SD veterinarian prepares horse owners for virus

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota state veterinarian is urging horse owners to vaccinate the animals and take other measures to prevent the spread of a virus

Equine herpesvirus has been found in South Dakota. It takes three forms. A potentially deadly, neurological version of the virus has limited treatments available.

A respiratory version of the virus causes fever and coughing. And a reproductive version can cause a mare to miscarry.

Vaccines are available for the respiratory and reproductive viruses.

Horse owners are encouraged to isolate the animals before adding or returning them to a herd. The state also advised horse owners to regularly sterilize items used to feed and water horses.

The virus spreads through close contact.

It has no effect on other livestock or humans.

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