An outbreak of Equine Herpes in at least six different western states over the past two months , has lead to the cancellation of rodeos and horse auctions.
The virus poses no threat to humans, but can kill infected horses.
KRCG's Facebook Crew talked with horse breeders and veterinarians Wednesday to find out what they think about the virus.
Horses out west are getting sick with the Equine Herpes Virus, and that has Mid-Missouri breeders worried.
"I TMd be very concerned. If I heard of any cases in Missouri then I would be meeting with the vet to see if there is anything we can do about it, Callaway Hills Stable Breeding Manager Rick Berry said.
So, what exactly is the Equine Herpes Virus, and what can it do to horses?
"It is a herpes virus, but it's not at all like the herpes virus people think of in humans. It initially targets the respiratory system, and it's transmitted by respiratory droplets primarily, Equine Medical Services Veterinarian Rob Foss said. But it can cross over into the nervous system and will cause recumbency; where a horse will go down and become paralyzed. The horse then will usually die when that happens."
Foss said the only way to prevent this virus from spreading is to quarantine infected animals.
"Just prevent exposure to other horses. Primarily the horses that travel to western states, Foss said.
Foss told me that there have been no reports of Equine Herpes here in Missouri. So, no one should be too concerned, unless you're headed out west.
"You should always be concerned about exposure to disease when you travel with other horses. But this disease right now is not a great concern in this area, Foss said.
Rick Berry said he would find an infection among his horses very upsetting.
"I TMve been here a long time. So some of the horses here are just like people to me, Berry said. They all have their own personalities just like people. I love them, they're my favorite animal to deal with."
Foss said this virus targets only horses and no other species of farm animals.
However, various websites suggest lamas and alpacas also are vulnerable.
There has been an outbreak of Equine Herpes in at least six western states.
The outbreak has forced many rodeos, shows, and sales to cancel.
The herpes virus poses no threat to humans, but it is easily spread among horses, alpacas, and llamas.
It can be transmitted by touch or by sharing feed, brushes, bits, and other equipment.
Tonight at ten find out what local veterinarians and horse breeders think about this disease.
Tell us what you think. Are you afraid that this disease will kill a lot of horses?