Ark Veterinary Centre

March 2021 Newsletter

Spring is finally here and we are all enjoying the milder weather and lighter nights that it has brought us! We are also keeping our fingers crossed that restrictions continue to get lifted and we can get out and about a bit more this summer with our horses. This month we would like to introduce another new vet who has joined the equine team at Ark. We will also be discussing the herpes virus outbreak in Europe and what it means for us here.


Welcome to a new Equine Team Member

Firstly we would like to introduce Andrew Hamilton, the newest member of the equine team at Ark. Andrew graduated from Glasgow University in 2013 and spent the first 7 years of his career in the south of England. He returned home to join Ark Vet Centre in February, and can be found working mainly for the Equine team with a particular passion for dentistry


Equine Herpes Virus (EHV)

There are nine strains of the virus, EHV-1 and EHV-4 are most commonly seen. EHV can be spread through the air from horse to horse up to a distance of about 5 metres through coughing and also through close contact. It can also be transmitted on peoples clothes and equipment. Clinical signs vary depending on the strain, EHV 1 is the strain involved in the current outbreak and causes a fever, coughing and nasal discharge. Some horses may develop neurological signs leading to lack of coordination, weakness, difficulty in urinating and defecating and an inability to stand. Horses that are severely affected by the neurological form of the disease may have to be put to sleep. The virus is also a common cause of abortion in pregnant mares and the death of young foals. Horses showing signs of the disease must be isolated and examined by a vet. Clinical signs are often seen within approximately 10 days of being in contact with the virus. Since infected horses can show similar clinical signs to other diseases, we will likely take swabs or blood samples to confirm the diagnosis. Horses that have been in-contact with the affected horse must be identified, isolated and tested for the disease. The movement of all horses on and off the affected site must be restricted and strict biosecurity measures enforced. These measures include foot baths, hand disinfection and the prevention of equipment sharing. Both the FEI and British Equestrian continue to provide regular updates on their websites. British Equestrian have also introduced a self certification form which must be completed for all competitions and training events, to declare your horse is fit and well. You will have been notified about this if its required. We will try to keep you updated as much as we can on the situation here and abroad over the next few weeks