African Horse Sickness
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2016/2017 outbreak.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Pathogenesis

  • Hi, I lost 2 horses in 2006, the first an Anglo-Arab colt of 3 years in January and the second an Arab filly of almost 2 years in May. Tests were done by Onderstepoort and the results were that it might be African Horse Sickness. They where also tested for the Herpes virus but in both cases the results where negative. The symptoms where the following: - High temperature of 41°C – 42 °C - Very little swelling of the temples above the eyes. - The tong was swelled up and blue/purple and the horse’s breath smelled extremely bad and the first horse had little sores on his tong and in his mouth and due to this reason the vet had him tested for Herpes as well. None of the horse sounded if they had problem breathing. - A few hours before the horse died its temperature went down to about 36°C The state vet took some samples of the last horse’s brain, liver, kidney, lungs, milt, heart and some stomach tissue after she died. I was present when she was cut open and when we looked at her tong it wasn’t swollen or blue/purple any more and her airway and lungs didn’t smell at all. This really confused me a lot as I phoned a lot of people and did some reading in Veterinarian books and couldn’t find any kind of disease with the same kind of symptoms. I would appreciate it if you can tell me what you think of the symptoms and if it could have been horse sickness or if not what other disease it could be. I never want to loose a horse that way again as it is heart braking to see them like this and you’ve done every thing possible to save them and still it didn’t work! Regards Janet ?
    Answered: 12/3/2008, 19:29 by Douglas Welsh.
    See the answer.
  • Hi, I would like to know if donkeys are prone to AHS, and also if they can be carriers?
    Answered: 12/3/2008, 09:48 by Douglas Welsh.
    See the answer.
  • I had a horse that had AHS (Dikkop) is it normal for him to have lots of fluid gathering in chest, front legs and neck area and what is cause of this?
    Answered: 5/3/2008, 16:26 by Douglas Welsh.
    See the answer.
  • We have had instances where the same horse has had AHS twice within weeks. Is that a relapse or another strain of the virus?
    Answered: 12/2/2008, 10:06 by Douglas Welsh.
    See the answer.
  • My horse was diagnosed with AHS (dikkop) on 17/1/08. The swelling has since gone down and his temperature, pulse and appetite is back to normal. Other horses on the same farm are now dislpaying the same symptoms. Can my horse be re-infected?
    Answered: 26/1/2008, 16:11 by James Urry.
    See the answer.
  • I undestand that the disease is transmitted by midges and can "over-winter" in animals such as zebras but what is the orginal pathogen of the disease?
    Answered: 20/1/2008, 21:42 by James Urry.
    See the answer.
  • I have a pony that had AHS a few years ago but pulled through. My question is: Will he pose a problem to my other horses if bitten by a midge? Does he still harbour the virus?
    Answered: 29/12/2007, 21:56 by Douglas Welsh, James Urry.
    See the answer.
  • Do the midges which spread AHS already have the AHS virus after breeding or do they only contract it after biting an infected animal, and can then spread the disease?
    Answered: 12/11/2007, 15:29 by Douglas Welsh, James Urry.
    See the answer.


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