June 12, 2013 — The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) announced that there have been five confirmed reports of the neurotrophic form of equine herpesvirus type-1 (EHV-1) in Thoroughbreds residing in Barn 1 at Woodbine Racetrack. One horse was euthanized on June 10 after becoming recumbent with a fever. A second horse in the same barn (Barn 1) also had a fever and showed neurological signs. The second horse was transported to the Ontario Veterinary College for further evaluation and treatment.
Thoroughbred racing will continue at Woodbine. However, due to the infectious nature of this disease, the Ontario Racing Commission has ordered the implementation of various infectious disease protocols to protect our equine athletes.
- In order to determine any further spread of the disease to horses in other barns, no horses are to exit Woodbine Racetrack without ORC approval for the next seven days (until June 19). This restriction may be reviewed based on the progression of the disease.
- In addition, no horse is allowed in or out of Barn 1 or Barn 3 for the next seven days, including for training. This restriction may be reviewed, based on the progression of the disease.
- All horses stabled at Woodbine must have their temperatures taken and recorded visibly on the horse’s stall door for inspection. Trainers with horses that have clinical signs consistent with EHV-1 infection, including fever of 101.5 F/38.5 C or above, or respiratory signs (cough, nasal discharge and/or neurological signs) must report these findings to their veterinarian immediately.
- Horse people who had horses at Woodbine Racetrack within the last seven days should monitor their horses for any signs of illness.
- Standardbred horses are not stabled at Woodbine Racetrack. As well, the Standardbred racing meet concluded at Woodbine on May 20, 2013, and the horses moved to Mohawk Raceway on May 23. Therefore the June 15 North American Cup at Mohawk will not be impacted by these measures.
- The neurotrophic form of EHV-1 identified from these horses differs from the non-neurotrophic form identified from the Standardbreds at Campbellville in May of this year.
To ensure best practices are in place to contain the disease, the ORC received input from the office of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) and also worked closely with Woodbine management, veterinarians and horse people.
The ORC will continue to closely monitor the situation and any further developments will be reported. For more information, or to speak with Dr. Duncan or Dr. Adam Chambers, please call 416-213-0520.
Biosecurity resources are available from Equine Guelph at http://www.equineguelph.ca/Tools/biosecurity_2011.php.
This notice was sent by Dr. Adam Chambers, Manager of Veterinary Services.