Foothill Farming
University of California
Foothill Farming

Equine Herpes in California

Horse 2
UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH):

The VMTH operates an isolation facility that was designed specifically to allow us to provide the best possible care to horses with infectious diseases such as EHV-1, while completely segregating them from other hospitalized horses and outpatients.  The isolation facility is located a substantial distance from the main hospital, utilizes a dedicated group of staff and employs rigid infectious disease control and containment protocols that prevent other horses from becoming exposed.  Currently, the two horses mentioned above are being treated under maximum isolation.  These horses have no contact with other horses at the hospital.  Because of the presence of EHV-1 in the community, the VMTH is taking every precaution to prevent EHV-1 entry into the general hospital.  Every horse admitted to the hospital is being tested for EHV-1 and full biosecurity precautions are in force during the next few weeks as necessary.

Equine Herpes Virus:

Equine herpes virus is a common virus of horses world wide, and can cause respiratory disease, abortions, and less commonly neurologic signs as it has in these cases.  It is transmitted be aerosol and close contact between horses, including fomites such as shared tack, equipment and by human hands.  Though there are vaccines available for prevention of respiratory disease and abortions caused by equine herpes virus, there are currently none that are labeled for prevention of the neurologic form of the disease.


Please contact your veterinarian if your horse may have been exposed to EHV-1 at one of these shows or through contact with a horse that has returned from one of these events.  In general, exposed horses should be isolated and have their temperatures monitored twice daily.  If an exposed horse develops a fever, diagnostic testing of nasal swabs and blood should be preformed.  Consideration should be given to vaccination of resident, non-exposed horses on premises where potentially exposed horses are returning to, as per your veterinarian's guidelines.

Horse 1
For additional information please refer to the following sites:

California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory

UC Davis Center for Equine Health

Equine Herpes Myeloencephalolathy Brochure

CDFA Equine Herpes Updates

CDFA Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy Fact Sheet

USDA Resources

American Association of Equine Practitioners Fact Sheet

UC Davis Real Time PCR Research and Diagnostics Core Facility (PCR test)

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