Number of Horses Sick

Posted on by Bucksnort Trail Ride in Bucksnort News | Comments Off

Several folks have inquired about the number of known sick horses associated with the recent EHV-1 outbreak in Middle Tennessee. As of today, I am aware of nine being sick and five of those are dead. These five belonged to Thomas Lyne, Nell Covington, Peg Wahrendorf, Paula Harris, and Henry Worley. Not all 5 horses were diagnosed with EHV-I, however,  but all showed some clinical signs associated with the virus. EHV-1 was confirmed with Nell’s horse. She had a necropsy performed.

There have been no more reported cases in recent days and apparently no other deaths that we or Dr. Hatcher’s office are aware of at this time.

If we should learn of additional sick and/or deceased horses, believed to be associated with and/or confirmed with EHV-1, we will be sure to notify you.

Again, thank all of you for your understanding and cooperation. I hope the information here will help dispel various rumors reported in recent days.

Clarification from Elise Jones, DVM

Posted on by Bucksnort Trail Ride in Bucksnort News | Comments Off

Message from Dr. Elise Jones:
To clarify the horse in question was my own horse that had been fully vaccinated prior to the ride. He has since tested Negative for EHV-1. He illness was chalked up to a problem with his bladder and subsequent colic and founder. To my knowledge all the horses involved were vaccinated appropriately however it is not possible to vaccinate for the neurologic strain of EHV-1 as there is currently no vaccine labeled for it. Only the respiratory and abortive forms are covered by vaccination and it is hoped that these vaccines give some cross protection but that has not been proven. It is, and always has been, a good idea to keep your horses up to date on all their vaccines especially when traveling to locations with horses from other states.

June Ride is ON!

Posted on by Bucksnort Trail Ride in Bucksnort News | Comments Off

As announced previously, we plan to host the June 2012 ride as planned and hope that we have a good crowd, However, due to the recent events associated with the EHV-1 virus in Tennessee, we understand that riders are concerned about hauling their mounts to events where they will have contact with other equines.

Therefore, If you have reservations for the June 2012 ride and do not plan to attend, regardless of the reason, please advise us as soon as possible. As you know, we must make numerous arrangements prior to the ride in order to accommodate campers who plan to be there.

We fully understand everyone being worried and cautious.  We had a horse at the camp during the April ride as well. He’s is fine as are his stable mates.

We are doing everything we can to sanitize the Bucksnort  camp and barns, but as you well know, there are no guarantees. Horses and mules may be exposed to the virus at any time and at any place. We are hoping the EHV-1 outbreak in Tennessee is under control since we have not had new cases reported in recent days. We remain grateful for the cooperation of everyone who was involved in this outbreak and the swift manner in which it was brought under control. We appreciate so much the April riders following the quarantine orders of the State of Tennessee. Through cooperation with the State office, we continue to monitor equine illnesses in Tennessee and will try to inform you if new cases of the EHV-1 virus are reported.

We are looking forward to a great June ride and hope you are making plans to join us. If you need reservations, please contact us via phone or email. As stated earlier, If you already have reservations and need to cancel, we need to know that as well.

Best Regards,

Linda and Tony

EHV-1 Update for June Ride

Posted on by Bucksnort Trail Ride in Bucksnort News | Comments Off

Following several days of anxiety, stress, and sorrow, Tony and I would like you to know we are optimistic regarding opening the Bucksnort horse camp and hosting the annual week-long ride next month, June 2012. Dr. Hatcher, state veterinarian, reports that this virus will die within 14 days without a host and does not transfer to humans, dogs, or cats.

We are also pleased that we have not heard of any additional sick or dead horses and again want to express our sympathies to those who have loss beloved mounts or have spent hours, and a great deal of money, in providing health care for infected horses. In short, we sincerely hope the EHV-1 crisis in Middle Tennessee is over and respectfully request that everyone follow recommended procedures for keeping this virus under control.

We would like to mention that Tommy and Carol Lyne, Peg Wahrendorff, Nell Covington, Henry Worley, Luther Neal, Judy Pratt and Jimmy Moore provided us with valuable information that we were able to pass on to Dr. Hatcher as his office planned strategies for inhibiting the spread of this virus. I know there are many others that were affected, as well, as they struggled through this trying time. We are grateful for the united front which prohibited the further spread of this virus.

Tony and the staff will be spraying the camp barns and surrounding areas with a bleach mixture specified by Dr. Hatcher. He did not indicate that this was required but did say it was a recommended biosecurity procedure and, if it made us feel better, then by all means do it.

We wish to express a special thank you to Dr. Elise Jones, the camp resident veterinarian, for her professionalism in dealing with the EHV-1 outbreak and coordinated efforts she made with Dr. Hatcher’s office.

Thanks again for all support and concern expressed in recent days and we look forward to seeing you again at Bucksnort. If you are interested, camp sites and stalls are available for the June ride.

Linda Baker

Letter from Elise Jones, DVM

Posted on by Bucksnort Trail Ride in Bucksnort News | Comments Off

*** The following is a letter with supporting information to Linda from Elise Jones, DVM ***

Hello Linda,

PLEASE REFER TO THE OFFICIAL STATE VETERINARIAN’S OFFICE PRESS RELEASE FOR OFFICIAL RECOMMENDATIONS THE FOLLOWING LINK IS TO THE STATE VETERINARIAN’S OFFICE http://www.tn.gov/agriculture/regulatory/stateveterinarian.shtml

The following is my understanding of procedures, NOT the official statement.

Preliminary results on the necropsied horse are that it had EHV-1. They are currently running more tests to confirm that it is the neurological strain. A press release is expected to be issued by the state vet’s office this afternoon. They are recommending that all those with horses showing clinical signs isolate them for the next 28 days and practice biosecurity measures such as washing hands and changing clothes between contacting any other horses they may have. If they are being treated at a vet clinic they are to be treated as an isolation case as well. Owners who had horses at the ride but are not showing clinical signs are directed to monitor their horses for changes in attitude, hindlimb weakness, nasal discharge and check temperatures twice daily for the next week or so, to hopefully catch any new cases early. Basically anyone at the Bucksnort April Ride would be wise to keep their horses at home for the next month just to limit any further possible spread of the disease.

Elise Jones DVM
Stable and Stock Veterinary Services PLLC
www.stableandstock.com
dr.jones@stableandstock.com
615-429-1480

Memorial Day Ride Cancelled

Posted on by Bucksnort Trail Ride in Bucksnort News | Comments Off

Bucksnort Trail Ride is closing for at least the next 30 days effective beginning today May 10, 2012 to follow the current quarantine request from Dr. Charles Hatcher, State Vet for Tennessee.

Apparently there was a horse at our April Ride that either had or was a carrier for EHV-1 virus. Some customers have lost horses and others have horses that are quite ill.

We want to do what is best for all attendees or potential attendees. We feel the responsible thing to do is to shut down our facility for at least the 30 day period.

The June ride, scheduled to begin June 11, may be cancelled as well. We will post further on this as Dr. Hatcher instructs us. (see next post)

We regret these circumstances, but again, we feel the best option is to close for the time being and not take any chances of further spreading of this virus.

We value our customers and refuse to put their horses at further risk by attending Memorial Day Weekend Ride.

Info will be posted as it is provided to us.

If you have questions, please contact Tony or me via our cell phones. Mine is 615-419-6246 and Tony’s is 615-419-6536.

Best Regards,
Linda and Tony

Great Info About EHV-1

Posted on by Bucksnort Trail Ride in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Some folks have expressed interest in knowing what to look for as they monitor their horses during the current EHV-1 outbreak. I think the following provides a good overview of the infection, its signs, and suggested treatments.


Equine Herpes Virus (Rhino) – Type 1

Rachel Gardner, DVM, DACVIM
Internal Medicine Specialist, B.W. Furlong & Associates

Equine Herpesvirus Type 1 (EHV-1), also commonly known as rhinopneumonitis or “rhino”, typically causes upper respiratory infections in young horses and abortions in pregnant mares. Horses affected with the respiratory form of the virus typically exhibit fever, depression, inappetance, nasal discharge, and a cough. Many animals in a group may be affected, and they will usually recover uneventfully. However, the virus is also capable of producing neurologic signs. Some horses that develop neurologic signs will exhibit evidence of respiratory infection first, although frequently these signs are not present. The neurologic form of EHV-1 is of significant concern as is has become more prevalent in recent years and is frequently associated with disease outbreaks.

Horses affected with the neurological form of EHV-1 will frequently suffer from a fever, followed by a variety of possible neurologic signs. These signs may include weakness, incoordination of the limbs, inability to urinate or pass manure appropriately, and decreased tail tone. The signs are typically most apparent in the hindlimbs and in severe cases, signs may progress to the inability to stand.

Diagnosis of EHV-1 can be accomplished using several different methods. It is frequently suspected prior to laboratory diagnosis based on the clinical signs being exhibited by the horses and possible history of exposure to the virus. Definitive diagnosis is most commonly achieved by detecting virus particles in the horses blood or respiratory secretions using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

Unfortunately, no specific treatment exists for EHV-1. Treatment, therefore, consists primarily of supportive and nursing care, as well as aggressive anti-inflammatory treatment. Horses may be treated with drugs that inhibit viral replication, such as acyclovir, however the efficacy of theses medications in horses is still speculative. The disease may progress rapidly, therefore early attempts at diagnosis and treatment are critical. Horses may recover partially or complete from the virus, however if the horse becomes recumbent (unable to stand), chances of recovery are slim. If there is any suspicion of neurologic signs or fever in a horse that may have had exposure to EHV-1, it is important to contact a veterinarian immediately. Early diagnosis important to help prevent spread of the disease, and so that other diseases, that may require a different treatment plan, are ruled out.

EHV-1 is primarily spread by respiratory secretions which may become aerosolized and spread up to 35 feet when a horse coughs or sneezes. The virus may also be spread by people or objects (such as a bit) contacting the respiratory secretions of an affected horse and then touching another horse. Luckily, the virus does not live for long periods of time in the environment and is easily killed by common disinfectants, such as a dilute bleach solution.

One of the complicating factors with EHV-1 is that horses can become latent carriers of the virus once they have been infected. Theses horses are outwardly healthy, and the virus lies quietly in a particular area of their nerves. During periods of stress, such as shipping or weaning, they may shed the disease into the environment and infect other horses. Although prevention of the disease is complicated by the potential for latent carriers, good management practices as well as a good vaccination program make transmission less likely. New arrivals onto the farm should be isolated for at least 7 days. Any horses showing signs of a fever or nasal discharge should be evaluated by a veterinarian and isolated for at least 21 days or until infectious disease has been ruled out.

Unfortunately, a perfect vaccine to prevent EHV-1 infection has not yet been developed, although researchers are currently hard at work to develop one. Therefore, current vaccine recommendations depend upon the age and lifestyle of each horse. Your veterinarian can advise you as to the best vaccine schedule for your horse. Because vaccination is not highly effective for the neurologic form of EHV-1, good management and isolation practices are the mainstay of preventing and controlling outbreaks.

EHV-1 Press Release

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Suspected Equine Herpes Cases Reported in Tennessee

Wednesday, May 09, 2012 | 04:16 pm

For the Latest Information on This Situation Visit http://www.tn.gov/agriculture/regulatory/ehv.shtml

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has received reports of suspected cases of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) infection in horses that participated in a recent trail ride in Tennessee.

Six to 8 suspected cases of the neurological form of EHV-1 have been reported to the state veterinarian’s office. Horses are being treated, isolated and monitored by their attending veterinarian.

The horses may have been exposed to EHV-1 during the Bucksnort Trail Ride held April   23–30 in Humphreys County. The event drew approximately 100 horses from multiple states. The movement of horses that attended the event is being restricted on a case by case basis.

TDA animal health officials are working with event organizers, neighboring state veterinarians and private veterinarians to identify other horses that may have been exposed or are exhibiting symptoms.

As a precaution, State Veterinarian Charles Hatcher recommends that horse owners who participated in the Bucksnort event work with their veterinarian to restrict movement and to monitor their horses. Hatcher also recommends that isolation and monitoring continue for 28 days if any clinical signs of disease are observed. Veterinarians should report suspected neurological cases of EHV-1 to the State Veterinarian’s office at 615-837-5120.

Equine Herpes Virus is highly contagious among horses but poses no threat to humans. The symptoms in horses may include a fever, nasal discharge, wobbly gait, hind-end weakness, dribbling of urine and diminished tail tone. The virus is easily spread by airborne transmission, horse-to-horse contact and by contact with nasal secretions on equipment, tack, feed and other surfaces. Caretakers can spread the virus to horses if their hands, clothing, shoes or vehicles are contaminated. The virus can cause aborted foals and can be fatal in some cases.

The State Veterinarian also recommends that horse owners practice good biosecurity such as using your own trailer and equipment, not letting your horses touch other people’s horses, disinfecting shoes and equipment, washing hands after helping others with their horses and limiting access to your farm. A downloadable brochure about horse biosecurity is available from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_health/content/printable_v….

Additional Resources:

A Guide To Understanding the Neurologic Form of EHV Infection
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahss/equine/ehv/equine_herpesvirus_brochur…

USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service Resources
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahss/equine/ehv/

American Association of Equine Practitioners Fact Sheet
http://www.aaep.org/pdfs/control_guidelines/Equine%20Herpes%20Virus.pdf

Animal health updates and alerts are also available on the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s website at www.tn.gov/agriculture.

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