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Hello all, I am posting on account of the recent new report stating that a horse was diagnosed with Hendra in NSW recently.

I googled the symptoms of this virus, and they sound very similar to what was going on with our 17 year old thoroughbred who suddenly passed away a couple of weeks ago.

He was fine, we let him in to eat his food separately from the other horses and he whinnied and carried on until his food came like he usually does. When we came back to let him out however, we noticed that he was hanging his head low and standing strangely with his legs spread as if he was struggling to find his balance. He hadn't eaten any of his food, so we lead him into the light near the hay-shed to have a better look at him. He was staggering when we lead him and we feared he might fall, luckily he didn't at this point.
Upon removing his rug, we were shocked to find that he was literally dripping waves of sweat off of his body, so much that his body was emitting steam into the cold air and there was dirty sweat lines running over his socks. It was awful to see. He was swaying and refused to eat or drink anything we offered. We called the vet, but they were away and couldn't wait till morning, so we left his rug off and let his buddies in to be with him for the night. We believe he did not lay down as he was in the same place we left him in the morning.
He remained still for a while before he began to stagger haphazardly, taking out a massive tree branch before stumbling through the wire and into the chicken pen where he convulsed on the ground before flipping back through the fence and falling just in front of the fence (Thank god he didn't go through the electric one as well) and spasmed a moment before passing. The horses were panicking at this stage, so we opened the gate into the other paddock and they ran out. It was all so awful, and I really wish he hadn't had to go in such a spectacular form. The vet didn't even make it.
I was told by my Grandmother who went to check on him several times in the night that he maintained his fever and also had trouble urinating.
Additionally, though it might not relate to his death, he was lame in a hind leg several days before and the vet could find nothing wrong with it. The next day, he was perfectly normal, and the day after that he was also perfectly normal. His symptoms developed rapidly and he deteriorated quickly even though he was not too old, very fit, alert, and healthy only a short amount of time beforehand.

The vets decided that it was neurological problems or possibly a kidney disease.
After looking at the symptoms of hendra, I'm very worried that it could have been this (Although we haven't seen fruit bats in our area, I've heard they do live in South Australia.)

Should I be concerned for the safety of my other horses, my grandmother and myself (Who came into contact with him during, before, and after his sudden sickness/death???)

If anyone knows anything about the disease, or has an alternate idea of what caused his death, I'd really appreciate it!!
 

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I'm sorry for your loss :(

Hendra virus is a fear of mine, even though I'm far closer to Victoria than I am to QLD. I honestly doubt (and hope my doubt is correct!) that Hendra made its way right down to SA when there have been only limited cases in NSW.

It does sound like your horse had all of the Hendra symptoms, and I suggest speaking to your vet about the chances of it having been Hendra, and about possibly getting your other horses vaccinated, just in case.
 

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I would talk to your vet, and depending on how you disposed of his body you may be able to get them to take samples for testing. I think it would be unlikely to be in South Australia, but you never know. According to the DPI, Hendra has an incubation period of 5-16 days in horses and 5-21 days in humans. If no other horses are unwell and it's been 17 days, you should be in the clear. However I would be ensuring my animals are quarantined from others until I was sure it wasn't Hendra
 
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