Animal Diseases

Equine Herpesvirus-1 Update as of 04/28/2014

A Lafayette County horse has tested positive for EHV-1. The horse became ill on Wednesday, April 23 and was euthanized on Thursday, April 24.  This is only the third horse in Wisconsin to have tested positive for the virus. 
 

The Animal Health division of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has been updating veterinarians to be watchful for horses showing acute neurological signs with a reminder that confirmed positive test results for EHV must be reported to the Division of Animal Health at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection within 10 days.

The Wisconsin state veterinarian recommends that horses with a fever and symptoms of contagious respiratory infection should be kept at home and not taken to shows, competitions, clinics or public trail rides. Horse owners should also be aware that transportation of horses to competitions, shows and clinics may increase the risk of exposure to infectious organisms. Although humans can’t be infected by EHV-1, they can aid in spreading it to their horses.  Therefore, owners of affected horses should wash and disinfect their hands and change their clothes before coming into contact with healthy horses to prevent the potential spread of these infectious organisms.

Learn more about EHV-1 by downloading the APHIS Equine Herpesvirus Brochure.

Veterinarians:  1-800-943-0003 

To report a suspected foreign animal disease after hours
To report a suspected foreign animal disease 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays, contacts here.
 
  • Brucellosis: 608-224-4884
  • Equine diseases: 608-224-4902
  • Fish: 608-224-2876
  • Johne’s: 608-224-4891
  • Poultry: 608-224-4876
  • Tuberculosis: 608-224-4891

The Animal Health Division of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is responsible for monitoring for animal diseases and responding when outbreaks occur. The State Veterinarian heads the division, and is the only person in Wisconsin who can quarantine animals.

The division does not respond to all animal diseases. It is specifically responsible for regulatory diseases. These are diseases that have the potential to spread to humans, or zoonotic diseases, such as avian influenza and rabies; that may spread from farm to farm, such as foot-and-mouth disease or pseudorabies; and that cause other states and nations to close trade doors to our livestock and animal products, such as tuberculosis. We do not monitor for what are known as “production diseases” that are relatively common, do not threaten human health or spread to other farms, or have trade implications.
 
Our veterinarians do not treat animals. They do regulatory work, such as testing herds for tuberculosis when we are notified that cattle from infected herds elsewhere have been brought into Wisconsin herds. They conduct disease investigations and epidemiology when we have disease outbreaks, to find potentially exposed animals and test them. They respond when a private practitioner suspects a “reportable” disease – one that is on an international list of diseases that must be reported to animal health authorities. Most of our veterinarians are specially trained as foreign animal disease diagnosticians; foreign animal diseases are those that are not found in the United States, so may be particularly threatening to our animals.
 
The diseases discussed here are the ones that we primarily focus our surveillance and prevention efforts on. But we always need to also be on the lookout for newly emerging diseases and old diseases that re-emerge. Animal diseases are an ever-changing landscape that we are always scanning, even when diseases have slipped from the headlines.