Feb. 18 update: The Large Animal Hospital has reopened for all emergencies (including equine) and will start seeing regular appointments for all services again on Monday, Feb. 22. We were able to get test results back from the horses that were quarantined at the Hospital a day sooner than expected, allowing us to reopen earlier than originally anticipated. (Read the release about the Hospital reopening)

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Feb. 10 update: Based on recommended protocols, the earliest the Large Animal Hospital can reopen is Feb. 19. However, we will continue to accept ruminants (cows, sheep and goats) and pigs on an emergency only basis. At this time, none of the horses that are under quarantine at the Hospital are showing signs of or have tested positive for equine herpesvirus. 

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Feb. 5 update: The Georgia Department of Agriculture has posted a statement to their website. (learn more)

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Feb. 4 update: Cattle, sheep, goat and pig emergencies are once again being accepted at the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Additionally, the ambulatory side of our field services unit will continue to operate normally throughout the quarantine. However, the Large Animal Hospital remains closed to all horses, llamas and alpacas.

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February 3, 2016

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Large Animal Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) is temporarily closed for quarantine for the equine herpes virus. The Small Animal Veterinary Teaching Hospital, including the Community Practice Clinic, will remain open and will continue to receive appointments and emergencies for cats, dogs, exotics and wildlife.

On the evening of Jan. 31, a horse was admitted to the large animal intensive care unit at the UGA VTH and tested positive for equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) after being humanely euthanized on Feb. 1 due to progressive neurological disease.

EHV-1 is a type of equine herpesvirus infection. It is highly contagious to other horses and can cause abortion, respiratory disease and neurologic disease. The virus is species specific, so it does not affect humans, dogs, cats, etc.; however, alpacas and llamas can be affected.

The University of Georgia is working closely with the Georgia State Veterinarian’s Office to alert and provide recommendations for quarantine procedures for the horses that were discharged from the VTH after the affected horse was admitted on the evening of Jan. 31. The owners and home veterinarians of the horses that are still at the Hospital have been notified and the animals are being monitored closely. Those horses will remain at the Hospital until they can be safely released according to established recommendations and in cooperation with the State Veterinarian.

For more information regarding equine herpesvirus-1, symptoms, monitoring, prevention, and control, please visit the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ website: http://tinyurl.com/hlou5g4

The Georgia State Veterinarian’s Office is working to determine the source of the infection, as well as to identify and isolate potentially exposed horses. At this time, neither the State Veterinarian nor the UGA VTH know of any other animals that are showing signs or have tested positive for EHV-1 in association with this incident.