State veterinarian urges caution during horse event season


Rebecca Allured
public information officer
(SPARKS, Nev.) - March 05, 2018

On Friday, March 2, the Arizona state veterinarian confirmed a positive diagnosis of equine herpes virus type 1 (EHV-1) with neurological signs. No positive EHV-1 cases have been reported in Nevada, and no quarantines have been issued in the state at this time.

“Though the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) has not received reports of any positive horses in Nevada, we are taking precaution and notifying anyone who attended the mid-February cutting horse event in Las Vegas,” Dr. JJ Goicoechea, NDA state veterinarian, said.

There is minimal chance the Arizona horse was infected in Las Vegas, but the state veterinarian urges caution because EHV-1 can cause severe neurological signs and lifelong illness in infected animals.

“Please monitor your horses for symptoms including a cough or runny nose,” Dr. Goicoechea said. “I recommend taking your horse’s temperature twice a day to monitor for a fever (over 102 degrees Fahrenheit) and following good biosecurity measures, doing everything you can to reduce risk of spreading disease.”

Horse owners who attended the event in Las Vegas Feb. 13 through 18 and see symptoms associated with EHV-1 should contact their veterinarians immediately.

The average incubation period of EHV-1 is four to seven days. Most cases incubate in three to eight days but occasionally take up to 14 days. When neurological disease occurs, it is typically eight to 12 days after the primary infection and fever.

The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) promotes a business climate that is fair, economically viable and encourages a sustainable environment that serves to protect food, fiber and human health and safety through effective service and education. NDA includes the divisions of Administration, Animal Industry, Consumer Equitability, Food and Nutrition and Plant Industry.