Thursday, May 19, 2011

Unofficial lockdown

I'm sure most of you have already heard about the outbreak of EHV-1.  There are confirmed cases in a number of Western states; apparently horses brought it back to their home states from a cutting competition in Utah.  Two horses in Colorado have been euthanized, and as of right now there are 8 confirmed cases in the state.  This is a scary disease because it is highly contagious, acts quickly.  Also it is the neurological form of the disease that is going around, so from what I've read the Rhino flu vaccine doesn't protect against it.  There's nothing you can really do if you think your horse has been exposed, except hope and take precautions that it doesn't spread even further.

Unfortunately, a horse from our barn went to a show on Saturday that several horses from the Utah show also attended.  The horse was separated from the others once we found out, but that wasn't for a couple of days after the show.  He was from the 5-stall barn, which means that we can hope that even if some of the horses get sick, it won't spread to the 12-stall barn, the 20-stall (indoor) barn, or the corrals.  However, it does mean that Panama won't be playing with Spaghetti for a few weeks, until we're sure everyone is okay, since Spaghetti is in the 5-stall.

Our barn is also on unofficial lockdown, as are most other barns in the area.  They've announced that any horse leaving the property won't be allowed back on.  Most upcoming shows have been canceled anyway, but that does mean no trail rides, either.  Most barns are also asking that if you come from another barn you wash your hands, and if possible change your clothes, before handling their horses.

One thing that's become quite obvious in all of this is that there is a very fine line between taking precautions and panicking.  Unofficial lockdown, quarantining the exposed horse, etc. are all the proper precautions to take, but some people are really losing their marbles over this, even though there is very little we can do at this point except be careful and wait.  I'm just hoping that this will all be over quickly, and none of the horses at our barn will be affected.



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