Wyoming State Veterinarian Jim Logan reported the first confirmed case of Equine Herpes Virus 1 in a horse in Johnson County this week, but in a follow-up interview he said there is no reason for horse owners to panic, just be aware of the situation and take some common-sense precautions to protect their animals.
The virus, he said, is common and most of the time only causes a mild upper-respiratory infection in horses, donkeys, mules, alpacas and llamas if they are exposed. It usually clears up on its own without the owner ever being aware there is an infection.
There are some instances where the virus can cause problems.
Logan said the best way to safeguard your horse is to take a few precautions. He suggested keeping distance between your horse and others, use only your equipment, tack, and water and feed buckets and don't use community watering troughs.
Also, make sure your horse is updated on all vaccinations, and practice good sanitation practices in stalls and barns.
Individuals may choose not to participate in events like rodeos or horse shows, but Logan said he did not want it to sound like he was suggesting opting out of or canceling these events.
He said precautions and common sense should protect most animals in most cases, and he doesn't expect this virus to spread unless some unforeseen problem arises.