South Dakota's state veterinarian is strongly encouraging horse owners to use the necessary measures by having their horses vaccinated against the spread of equine herpes virus.

The equine herpes virus has been found in South Dakota and can take three different forms.  A respiratory form of the equine herpes virus causes fever and coughing.  A reproductive form can cause miscarriages in mares.  Vaccines are available for the respiratory and reproductive forms of the virus, but a third potentially deadly, neurological version of the equine herpes virus has limited treatments.

Even though the virus is spread through close contact, it has no effects on other livestock and people.

Owners are encouraged to isolate the horses before allowing them to return or be added to a herd and remember to sterilize items used to feed and water horses.