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Author Topic: Equine Parvovirus Theiler’s Disease  (Read 118 times)


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Equine Parvovirus Theiler’s Disease
« on: February 01, 2018, 10:35:25 am »

something else I'd never heard of....  sharing..

Beth Smith Booker
January 25 at 1:58pm ·

I posted this on Miniature Horse Discussion Barn and have been asked to make it public so others can share this breaking medical news and information. This is the only way I can do this is by posting on my own profile. Over 200 people have liked or commented and so far I think only one person knew that horses could acquire Parvovirus.
Here’s a copy of my original post:
My beautiful And precious Grace had to be euthanized on December 27. This is the last picture I took of her that morning.
Here’s my question and then I will tell you about the tragic and devastating end to her short yet full and productive life:
Have any of you had any personal experience and knowledge about Equine Parvovirus?
Grace had colic surgery at MS State University due to impaction colic on November 17. Her heart rate was very elevated and she wasn’t bouncing back as quickly as it was felt she would and she was administered a unit of plasma later that day. A few hours after the transfusion, she began to get stronger and had an uneventful recovery and was discharged to home after a week of antibiotics. She was slow to begin eating and drinking as she should and was still requiring pampering and trying different things to get her to eat and drink as much as was recommended. After 4 weeks, she finally began to eat and drink better. On Dec 26 she quit eating and drinking except for some grazing and after being taken to the vet the morning of December 27 quickly began having ataxia, yawning frequently and her heart rate was increasing. By 6:00 that evening she could not get up on her own and the decision was made for euthanasia.
A necropsy showed that she had gone into complete liver failure due to Theiler’s Disease that was likely caused by a virus being passed to her through the plasma that had been administered after surgery. The plasma had been obtained from a reputable source and is tested, but apparently something had been missed. Further testing was done and the culprit has been identified to be Equine Parvovirus. There’s not much information out there about it and just wanted to see if anyone has any first hand knowledge. If you have, I am sorry and pray that your incident has not ended as tragic as with our precious Grace. We miss her desperately and always will.
I talked to my vet this morning and he is still talking and researching, but had this to say.
Parvovirus in Horses was just identified by Cornell University about a year ago and the first article was written in April of last year. The first identifications were in Tetanus Antitoxin. It is thought that Grace got it from the Plasma Transfusion. He says that the test for parvovirus has just been made available within the last year.
The plasma came from a National place that has a herd that are donors and they are tested. He does not yet know if Parvovirus is tested for or if the horse was tested and then got parvovirus after he was tested. Of course, it had to be my Grace that received the infected plasma.
He says that as far as symptoms go there is not enough known at this point to know what they are in horses. The incubation period is thought to be up to 8 weeks. It is thought to be transferred via blood and because population of biting flies are down this time of year, the possibility of her having gotten it any other way is very low and transfer to one of my other horses is very unlikely.
Dr Vice says he is committed to making sure that Grace did not die in vain and to use her death to lobby for the equine blood product industry to test for parvovirus and prevent death of other horses in this manner.
He says he would have put in her records that she died from hyperlipidemia but the Necropsy confirmed that it was liver failure (Theiler’s Disease) caused by Parvovirus. We now know and he feels that it is his and MSU’s responsibility to use the information to protect other horses from this happening.
He says that he and MSU have changed their thinking and will not be administering serum to any horses unless it is a last resort until they are insured that the serum is tested and parvovirus free.
He says serum is administered to foals that have a low IGG and thinking back over his practice that he had a foal die after administration and he thought it was a reaction to the plasma and it was likely parvovirus. He thinks it is more prevalent than is known at this time.
He is trying to get MSU to write an article using What has happened to Grace to inform others.
I pray that this information helps save someone else’s horse for information in the right hands is powerful. Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. Thank you for listening to our heartbreaking story.
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