I N BRIEF: EQUINE CORONAVIRUS
Definition: gastrointestinal illness caused by infection with the equine coronavirus (ECoV) Causes: The virus is thought to pass from horse to horse via the fecalote Signs: Fever of 101 to 1 lethargy and loss of appetite are the most common signs; 10 to 15 percent of horses may have softened stools or diarrhea. In about 7 percent of cases, horses may experience serious complications including shock, organ failure, septicemia and neurological signs. Diagnosis: Bloodwork will show a drop in white blood cells consistent with viral infections. ECoV can be identified in fecal samples. Treatment: Most horses recover fully within two to four days, or longer if they experienced loose stools. Supportive care, including fluids and anti-inflammatories, may be helpful. Antibiotics may be administered to curb secondary infections in more serious cases. Prevention: Biosecurity measures to prevent healthy horses from coming into contact with those shedding the virus are necessary to limit the extent of outbreaks.