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Message from Dr. Alan Raun

In regards to the recent news of the death of four horses at Dr. Alan Raun’s Reedannland, Raun has issued the following statement.

“Reedannland wishes to tell all of our friends about what has happened to us,” said Dr. Raun.  “We have somehow been hit by a neurologic viral form of EHV-1.  This virus, Rhinopneumonitis, is one form of the herpes virus, the neurologic form is properly called myeloencephalopathy (EHM).  This affects the spinal cord including the brain stem.  Incubation period is 7 to 10 days and the virus can survive as long as 7 days outside the horse.
“When our first patient was found down blood and nasal swabs were sent to the National Veterinary Disease Lab at Ames, Iowa where the diagnosis was confirmed to be a mutated form of EHV-1 with the neurologic strain D752.  This disease is spread primarily from nasal secretions of infected horses by direct or indirect contact.
“EHV-1 is not considered a treatable disease so supportive therapy is in order. Its symptoms initially start with nasal drainage, off feed and lethargic depression.  This is followed by incoordination, unable to move the tail and dragging their hind toes when moving.  According to the literature once a horse goes down less than 2% will ever recover.  At the present time no vaccine producer claims any immunization for the neurologic strain.
“Because this virus is endemic in most horse populations mature horses have developed some immunity through repeated natural exposure thus most mature horses do not develop symptoms but may still be a source of exposure to other horses. 
“At Reedannland we have initiated as much biosecurity as possible with the use of spray disinfectant throughout the training barn along with other disinfecting measures.  The training barn is 1 1/2 miles away from the breeding farm and employees that work at one facility do not work at the other. 
“We have had 14 sick horses and 4 are dead.  At the present time there are no new sick horses at Reedannland but will keep you informed as we go along.  As I am sure you know we have instigated a self quarantine and will not be attending shows for the time being.  After notifying the Iowa State Veterinarian we find this is a reportable disease not quarantinable.
“Here is an anecdote that I read in the Reader’s Digest.  A small boy was coming out of the bathroom.  His mother told him to go back and wash because there are germs in there.  He replied, ‘Germs and Jesus, Jesus and germs, that is all I hear about and I can’t see either one.’  Thanks to all of you for your prayers, thoughts and concern and there will be many joyful days in the future.”


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