Equine Health Update EHU Vol 19 Issue 3 - Page 22

EQUINE | Equine Disease Update 3. The pathogen rapidly spreads throughout the animal population on the premises. In May 2011, horses that attended the National Cutting Horse Association event in Ogden, UT, were exposed to equine herpesvirus 1. A number of these horses devel- oped equine herpesvirus 1 my- eloencephalopathy. The disease likely spread due to multiple high-risk practices such as commingling horses of unknown health status, stabling horses in close proximity, horses being tied to fences outside of the arena, use of shared water sources, use of com-munal wash racks, and exercising horses in confined spaces. The resulting outbreak garnered nation- al at-tention and serves as an example of a perfect storm that had a significant impact on the equine industry. Most equine event venues and facility layouts allow ex- hibitors easy, direct access to competition/ exhibition areas. Under such circumstances, many shows have in- adequate or non-existent isolation facilities for horses displaying signs of disease. To address this concern, start- ing in December 2017 the United States Equestrian Fed- eration will require that competition management have an isolation protocol for horses suspected of hav¬ing an infectious disease. Isolation of a clinically affected horse is a critical first step in disease out¬break control. It is essential to identify potential areas for isolation of sick horses in an area away from the remainder of the equine population. Due to the lack of appropriate isolation areas at many events, consideration must be given to the con- struction of a temporary pipe corral type/isola¬tion pen in a parking lot or an off-site area. Vacant horse stables, livestock facilities, supply sheds, or local fairgrounds may be available for use in these situations. Advanced iden- tification of appropri¬ate alternate stabling facilities will allow for rapid isolation of a sick horse and decrease the risk of potential disease transmission. 22 In addition to adequate isolation, observance of basic biosecurity practices are necessary to pre¬vent patho- gen introduction and spread. Routine biosecurity prac- tices should limit or avoid: • • • • horse to horse contact human contact with multiple horses use of shared communal water sources use of shared equipment that has not been cleaned and disinfected between uses Additionally, daily monitoring of horse health on the event grounds should include twice daily temperature evaluations and observation for clini¬cal signs of dis- ease. Horses with a temperature above 101.5° F or that exhibit clinical signs should be reported to a veterinar- ian and/or event official and be immediately isolated away from all other horses. A biosecurity toolkit for equine events has been de- veloped to provide guidance on the development and implementation of biosecurity plans and isola¬tion protocols. The toolkit can be found at https:// www. cdfa. ca.gov/ahfss/Animal_Health/Equine_Bio security. html. The toolkit provides guidance for the assessment and development of a biosecurity plan that addresses specific disease risks at a particular event and venue. Implementation of a biosecurity plan for every equine event will help protect the health of the national equine population. Contact: Dr. Katie Flynn kflynniacdfa.ca.gov, (916)900-5039 Equine Staff Veterinarian California Department of Food and Agriculture Animal Health Branch, Sacramento, CA • Equine Health Update •