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Horse Articles :: EVA in Horses
Enquine Viral Arteritis - EVA in Horses
Many breeders and mare owners are working to inform themselves
more on this disease, as the devastating effects are being
felt by those who haven't checked to see if their mares or
stallions have been vaccinated against this disease that causes
abortion in mares. In fact, even the American Quarter Horse
Association is willing to keep EVA vaccination records on
hold with the horse's permanent records. This disease has
been given little attention until now and many mare owners
may not know exactly what the effects are of the disease.
EVA is an acute upper-respiratory tract infection that is
caused by a specific herpes virus. The disease has been known
about for many years, but has not always been given the attention
that it requires. The disease came into the spotlight a little
more when an outbreak occurred in Thoroughbreds in Kentucky
in 1984. The disease was mistaken for influenza and Rhinopneumonitis
because the symptoms are so similar. The horse will develop
a fever and nasal discharge as it would in these two conditions.
This disease, however, is more serious to the mature horse,
especially broodmares. All ages of horses are susceptible,
but broodmares often fall into the category of being mature
horses as well as being pregnant. The specific herpes virus
that is associated with the disease may often cause pregnant
mares to abort. The mare herself does not even have to be
infected initially, but if she is bred to a stallion that
is infected then the infection will spread to the mare via
the infected semen.
Other symptoms include swelling of the legs, increased respiration
rates and occasionally a skin rash. There are also some viruses
that are present, but undetectable unless tested for in a
clinic. Laboratory examinations are often required to diagnose
the disease. The mortality rate can be as high as 33% and
the abortion rate in mares can reach 50%. The disease is spread
through nasal discharge and through breeding.
A live modified EVA vaccine was made available in 1985 after
the breakout in Kentucky. To help Quarter Horse owners, the
American Quarter Horse Association is offering their service
of holding vaccination records as a free courtesy to horse
owners. This makes it easy for a breeding farm to call the
AQHA and verify that a horse has been vaccinated.
Make sure if you have concerns or questions to contact the
AQHA in regards to this vaccination.
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