Equine Herpesvirus Prompts Finger Lakes Racetrack Quarantine

According to a press release from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, department animal health officials are investigating a case of equine herpesvirus (EHV) that prompted a quarantine of one barn at Finger Lakes Racetrack, located in Farmington, N.Y.

David Smith, DVM, state veterinarian of New York, stated in the release that a 4-year-old Thoroughbred filly tested positive for the disease and that his agency is in the early stages of investigating the extent of the infection (and whether it has affected other animals). "Racing officials are working with the Department of Agriculture and Markets to determine horse movements and prevent spread," noted officials in the release.

The Daily Racing Form reported the filly, She's Smokin Hot, a horse in trainer Chris Englehart's barn, was euthanized at Cornell University on Nov. 19. The Form also noted that the New York Racing Association has banned shipments of horses to its tracks from Finger Lakes.

EHV is a highly contagious virus that can cause a variety of ailments in horses including rhinopneumonitis (a respiratory disease mostly of young horses), abortion in broodmares, and myeloencephalopathy (the neurologic form, which can lead to death).

Representatives from the Department of Agriculture and Markets were unavailable for comment due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Look for more information as it becomes available on TheHorse.com.

Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.