Turf Paradise Restricts Horse Movement Over EHV-1 Positive - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Turf Paradise Restricts Horse Movement Over EHV-1 Positive

Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Ariz.

Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Ariz., has restricted horse movement from the backside until further notice, according to an alert posted to the Equine Disease Communication Center by the Arizona Department of Agriculture. Several tracks have also implemented shipping restrictions against horses from Turf Paradise, including Laurel Park and Santa Anita Park.

An index case of Equine Herpesvirus was found in a 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding at the track, which developed clinical signs of illness (hindlimb ataxia, weakness, difficulty rising / maintaining a standing posture) on Feb. 14, 2023, with positive test results reported out on Feb. 18 for EHV-1 variant D752.

As a result, 36 horses from barns C9 and C8W were quarantined. Biosecurity protocols were implemented including twice daily temperature monitoring of all horses in the quarantined barns, movement controls, and area disinfection.

A second horse, a 4-year-old Thoroughbred filly, was reported in Barn K6 to be ill. This horse had raced on Feb. 18 and was claimed from barn D9. Clinical signs included depressed attitude, fever, and leaning on the stall wall. This horse was referred to a Phoenix-area equine hospital for diagnostics and treatment.

Because of the close proximity to the confirmed case, this was treated as a suspect EHV-1 case until test results were known and barns K6 and K5E as well as D9 and D9W were placed under quarantine. Test results of the second horse came back negative for EHV-1.

Repeat serial testing of the index case came back negative on Feb. 23 and the horse is recovering.

There are nine strains of equine herpesvirus on record, and many horses are exposed to some form of EHV with no serious side effects or symptoms. Three strains are considered serious health risks, including EHV-1, which may present with fever and respiratory symptoms and can also carry neurological symptoms and a risk of death. Symptoms of the neurologic form of EHV-1 include fever and nasal discharge, followed by lack of coordination, lethargy, head tilt, and inability to balance or stand. EHV-1 is highly contagious and may be transmitted through contaminated equipment, contact between horses, and on clothing or hands of humans working with sick horses. Veterinarians aren't sure how long the virus can survive in the environment, or how well it travels through the air. The Paulick Report compiled a list of frequently-asked questions about EHV-1 during an outbreak at Sunland Park in 2016.

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