Des Moines Area Horse Facilities Dealing With Deadly Diseases

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IOWA — The state veterinarian confirmed a second horse at an Altoona barn has contracted the highly contagious equine herpesvirus (EHV).

EHV can be fatal to horses and can easily spread from one horse to another through humans and even inanimate objects. It’s not a threat to humans or other animals, but it can be deadly to horses.

The first horse tested positive for EHV at Pine Hollow Stables in March. The horse started struggling and needed to euthanized.

A second horse started showing signs of EHV last week. An initial nasal swab came back positive for the virus. The quarantine at Pine Hollow Stables was extended for another two weeks.

A Des Moines horse boarding facility is dealing with a separate illness. Four cases of equine infectious anemia were found in horses at 3111 Hartford Avenue. Preliminary tests show six others could have it. The state veterinarian said he will likely recommend the horses be euthanized, since the animals will only keep getting more sick.

The disease is transmitted by blood. So far, it is unclear what led to the disease.

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