On Feb. 4, officials at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) were notified that two horses at a private facility in the Regional Municipality of Halton had tested positive for neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). The horses had been tested as the result of and investigation into three other horses at the facility which had been euthanized between Jan. 29-Feb. 3 after displaying severe incoordination and inability to rise, symptoms common to EHV-1.

Enhanced biosecurity protocols have been enacted at the quarantined facility and includes restricted movement on and off the property.

EHV-1 infection in horses can cause respiratory disease, abortion, neonatal foal death, and/or neurological disease. Some infected horses may show no clinical signs, but still shed the virus. Neurological signs may include loss or balance, hind-limb weakness, recumbency, difficulty urinating, decreased tail tone and depression.

EHV-1 is easily spread by nose-to-nose or close contact with an infectious horse, by sharing contaminated equipment (bits, buckets, towels etc.) or by the clothing, hands or equipment of people who recently had contact with an infectious horse.

For more information about EHV-1 , click here.