Saturday, March 2, 2013

Herpes, here we go again!

Sad to say, the herpes virus has struck again. But this time it was with local horses that we could track down and quarantine quickly. Not like a few summers ago where we had horses from all over the country that quickly dispersed before the virus was diagnosed. It seems to be contained at this time.
So, let us get past the hype very quickly and get to the facts.
Fact 1. This is a very contagious virus
Fact 2. If you had contact with, or had contact with horses that had contact with the affected horses, you need to take your horses temperature twice a day. If he get a fever, anything above 101.5, call your veterinarian.
Fact 3. If you had any sort of contact, direct or indirect, keep your horses quarantined for 2 weeks, if no fevers arise, or symptoms appear (clear nasal discharge and cough, or muscle weakness), then you should be OK.
Fact 4. The best protection to this virus is the Modified Live virus vaccine called Rhinomune. It is an old vaccine that has been around for at least thirty years. But as I have talked with veterinarians all over the nation, there is a pattern that has emerged. That is, when this was the only herpes virus vaccine available, it was used extensively. And I didn't have any cases of Neuro herpes, "back in the day". Now this is certainly not scientific proof of protection, but it is the best we have. And this has been the experience of many very experienced veterinarians over many years.
If you don't fall into any of these categories, then go about your business as usual, just stay away from the Cache County fairgrounds for a few weeks.

The weather is warming and so we are all getting a bit anxious to ride. What a tough winter! My horses came through it well and maybe even gained a bit of weight due to me feeding more in the cold spells.
I purchased a couple of "porta grazers" this winter. They are about the size of a 30 gallon drum, with an insert that keeps the horse from pulling out the hay and wasting it. They also spend most of the day eating small portions, much like natural grazing. I think it is a great product, they're tough, and will last.
By the time this herpes problem is past, the ground should be dry, and we'll be ready to ride!

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