EHV-1 is on my Back Door Step

This is why we’ve had a delay in programming.

If  you haven’t heard about the EHV-1 outbreak yet, background info can be found in this article at Equine Ink.

Once I passed through the 1,000-heart-attacks stage (a horse less than an hour from me has the EHV-1 virus and is now isolated at UC Davis) I started researching.

We’re not panicking, but we are also not being stupid. Our barn is in temporary lockdown.  The barn owner will reevaluate the situation in 10 days or so, after consulting with the barn vet. No horses in, no horses out. We have NO cases.  It’s in an effort to be smart, and not welcome the virus onto the property. As our barn owner said, there’s no need to panic.  And there is also no need to be stupid.

Here’s the latest CA update on the current outbreak, from the California Department of Food and Agriculture.  USDA info on EHV-1 available in brochure (pdf) form. I found the last link oddly reassuring. It’s a general brochure on all forms of EHV, so you’ll have to scroll down to EHV-1.

For my circumstances, the take home message:

  • Don’t travel with horses until we know the active virus is contained.
  • And for humans, and do not travel between barns without decontaminating: take a full shower, complete change of clothing, including new, unexposed footwear.
  •  I’m keeping two sets of boots clean and isolated from each other (as well as a new car floor mat and seat cover to switch out), so there is no chance I could be a passive carrier, even though the likelihood is slim.

It’s not worth even the smallest chance.

Now that I have that info, we can start to return to our regular programming! We certainly could use a little humor. Hopefully, I can go to the virtual beach in my brain, use my metal humor detector, and dig up something fun!

7 thoughts on “EHV-1 is on my Back Door Step

  1. So our horses got their spring shots yesterday. Typically we vaccinate for rabies in spring, rhino in fall (it’s a 1 year rhino vaccine.) Well, after hearing about the situation in town from other vets, our vet just changed his recommendation to do rhino again. He’ll be back out later to do rabies again. We have several horses dead and several suspected of having EHV-1. The hope is rhino will help boost their immune systems and prevent further mutations, since there’s no vaccine for this specific strain. From what I hear boarding facilities are being smart about not letting horses in or out and requiring change of clothes/bathing between facilities from people.

  2. People are going into lockdown in AZ, too. Unfortunately we live in a private neighborhood where people’s livelihood doesn’t depend on being as responsible as public barn managers need to be, and it makes me nervous. Horses can get too close to ours without stepping onto the property where they are and that makes me a bit nervous!

  3. Texas has a couple cases now and people are starting to lock down barns and cancel events. No panic, just recognition that a couple weeks of preventative lockdown is better than a month of quarantine and massive vet bills.

    So we’ll see. We’re better off than a lot of other states. I’m not worried about it, but I’m also not going anywhere with Ro so I can stay worry free.

  4. There are a lot of cancellations in our Colorado area and a barn about 2 miles from me has a sign on the gate – no trailers allowed in. My trainer has shut down their barn, too. The closes EHV-1 horse is about 50 miles away. My guys will have to be content to stay on our property… so that’s nothing new! But, we won’t go out for trail rides for a while.
    I’ve posted some info from the Colorado Dept. of Ag on my site at They have a great EquineBioSecurity brochure. I have a link to it on my sidebar.
    Stay safe!

  5. Scary to have it so close. Good point about decontaminating. I’d just roll up the welcome mats and stay home until the danger is past.

    1. Thanks, Aarene!
      I seriously doubt we have anything to worry about. But caution is free, and we might as well be careful. It’s only a 10 day period, at which time Davis will know more, and our vet will know more, about whether it’s going to get any bigger, or is successfully contained.

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