Temporary Closing of UGA Large Animal Veterinary Teaching Hospital Due to EHV

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Update: Cattle, sheep, goat and pig emergencies are once again being accepted at the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital. However, the Large Animal Hospital remains closed to all horses, llamas and alpacas.

The University of Georgia Large Animal Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) is temporarily closed for quarantine for the equine herpesvirus. The Small Animal Veterinary Teaching Hospital, including the Community Practice Clinic, will remain open and will continue to receive appointments and emergencies for cats, dogs, exotics and wildlife.

On the evening of Jan. 31, a horse was admitted to the large animal intensive care unit at the UGA VTH and tested positive for equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) after being humanely euthanized on Feb. 1 due to progressive neurological disease.

EHV-1 is a type of equine herpesvirus infection. It is highly contagious to other horses and can cause abortion, respiratory disease and neurologic disease. The virus is species specific, so it does not affect humans, dogs, cats, etc.; however, alpacas and llamas can be affected.

The University of Georgia is working closely with the Georgia State Veterinarian’s Office to alert and provide recommendations for quarantine procedures for the horses that were discharged from the VTH after the affected horse was admitted on the evening of Jan. 31. The owners and home veterinarians of the horses that are still at the Hospital have been notified and the animals are being monitored closely. Those horses will remain at the hospital until they can be safely released according to established recommendations and in cooperation with the State Veterinarian.

For more information regarding equine herpesvirus-1, symptoms, monitoring, prevention, and control, please visit the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ website: http://tinyurl.com/hlou5g4

The Georgia State Veterinarian’s Office is working to determine the source of the infection, as well as to identify and isolate potentially exposed horses. At this time, neither the State Veterinarian nor the UGA VTH know of any other animals that are showing signs or have tested positive for EHV-1 in association with this incident.