high school
rodeo events were postponed in an attempt to curb the spread of the sickness.
“Horses that were exposed ... may not exhibit
clinical signs for several weeks, and we run the risk of exposing additional
horses at the rodeo this weekend,” Goicoechea said in a NDA release. “We may be issuing quarantine orders once confirmed. Our
primary focus is stopping the spread and protecting our equine population.”
State laws require that any animal owner or practicing
veterinarian aware of a horse that has contracted strangles report the illness to the state quarantine officer. NDA Director Jim Barbee, who serves in that
position is leading the NDA in working with local veterinarians as well as
equine industry association leaders to minimize exposure and slow the spread of
the highly contagious disease, the release said.
“All horse owners should consult with their veterinarian to
ensure vaccinations are current,” Goicoechea said. “If you suspect your
horse may be exhibiting signs of illness, contact your veterinarian and do not
allow contact with other horses.”
Organizations in this story
Nevada Farm Bureau 2165 Green Vista Dr., Ste. 205 Sparks, NV 89431
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