February 2016 Issue - page 4

Page 4
February 2016
Heartache in Bucks
County as Equine
Herpesvirus Erupts
times of stress, such as strenuous
exercise, long-distance trans-
port or at weaning.” They have
recently classified EHM as an
“emerging disease.” That is, there
has been a significant increase in
the occurrence of EHM. APHIS
uses three criteria to determine
whether to classify a disease as
The disease is identified
for the first time in a region or a
A disease changes in
severity, type of animal that can
be infected, or other pathogen
behavior, or
There is a change in geo-
graphic range of a disease or in
its incidence within a range.
Because recent outbreaks
of EHM have been more severe,
and the virus behavior seems to
be different, APHIS believes that
the second criterion has been met.
Although it’s possible that report-
ing of the disease has been more
consistent, APHIS believes more
study is required. There is no vac-
cine to protect horses from EHM,
and the only treatment currently
available is palliative.
In October 2015 a horse at
Parx Racetrack in Bensalem was
diagnosed with EHM, and that
horse survived, but Shultz says
that the horse does have some
neurological impairments. No
other cases of EHM occurred at
(Continued from page 1)
Equine gastrointestinal
parasites, and their increasing re-
sistance to available dewormers,
are a major concern in the equine
industry. Taking a whole-farm
approach to managing parasites
can decrease the frequency of
deworming, eliminate the use
of products that have become
ineffective, help you learn which
horses have natural resistance
and which ones are “shedders”,
and help decrease the develop-
ment of resistance to deworm-
ers. Routinely deworming with
the same products, or simply
rotating dewormers, is not the
best method and can contribute to
the development of parasites that
are resistant to the products that
we use. Since no new products
are on the immediate horizon, if
resistance continues to progress
at the present rate, the equine
industry may face a major crisis.
A grant from the Northeast
Sustainable Agriculture and
Education program is enabling
the PSU Equine Extension team
to travel across the state educat-
ing horse owners about strategic
deworming and non-drug based
parasite control methods.
Dr. Martin Nielsen, DVM,
PhD, DACVM, DEVCP, a world
Farm Partners
Sought for the
Penn State Parasite
Research Project
(Continued on page 30)
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