Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) officials have released all premises quarantined for equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) in Galveston County (upper Gulf Coast).
The first case of EHV-1 in Galveston county was confirmed on January 24 in a horse. Following the first diagnosis, two additional horses were confirmed positive for EHV-1 in Galveston County.
The TAHC reminds equine owners to keep their horses healthy by practicing simple and good biosecurity measures. Biosecurity is a set of preventative measures designed to reduce the risk of introduction and transmission of an infectious disease agent, such as EHV-1.
By following these simple guidelines you can minimize the risk.
- Consult your veterinarian to establish an appropriate vaccination program for your horse(s).
- Tie your horse(s) to your trailer. If using a stall, clean and disinfect it, if possible, before stalling your horse. Always use clean, fresh bedding.
- Minimize your horse(s) having direct contact with unknown horses, especially nose to nose contact.
- Use your own water and feed buckets. Avoid letting your horse(s) drink from a communal water trough. Fill water buckets from a faucet.
- Do not share grooming equipment or tack. If you must, then wash and disinfect it before returning to your own horse(s).
- Avoid petting and touching other horses in order to minimize the risk of transferring a disease back to your horse. If you must handle other horses, then wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid letting strangers pet your horse, especially if they have horses of their own.
- Before returning home from an event clean up your equipment (boots, tack, grooming supplies, buckets, etc.) to help reduce the risk of transporting an infectious agent back home. Consider washing and disinfecting your trailer when you return home.
- If possible, isolate your returning horses for two weeks or at least prevent nose to nose contact with your other horses.
Don't forget to consult your veterinarian concerning these and other steps you can follow, which may reduce the risk of your horse acquiring an infectious disease while traveling.
The TAHC is one of the oldest state regulatory agencies, founded in 1893 with a mission to combat the fever ticks that plagued the Texas cattle industry. Today, the agency works to protect the health of all Texas livestock including: cattle, equine, sheep, goats, swine, poultry, exotic livestock and fowl.