The State of Oklahoma is home to countless horse owners and many large equine events. Due to the potentially serious consequences, news of an Equine Herpes Virus incident has caused questions and concerns throughout the horse industry.


Horse owners, event managers, and veterinarians should be aware of two recent cases of Equine Herpes Virus that occurred in Wisconsin and Kansas after the horses attended a barrel racing event in Lincoln, Neb. Unfortunately, the condition of the two horses deteriorated and they were euthanized. Almost two weeks have passed since the two horses became ill. No other affected horses have been reported, and the remaining horses on the affected farms are restricted from attending events. Hopefully, we have seen the worst of this particular incident. There are no related cases of EHV-1 in Oklahoma.


The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry recommends horse owners and event managers remain at a heightened level of awareness, implement biosecurity practices to minimize potential exposure, consult with a veterinarian on an appropriate vaccination schedule, and report any suspicious illness or neurologic disease.


There have been no changes in import regulations and no recommended event cancellations issued by the ODAFF. Symptoms of EHV-1 infection are fever, nasal discharge, incoordination, hind limb weakness, urine dribbling, and a flaccid tail.