Equine Coronavirus

Several cases of Equine Coronavirus have been reported in our area. Equine Coronavirus is an emerging infectious disease in adult horses. It is only in the last 5 years that researchers have identified Equine Coronavirus as a possible cause of disease in adult horses. Formerly, Equine Coronavirus was only associated with causing diarrhea in foals. Common clinical signs in adult horses include fever and decreased appetite. Some horses may develop diarrhea, and rarely horses can display neurologic signs. Most horses make a full recovery, although fatalities associated with complications from Equine Coronavirus have been reported. The virus is passed in manure, so suspect or confirmed cases should be quarantined and good biosecurity protocols should be followed to prevent the spread to healthy horses. Treatment is largely supportive care and may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like Banamine to control fever. Horses that are dehydrated, act colicky, or display signs of endotoxemia or neurologic involvement may require hospitalization. If you are concerned that your horse may have clinical signs consistent with Equine Coronavirus, please contact your veterinarian right away. Your veterinarian will perform a physical examination, and may check your horse’s bloodwork and submit a manure sample for testing to confirm Equine Coronavirus.