Five Cases of Neurotrophic Equine Herpes Virus at Ontario's Woodbine Racetrack; One Horse Dead - The Horse Owner's Resource

Five Cases of Neurotrophic Equine Herpes Virus at Ontario's Woodbine Racetrack; One Horse Dead

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The Jurga Report shared news on Twitter last night from the Toronto Star regarding a report by Horse-Canada blogger Jennifer Morrison on a filly that was euthanized at Woodbine Racetrack in Ontario, Canada. A disease outbreak was expected. This afternoon we received an official statement from the Ontario provincial government and have reprinted it here for your use.

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The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) announced this afternoon that there have been five confirmed reports of the neurotrophic form of EHV-1 in Thoroughbreds residing in Barn 1 at Woodbine Racetrack in suburban Toronto.

One horse was euthanized on?June 10?after becoming recumbent with a fever. A second horse in the same barn (Barn 1) also had a fever and showed neurological signs. The second horse was transported to the Ontario Veterinary College for further evaluation and treatment.

Thoroughbred racing will continue at Woodbine. However, due to the infectious nature of this disease, the ORC has ordered the implementation of various infectious disease protocols to protect our equine?athletes.

Effective immediately:

  • In order to determine any further spread of the disease to horses in other barns, no horses are to exit Woodbine Racetrack without ORC approval for the next seven days (June 19). This restriction may be reviewed based on the progression of the disease.
  • In addition, no horse is allowed in or out of Barn 1 or Barn 3 for the next seven days, including training. This restriction may be reviewed, based on the progression of the disease.?`
  • All horses stabled at Woodbine must have their temperatures taken and recorded visibly on the horse's stall door for inspection. Trainers with horses that have clinical signs consistent with EHV-1 infection (including fever (101.5 F/38.5 C or above), respiratory signs (cough, nasal discharge and/or neurological signs) must report these findings to their veterinarian immediately.

Horse people who had horses at Woodbine Racetrack within the last seven days should monitor their horses for any signs of illness.

Standardbred horses are not stabled at Woodbine Racetrack. As well, the standardbred racing meet concluded at Woodbine on?May 20, 2013 and moved to Mohawk Raceway on?May 23. Therefore theJune 15?North American Cup at Mohawk will not be impacted by these measures.

The neurotrophic form of EHV-1 identified from these horses differs from the non-neurotrophic form identified from the Standardbreds at Campbellville (a harness track also in Ontario) in May of this year.

To ensure best practices are in place to contain the disease, the ORC received input from the office of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) and also worked closely with Woodbine management, veterinarians and horse people.

The ORC will continue to closely monitor the situation and any further developments will be reported.

Learn more about equine biosecurity with Equine Guelph's special risk calculator site.

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