English barn controls virus epidemic

By: Alexis Mitchell
Email: mitchella2@findlay.edu

According to an email sent out by Darin Fields, Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of Findlay, on Jan. 25, two horses at the English Farm tested positive for the equine herpes virus (EVH-1).
Those two horses have now tested negative and are in good health. Now, three additional horses have tested positive for the virus, according to the University of Findlay’s veterinarian staff, making a total of five horses who have tested positive for the virus.
In 2003, the University of Findlay experienced an outbreak of the herpes virus at the English farm which ultimately lead to the death of some of the horses.
Dr. Hass is working alongside Dr. Richard Henninger to make sure that does not happen again. Both men are staff veterinarians for the University Equine Veterinary Services at the University of Findlay. Together they are treating the horses during the outbreak and says that they are making a good team effort to make sure the horses are all being kept comfortable and healthy.
Dr. Hass has been a veterinarian at the University of Findlay since 1994 and was here for the last outbreak in 2003.
“It’s made my day to day life more difficult over there,” said Dr. Hass. According to the veterinarians on staff, the situation now is under control and none of the horses are showing signs of distress.
Whereas back in 2003 when many horses died, no one was allowed in or out of the barn. Currently, students are still allowed to learn and ride in the English Barn while taking proper safety protocols.
Dr. Hass explained the last horse to test positive for the herpes virus was Feb. 6. The English barn is under quarantine for at least the next four to six weeks because of the possibility of neurological disease. The horses will be tested again after 28 days of quarantine. However, if another horse is tested within the 28 days and is also tested positive, the 28 days start over. There are 22 more days left for the current quarantine on the English barn.
In Fields’ email, he stated that part of the protocol with the quarantine is that no horses can enter or leave the farm until the order is lifted. Even though there have been no confirmed positive cases in the Western barn, all traffic from the Western barn has been stopped while the quarantine is in place, which was also stated in the email. This includes students, tack, and equipment. The University says all of the horses, whether they have been tested positive or not, have been vaccinated for the virus.
Emails are also exchanged between everyone in the equestrian program making sure everyone is up to speed on what is going on.
“The bottom line is the horses are doing just fine,” said Dr. Hass.

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