A herpes outbreak has horses turning down dates.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture released an alert on May 13 concerning 10 confirmed cases of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy, a deadly neurological disease found in horses across five California counties: Stanislaus, Kern, Placer, Amador,
A cutting event, which consists of horse riders separating a calf from its herd, was scheduled for May 28 in Paso Robles, but has been canceled by the Central Coast Cutting Horse Association. As of press time, there was no decision on whether a June 14 derby or the regional roping finals on June 24 would be canceled at the Paso Robles Event Center.
According to the alert, the disease is highly contagious among horses, but doesn’t affect humans. All of the infected horses recently competed at the National Cutting Horse Association’s Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah. One Bakersfield horse was euthanized; the other nine infected horses have been quarantined.
“They’re trying to keep this contained,” Dr. Kristina Grewal of Creston Large Animal Veterinary Services told New Times. “Fifty-four horses from California participated in the event, and all of their owners have been contacted by the state.”
She advised horse owners to look for signs of lethargy or lack of appetite in their animals and to take their temperature regularly if those symptoms occur. Call a vet if the temperature spikes above 102 degrees.