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A recent string of equine herpesvirus type-1 (EHV-1) has horse owners on edge trying to prevent the infection of the highly contagious virus in their herds.

According to the UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Center for Equine Health, the virus has two forms. One form causes neurological symptoms and respiratory infection (type-1), and the other aborts pregnancies in mares.

“Horses with neurological disease caused by EHV-1 infection can soon become uncoordinated and weak and have trouble standing. Difficulty urinating and defecating may also occur,” says UC Davis. “Often the rear limbs are more severely affected than the front. Signs of brain dysfunction may occur as well, including extreme lethargy and a coma-like state.”