Oregon State's Vet Hospital Back On Regular Schedule

Equine influenza scare passes.

Published on: Aug 29, 2013

Closure of Oregon State University's vet hospital to business as usual has ended with the facility announcing that an outbreak of equine influenza in patient animals no longer threatens incoming horses.

Normal operations have been resumed, says Ron Mandsager, interim associate director of the Louis Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital on campus. Six cases of equine influenza at the site closed the facility to incoming stock.

The disease, which is of high concern for pregnant and younger horses, can cause abortions.

The hospital believes the outbreak originated from a horse admitted to the facility, although some doubts remain as to the origination of the contamination.

Oregon States Vet Hospital Back On Regular Schedule
Oregon State's Vet Hospital Back On Regular Schedule

Four horses continue to recover from the virus but are now isolated, he says, and are expected to recover. The other two horses have fully recovered, resulting in zero moralities from this outbreak, notes Keith Poulsen, associate professor of animal internal medicine at OSU.

All horses at the Large Animal Hospital tested negative for the disorder, and stalls have been disinfected and left unused for 48 hours for the virus to dissipate.

Equine influenza is not transferable to humans or other animals, but can rapidly spread among horses and other equines. It is the most common contagious disease of respiratory systems for equines, most which recover fully. However, young, elderly or pregnant stock are higher risks for severe problems.

"We'd like to thank all of our clients for their patience and cooperation while we were working through this issue," says Mandsager. "The most important thing is to protect the health of all our animals. Unfortunately, equine influenza is endemic in the U.S. and sometimes these situations occur."

The incident should be a reminder to all horse owners, says Poulsen. "It's important to vaccinate their animals, practice good biosecurity, and monitor horses closely when they are in contact with other horses during and after events like fairs, competitons and trail rides."