How can you tell if a horse starts to get EHV-1?
Most EHV-1 infections cause mild respiratory symptoms and fever, lasting 5-7 days. It is impossible to predict if a horse will develop the neurologic form of the infection, although proximity to other horses suffering this complication does indicate that the neurologic form of the virus is present. Hind end weakness and muscle fasciculations are the first signs of neurotropic EVH-1, so any horse with a fever that starts to develop weakness in the hind legs must be considered a possible EHV-1 case. The diagnosis can only be confirmed with blood tests, but supportive care and appropriate quarantine should be instituted while waiting for lab results.
Melissa McKee DVM