Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Responds to Equine Herpes Virus Outbreak; Campus Also Cancels Greg Best, Todd Crawford Riding Clinics

Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado issued a statement on May 16 regarding a university decision to restrict access to the hospital. The text of the statement reads:

“CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital leadership has made a decision based on best practices to restrict equine and camelid client movement to the VTH for appointments. At this time, all non-emergency cases are being rescheduled as a precaution. This precaution is designed to prevent horses from multiple locations from coming into contact with each other, based on concerns about the current widespread outbreak.

“The VTH’s main equine service area in the veterinary hospital is not housing any equine cases suspected to have been exposed to equine herpesvirus and this is merely a precaution to protect the facility and client horses. Any horses that may have been exposed to the virus will be observed and treated in a separate isolation unit that is not connected to the main hospital, and veterinarians are screening all emergency cases carefully.

“Any horse with evidence of any contagious disease is routinely cared for in a separate isolation facility. As an added precaution, the main equine service area also has implemented high levels of biosafety practices to protect the grounds and client horses.

“CSU veterinarians also are suggesting that horse owners follow best practices and avoid transporting their horses at this time, as well as limiting the transportation of other horses onto their grounds.”

In a general news release, CSU announced the cancellation of public equine activities on campus.

The announcement reads: “The Colorado State University Equine Sciences Center has temporarily closed its doors to horses entering or leaving the property on CSU’s Foothills Campus to prevent risk of spreading the equine herpesvirus. The length of the restriction is not known and will depend on the course of the current outbreak. The precaution means that two riding clinics scheduled at the B.W. Pickett Equine Center in May have been cancelled.”

The cancelled events are:

  • A two-day jumping clinic with grand prix show jumper and Olympic medalist Greg Best, which had been scheduled May 17-18;
  • A two-day Western reining clinic with world champion Todd Crawford, which had been scheduled May 21-22.

The release stated that restricting movement of horses onto the CSU property is a protective precaution for all of these animals and that no horses owned by CSU have been exposed during the first wave of the current virus outbreak.

According to the press release, development of potential secondary cases elsewhere in Colorado will help university officials determine whether to lift restrictions on horses coming to or leaving CSU property. Officials hope that such restrictions, as well as quarantines enforced by state veterinarians, will stop the outbreak so that horse activities may resume.




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