Latest News Bulletins
Breezy Hill County Fair Day
2011 Breezy Hill
County Fair Day
We will have pony & hay rides, drill team riding demonstrations and more! A great meal put on by Blue Ribbon BBQ and live entertainment from Due North to complete your day. JULY 16, 2011 10:00—6:00 Rain or shine! Watch the website or follow us on Facebook for advanced ticket purchase information and a schedule of activities. Come and learn about the farm, our programs and staff. Your tax-deductible ticket purchase enters you in the gate drawing for a $500 cash prize. Presale tickets: Adults $25 — Kids 12 and under are free! - includes BBQ.
Donna Kramer Phone: 508-429-6626 Bill Suarez
Putnam Boston Equestrian Classic Prize List is Now Online!
Volo Farm - given the "all clear" after EHV1 quarantine
Contact: Linda Levy
84 Powers Rd
Westford MA 01886
Volo Farm Inc.
State Quarantine lifted at Volo Farm.
Horses and riders are set to resume show season, after four week quarantine for EHV1.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Westford MA, June 8th, 2011. Volo Farm is pleased to report an end to their quarantine. State officials released us from quarantine on June 7th.
The farm owned pony “Bullwinkle” was tested on April 26th, and was positive for both the respiratory and neurologic strains of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV1). Volo staff immediately placed the farm on voluntary quarantine, with no horses moving in or out. State officials placed the farm under quarantine on May 4th. Ultimately thirteen horses became sick before the illness was stopped. Of the thirteen horses two exhibited neurologic symptoms, one suffered from pneumonia, and the remaining ten had fevers with no other symptoms. Each horse was kept on FluMeghumine for at least 5 days to keep the fever down. In addition to taking the temperatures of all the affected horses three times daily, the horses were also checked by Dr. Sarah Gomez and Dr Brett Gaby from Essex Equine early in their illness for other more severe symptoms. Older horses and those found to have ataxia were treated with fluids, electrolytes, vitamins and DMSO.
Volo staff used strong bio-security measures along with treating all horses with the anti viral drug Valacyclovir to help contain the virus. Bio-security included foot baths at all doors, hand sanitizer, and providing each horse with its own labeled stable equipment. Volo divided the horses into three groups based on symptoms and possibility of exposure to an infected horse. They then assigned the horses to three separate staff groups to limit cross contamination. Each morning staff members learned which group of horses they would be caring for and could handle for that day.
All human traffic except staff was halted for a two week period at the farm. All staff including instructors and trainers spent their days taking temperatures, crushing and dosing pills, giving shots, turning out and feeding. No horses worked during this two week period to lower risk of any kind of stress. Customers provided food and moral support for the staff. The home cooked goodies were a welcome treat at meal times. Volo reintroduced customers in stages to lower the level of foot traffic while the horses recovered. Owners came to see their horses first, then leasers returned and ultimately school students returned on May 24th almost a full four weeks after the first fevers. All staff, students and owners were advised to limit contact with horses outside the Volo herd. If it was necessary to come in contact with other horses they were advised to shower, change clothing and disinfect personal items before going to other horse properties.
Spring Hill Horse Rescue takes in two horses in eminent danger…the third horse does not survive
ATTENTION! FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
Spring Hill Horse Rescue takes in two horses in eminent danger…the third horse does not survive.
On Friday, May 20th, Spring Hill was asked by law officials to take in two horses that are involved in an animal cruelty case. Seneca and Happy are two mares that were reported to be starved and tied to trees out in the middle of the woods. There was a third horse, a gelding named Chance that was down and also tied to a tree, sadly had to be euthanized at the scene. No other information about the case can be released at this time.
“5 Fundamental Steps To Starting A Horse Business” Teleseminar Series Kicks Off in June
This workshop series is designed for people that want to take the step of starting their own horse business and don't know where to start. It's also a valuable process for those in early start-up stages if you haven't worked through a systematic process to guide you to success. This teleseminar series will direct you through the maze of start-up planning pitfalls and give you a jumpstart to opening your doors for business. Lack of planning is one reason that small businesses fail, and the horse industry is no exception. Getting "good footing" as you start your horse business is the first step towards success.
The series is conducted by Lisa Derby Oden, Blue Ribbon Consulting. Workshops are hands-on and affordable. Time is allocated for Q&A and you’ll have assignments to customize your work for your horse business that will be reviewed with feedback by Blue Ribbon Consulting. You’ll also have access to the Blue Ribbon Workshop Center where you’ll find worksheets and other resources related to the topic.
What you’ll learn in this 4 week teleseminar workshop:
- Identify your needs
- Understand local, state and federal start-up requirements
- Evaluate the market and identify your target market
- Calculate financial feasibility using an income/expense/breakeven calculator
- Set short and long-term goals
Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencepthalopathy (EHM)
Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencepthalopathy (EHM) is a neurologic condition that develops as a result of infection with Equine Herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1). EHV-1 is prevalent around the U.S. and the world, and primarily affects the respiratory tract but can also cause abortion and neonatal death. EHM can develop in outbreaks of EHV-1and may be seen in anywhere from 10-50% of infected horses; in some cases, the percentage may be greater. Research is still being conducted as to why and how EHV-1 infection can lead to EHM. At this time, studies have shown that there are a multitude of factors such as the level of infection (amount of virus in the blood), the horse's own immune response to the infection, and the possible affects of genetic variation in the herpesvirus itself.
With an infection of EHV-1, the virus travels from the respiratory tract, through the lymph nodes, and into the bloodstream. Viremia (virus particles in the blood) is established and allows the virus to travel to the spinal cord where the clinical signs of EHM can develop due to inflammation and inadequate circulation. This is manifested as weakness, ataxia (swaying, weaving, crossing limbs over, pivoting on inside limb when circling), dysmetria/incoordination (abnormal gait seen either as hypermetria with an exaggerated range of motion and excessive joint movement or hypometria with limb stiffness and decreased joint flexion). Clinical signs may also include nasal discharge, difficulty urinating (dribbling urine, inability to produce normal stream), decreased anal and tail tone, circling, head pressing, head tilt, and in severe cases, recumbency (inability to stand). EHM can develop anywhere from 5-12 days after a horse becomes infected with EHV-1.
When a horse becomes infected with EHV-1, there is a 1-2 day incubation period before clinical signs (nasal discharge and respiratory signs) are seen and during this time, nasal shedding of the virus peaks. Typically the horse will then develop a fever (temperature greater than 101.5 o F.) which will peak initially and then return to normal over an approximately 10 day period. It is generally during a second fever spike (febrile state) that if EHM has developed, neurologic signs are seen.
If a horse is suspected to have EHV-1 or EHM, it should immediately be quarantined from other horses on the premises. In many cases, referral to a veterinary hospital may be necessary for treatment if the horse is showing significant neurologic signs. Additionally, if a horse is known to have come in contact with an infected horse, it too should be immediately quarantined. This should ideally include separation to a different stable/barn/housing unit on the farm or transport to a veterinary hospital where isolation protocol can be instituted. If this is not possible, separation to a stall far away from other horses in the barn (at least 35 feet) with strict isolation protocols should be enacted. Disposable gloves should be worn with every horse with hand sanitizer used between horses. Protective clothing is also recommended to prevent carrying the virus from horse to horse. Due to the high level of nasal shedding in neurologic horses and febrile horses, buckets, brushes, clothing, etc should not be shared. Separation into different facilities is also important due to shared airspace being a viable route for disease transmission.
If a horse on the property has been confirmed or is suspected to have EHV-1 and EHM, there should be no movement of horses on or off the property for at least 21 days from the resolution of clinical signs in all horses on the property. If there are no other confirmed or suspected infected horses during the quarantine period, every horse on the property should be tested prior to ending the quarantine which entails submitting nasal swabs for PCR testing. If this is not financially feasible, then the quarantine period should be 28 days from the resolution of all clinical signs from all horses on the property. The rectal temperatures should be taken twice daily during the quarantine as well. It is also important that the horses on the property are not treated with Bute or Banamine (or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications) as this can mask fever.
Treatment of EHM entails supportive care (intravenous fluids to maintain hydration, bladder catheterization if necessary and manual removal of manure if the bladder and anus are affected). There has been some success with the use of antiviral drugs such as Acyclovir, Valacyclovir, and Ganciclovir; however, treatment may be cost prohibitive. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are beneficial in treatment of cases of EHM (when requiring intensive care treatment). Anti-oxidants such as Vitamin E are neurosupportive, and are recommended as well. L-lysine supplementation may also be beneficial in treatment as it is a competitive inhibitor of L-arginine which is an amino acid required for herpesvirus replication. In the case of a recumbent horse due to EHM, prognosis is poor despite aggressive treatment.
Horses can be vaccinated for EHV-1 and EHV-4; however, the vaccine does not protect against EHM. There is some research that suggests vaccination in the face of an outbreak may help reduce viral shedding. Horses unaffected by EHM would be the ones to vaccinate.
Currently, there are reported cases of EHV-1 and EHM in the U.S. Appropriate measures are being taken to prevent further spread. It is important to consider in all instances of transporting horses from events, new stables, etc. that the stress of the event and/or transport may put horses at risk of developing EHM. Quarantining new horses and monitoring attitude and temperatures are valuable tools in preventing outbreaks.
Kate Britton, DVM
- Current Therapy in Equine Medicine 6. Robinson & Sprayberry. pp 177-181
- Equine Neurology. Furr & Reed. pp181-183
- "Recommendations for Horses Exposed to EHV-1 or EHM". May 16, 2011. www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/.../ehv/ehv_ehm_recommendations_051611.pdf