hi. we had 5 pregnant mares from 3 months bred to 7 months along. one of the 7 month mares aborted yesterday. we took fetus/placenta for tests and removed the mare from the herd. we also moved the herd to a different paddock. if this loss was due to rhino, where are the dangers of infecting the other mares at this point. i have cleaned out the loafing shed she foaled in. is it safe to return the herd to their original paddock. i understand that there is more danger of viral infection from the mare herself than from the site at which she foaled. how long will this mare shed a virus (not that she will rejoin the group - just trying to understand the pathology). any expertise is appreciated.
There are a variety of potential causes for abortion at this stage that are not pathogen-associated, so don't get too panicked yet...
Having said that, you are off to a good start by isolating the affected mare and moving the herd, although if it is a viral issue, it may well already be too late. There are a couple of viral issues that may be causative - one you have already mentioned with EHV-1 ("Rhino"), but there is another possibility in EVA (equine viral arteritis). Either may cause abortion in mares that have not been vaccinated.
Have you vaccinated the other mares? You may wish to contemplate doing so although if evidencing clinical signs of the disease it is not recommended as a result of immune-mediated issues.
Both the equine herpes and equine viral arteritis viruses can be shed typically for up to three weeks via nasal secretions following infection. Mares can also be latent carriers of the virus which can reappear at other times. The concept of a so-called "closed herd" being safe from infection is therefore not valid.
all of the mares have had one vacc. and two of them a week ago had their second one.(the one that aborted had one vacc.) is the site where she foaled of concern or can the remaining pregnant mares be returned. i understand from my own vet that once outside the "host" the virus would only live a matter of hours. i do hope it was from one of the non viral causes..but trying to take reasonable precautions. thanks for the response.
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