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Neurologic Form of Equine Herpes Virus Confirmed in Hood County, TX

AUSTIN, TX – The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) received confirmation of equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM), the neurologic disease linked to equine herpes virus (EHV-1), in a Hood County Quarter Horse on February 9, 2023. This is the first positive detection of EHM in Texas this year.

The horse was tested after showing neurologic signs, including poor muscle control in the hind limbs. The local veterinary clinic immediately placed the horse in an isolated quarantine where it remains throughout treatment. The premises of origin has been quarantined and TAHC staff are working closely with the owner and local veterinarian to monitor other horses and enforce biosecurity measures on the premises.

The EHM positive horse attended the National Western Stock Show rodeo event in Denver, Colorado on January 20-21, 2023, and returned to its premises of origin following the event. The horse has not visited any other events that would expose additional equine. The Colorado State Veterinarian was contacted about this case.

Owners of horses that attended the event should work with their veterinary practitioner to establish appropriate monitoring and diagnostic plans and are encouraged to take precautions.

  • Clean and disinfect tack, boots, equipment, and grooming supplies. 
  • When you return to your farm, isolate the horses that attended the event for at least two weeks. 
  • Have their temperatures monitored twice daily for at least 14 days after last known exposure. If a fever or other signs consistent with EHM develop, contact your veterinarian.
  • When doing feeding and chores, work with the returning horses last, wear boots and coveralls, and remove them before working with your other horses.
  • Don’t forget to wash your hands.

EHM is a neurologic disease of horses linked to the equine herpes virus. Clinical signs of EHM in horses may include: fever of 102°F or greater (fever most often comes before neurologic signs), nasal discharge, lack of coordination, hindquarter weakness, leaning or resting against a fence or wall to maintain balance, lethargy, urine dribbling, head tilt, diminished tail tone, and penile paralysis.

It is important to remember these signs are not specific to EHM and diagnostic testing is required to confirm infection. If you suspect your horse has been exposed to EHV-1, contact your local veterinarian.

For more information on EHM please visit

To learn more about biosecurity measures owners can take to keep their horses healthy, visit

The equine industry is encouraged to obtain the latest information on equine disease events across the country on the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) website. Subsequent Texas EHM cases will be posted on the EDCC.

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Information is provided to The WRANGLER via press release. Information is the view of the writer, and not necessarily the views of The WRANGLER.

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