Site Published:  16th April 2010
Last updated:   18th April 2010
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Sick horses - How do they really present?
Case Presentations
For a list of clinical symptoms CLICK HERE

To see some video of known Hendra infected horses CLICK HERE

To find the latest version of the Veterinary Guidelines can be found on DPI Website.

Many horses have presented with very different symptoms, from very mild/vague to severe.   Vets requested (in 2008) the DPI provide the case presentation of the Redlands cases because of the 'mutated' spin rampant in the media, as well as all the cases to date.  Biosecurity Qld refused to provide this information, claiming it would breach confidentiality.

Knowing how varied many of the cases have presented, and knowing that the Veterinary Guidelines prior to (and after) the Redlands outbreak where inadequate, and acknowledged by the authorities... 
Inadequate Hendra Virus guidelines acknowledged months back  - (David Earley - Courier Mail August 14, 2009)  we have continued to pursue the issue. 

We believe it is important information that should be published for all to see.  I was advised by the Managing Director, Ms Kareena Arthy in an email dated the 2nd October 2009 that they were 'well advanced' in compiling this information and would be mailing out to all registered vets in Queensland, in the near future....  I was again advised by the Director General Mr Robert Setter in a letter dated 7th December 2009
Apparently they don't think the first people to see sick horses (us the owners) should see this information!  Ignorance is NOT bliss when it comes to this deadly virus.  As at the time of preparing this website to publish (now four months down the track), no vets I have spoken with have received this promised document, nor has it been published on the departments website.
Letter from Director General Mr Rober Setter dated 7th December 2009
For those who are interested in studying how each case has presented,
I have uploaded as much information as I can for you here, covering the 'recorded' cases
involved to date.
                      2014 -  2 Outbreaks Detected to date                     

50) Beenleigh - NSW - 3rd June 2014
A 22 year old thoroughbred gelding was noticed to be off food with a small amount of green nasal discharge on Saturday 31 May.
A private veterinarian visited on Sunday 1 June and noted dried bloody nasal discharge, ataxia, temperature 38.8°C and toxic mucous membranes.
The horse deteriorated on 2 June and was euthanased by the private veterinarian that evening.
The horse returned positive Hendra virus PCR results on EDTA blood, oral and rectal swabs.

49) Bundaberg - Qld - 19th March 2014
Queensland's Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Rick Symons said a private veterinarian had euthanased one horse on the property on Monday after it become unwell over the weekend with test results last night confirming the animal had Hendra virus.
Off food, elevated respiratory rate, injected gums, frothy nasal discharge after death.

                        2013 -  8 Outbreaks Detected                              

48) Dongdingalong- NSW - 10th July 2013
On the 10 July 2013 a fourth case of Hendra virus was confirmed in a 13 year old quarterhorse mare near Kempsey. It highlights the challenges facing veterinarians when diagnosing and managing these cases. The mare had been struggling to maintain condition since foaling 10 months prior. The foal was weaned. The mare then showed a change in demeanor and became slow, lethargic and reluctant to move. It was treated with penicillin for 1 week. On the 8 July the mare was intermittently recumbent and showing neurological signs, ultimately becoming entangled in a fence. When sampled the horse was dull with a heart rate of 68, pyrexia, injected mucous membranes, periocular trauma, jaundice, bruxism and mucosal ulceration. The horse was euthanased. It was considered possible but not likely to be Hendra virus.

47) Kempsey - NSW - 8th July 2013
No clinical details provided by NSW DPI

46) Macksville - NSW - 6th July 2013
No clinical details provided by NSW DPI

45) Gold Coast  Qld- 6th July 2013
Biosecurity Queensland is managing a Hendra virus incident at the Gold Coast after positive test results were received on the evening of 5 July 2013.  A fifteen year old, unvaccinated, Arab gelding was noticed to be dull and depressed with an increased respiratory rate early on Thursday 4 July 2013. A private veterinarian visited that evening. The horse was in sternal recumbancy, convulsing intermittently, dull, lethargic and non-responsive. As Hendra virus infection was suspected, examination was limited and no rectal temperature was taken. Samples were collected for Hendra virus testing and the horse was treated with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
By the next afternoon, Friday 5 July, the horse had deteriorated. A second veterinarian from the practice attended and the horse was sedated and euthanased. Both veterinarians are commended for using appropriate personal protective equipment when working with the horse and collecting samples. The horse returned positive PCR results on all sample types submitted (nasal, oral and rectal swabs and blood).

44) Brisbane Valley Qld - 25th June 2013
Depressed, unsteady on feet, reluctant to move, elevated heart rate and muddy mucous membranes. Deteriorated and euthanased.

43) Macksville - NSW - 5th June 2013
On the 5 June 2013 a 12 year old Anglo Arab mare died on a property near Macksville, and she subsequently returned positive PCR result for Hendra virus on blood and nasal swabs.
Clinical Signs
The mare had been observed earlier in the day and appeared normal. She was found dead later that afternoon, with some blood from the nostrils, there was no evidence of struggling prior to death.

42) Townsville Qld - 22nd February 2013
Biosecurity Queensland is managing a Hendra virus incident in the Tablelands area after a positive test result was received on the evening of 21 February 2013.
A miniature horse was noticed to be slow moving and off its food on the weekend. Early in the week the horse became ataxic. The horse died the next day. It was reported that the horse was not vaccinated for Hendra virus.
A private veterinarian visited on 20 February 2013 and collected samples from the dead horse for Hendra virus testing. The veterinarian utilised appropriate personal protective equipment to collect the samples.
The horse returned positive PCR results to Hendra virus.

41) Mackay Qld - 23rd January 2013
Slow moving, ataxic, absent blink reflex, found dead approximately 24 hours after clinical signs were first noticed.

                          2012 -  8 Outbreaks Detected                            

40) Ingham North Qld - 1st November 2012
A mare was first noticed unwell on Wednesday 31 October 2012 by the owner.  A private veterinarian visited and collected samples for Hendra virus testing.  Clinical signs included sudden onset of: anorexia, slight bilateral nasal discharge, laboured respiration (resp rate 20) heart rate 60, lowered head, unsteady on feet.  Eight horses as well as dogs and cats remain on the property...

39) Far North Qld - 3rd Sept 2012
Biosecurity Queensland is managing a new Hendra virus incident after a positive test result was received late last night, Wednesday 06 September 2012.  The horse was on a property located between Cairns and Port Douglas.  The property owner contacted a private veterinarian on Monday 3 September after an 18 year old thoroughbred gelding became ill.  The horse died before the veterinarian arrived and has since been buried on the property.
Clinical signs reported include:
• wobbly gait
• high stepping on left side

38) Cairns Qld - 27th July 2012
Redlynch Equestrian Association quarantined after a 4yo gelding was confirmed infected with Hendra.  The property manager contacted a private veterinarian after discovering a horse was sick on Wednesday 25th July.  The horse died on 27th July.  For clinical symptoms displayed see CVO Bulletin 31st July

37) Nerimbera (near Rockhampton) Qld - 15th July 2012
A seven month old foal was sick on Friday 13th July, a vet was called to the property on Saturday, the foal failed to respond to treatment and died on Sunday. The foal was acutely ill on Saturday, reported as having a raised temperature and displaying neurological signs, including ataxia, apparent blindness, droopy lips and salivation.      The property is within 5klms of the 34th outbreak, there are no reported links between the two properties.  CVO Bulletin 19 July 2012  The two remaining horses on this property developed symtoms and were euthanased on humane grounds.  Samples confirmed both were also infected with Hendra.  A woman who nursed the foal first confirmed HeV +ve, was flown to Brisbane for testing and given experimental monoclonal antibody treatment.  For clinical symptoms shown by these two horses see CVO Bulletin 31st July 2012

36) Mackay Qld - 26th June 2012
A vet was called to a property on Tuesday 26th June to a horse that was gravely ill and unable to stand.  The horse had not been seen for several days prior so there are no clinical signs reported.  The horse was euthanased and samples collected confirming Hendra infection.  CVO Bulletin 28 June 2012

35) Ingham Qld - 28th May 2012
A horse on a property near Ingham died on Monday 28th May, confirmed infected with HeV 30th May.  Five horses remain on this property and being monitored.  One dog has returned a positive result on a rectal swab.  Further testing to confirm was inconclusive and more testing will be required to determine the status of this dog.  CVO Bulletin 5 June 2012

34) Nerimbera (near Rockhampton) Qld - 26th May 2012
One horse died on Saturday 26th May 2012, confirmed infected with HeV 30th May.  Eight horses remain on the property are being monitored.  5th June, two more horses have returned positive results on nasal swabs, retesting inconclusive and further testing will be required to determine their status. CVO Bulletin 30 May 2012

33) Townsville Qld -
3rd January 2012
The three-year-old horse was first seen to be unwell on the morning of Tuesday 3 January 2012. A private veterinarian examined the horse on Tuesday 3 January 2012 and collected samples for Hendra virus testing.
CVO Bulletin 5 January 2012

                    2011 -  18 Separate Outbreaks Detected                   

32) Beachmere Qld 
9th October 2011
Three horses died on the property, the first was suspected as a result of colic, the second horse was tested positive to the virus, and the third horse was confirmed positive after the property was quarantined.  CVO Bulletin 11th October 2011
CVO Bulletin  26th October 2011

31) North Ballina  NSW 27th August 2011
New Hendra virus case at north Ballina.  The gelding was noticed on the morning of 27 August 2011 to be depressed, with a wide based front leg stance, swaying from side to side and was febrile. It placed its head into the feed bin but was unable to eat.  It went down and died on the fence later in the day.
CVO Bulletin>

30) Currumbin Valley Qld 23rd August 2011
The aged horse had shown a rapid onset of illness  (Monday) including lethargy, gait problems and a temperature of 40.3°C. The horse died Tuesday afternoon and has been buried on the property. The private veterinarian who visited the horse yesterday collected samples for Hendra virus testing. PCR test results returned late last night were:
· Blood and oral swab - positive 
· Nasal and rectal swab - negative  CVO Bulletin>

(29) Mullumbimby (NSW) 13th August 2011
“The horse on the Mullumbimby property was reportedly behaving oddly and died suddenly. A private veterinarian took blood and swab samples from the dead horse.

(28) South Ballina (NSW) 18th August 2011
“Two horses have died on a South Ballina property and one horse has died on a Mullumbimby property,” NSW Chief Veterinary Officer Ian Roth said.  “The dead horses on the South Ballina property were reported by a neighbour and sampled by a LHPA district vet. The precise time of death for these two horses is currently unknown.

(27) Ballina (NSW) 15th August 2011
The State Virology Laboratory at EMAI confirmed late on 16 August 2011 that samples submitted from a gelding at Ballina were positive for Hendra virus. The samples were collected by a private vet after the horse was found comatose early on 15 August. The horse had been noticed to be off its food and behaving strangely (head down and wobbling from side to side) on the evening of 14 August. The horse was euthanased and buried on the property.  There are 2 remaining horses on the property. There are no trees on the property. CVO Bulletin>

(26) Mullumbimby (NSW) 24 July 2011
Mullumbimby were positive for Hendra virus. The samples were collected on 26 July by a private vet from a horse that had died suddenly on 24 July. There was a large fig tree in the paddock in which the dead horse was found.   There are 8 remaining horses on the property. CVO Bulletin>

(25) Chinchilla (Qld) 22nd July 2011
The case horse was reported as dull two days prior to developing acute respiratory distress and neurological signs including ataxia. A nasal discharge was noted and a body temperature of 38.7ºC. The horse died on Friday 22 July 2011 despite veterinary intervention. CVO Bulletin here>

(24) Logan (Qld) Died - 28 June 2011
On 26 June 2011, a private veterinarian attended the horse and reported the main clinical signs as ataxia and mild colic. The horse had a body temperature of 39ºC and a heart rate of 90-110BPM. An ocular discharge was also reported. The horse showed progressive neurological signs, rapidly deteriorated, and was euthanased on 28 June 2011 by the private veterinarian. (See CVO Bulletin for case 25)

(23) Lismore (NSW) 14 July 2011
The horse, an 11 year old gelding died suddenly on 14 July. It had been observed to be normal that morning and was found dead late in the afternoon with no evidence of struggling. Samples from the dead horse were collected by the Senior District Veterinarian with the North Coast Livestock Health and Pest Authority wearing full PPE and submitted to the state virology laboratory. The dead horse was buried on the property. There is a fig tree in the horse paddock and bats are seen occasionally.
CVO Bulletin here>

(22) Boondall (Qld) 14 July 2011
Initially reported as Boondall, later reported as Zillmere.  A private veterinarian attended to the sick horse on 14 July 2011 and reported that the horse was showing clinical signs of ataxia, intermittent inappetance and lethargy. 
The horse had a body temperature of 39.5ºC and was euthanased on 15 July 2011 after deteriorating.
CVO Bulletin here>

(21) Hervey Bay (Qld)13 July 2011
A private veterinarian attended to the sick horse on 13 July 2011 and reported the clinical signs as a rapid onset, the horse being down and unable to rise, injected mucous membranes, lateral recumbency and a body temperature of 40.5ºC.  
The horse was euthanased on the 13 July 2011 and has been disposed of on the property. 
The following results were obtained:
· Blood PCR positive  · Vaginal swab PCR positive · Nasal swab PCR positive
CVO Bulletin here>

(20) Kuranda - (Qld) 11 July 2011
The horse was showing clinical signs of ataxia;
depression disorientation; neck muscle
fasciculation; and recumbency. The horse had a body temperature of 37.8ºC and rapidly deteriorated. The horse subsequently died and has been disposed of on the property.  

The results showed the following:
· Blood PCR positive
· Rectal swab PCR positive
· Nasal cavity PCR negative CVO Bulletin here>

(19) Macksville - NSW 3 July 2011
A horse from a property near Macksville on the NSW Mid Coast was confirmed to be infected with Hendra virus on 6 July 2011. 

The horse, a 16 year old thoroughbred mare appeared normal until late on Friday, when she was noticed to be depressed. Early on Saturday morning she went through several fences, appeared blind, and was head-pressing.  She was found dead early on Sunday morning. 
CVO Bulletin here>

(18) Park Ridge-Qld - 4 July 2011
On 4 July 2011, a private veterinarian examined the aged horse, which had been reported as depressed by the owners.  The only significant finding on clinical examination was a rectal temperature of 40.0°C. The horse died overnight and was buried on the property.

Biosecurity Queensland collected samples from the dead horse and the following PCR results were reported: •  blood positive  •  nasal and oral swabs negative  •  rectal and urethral swabs positive. CVO Bulletin here>

Despite the CVO bulletin saying the only significant finding on this horse was a rectal temperature, he stated in the media:

Dr Symons said the horse died quickly.
''It was unbalanced, could not walk. It had a swollen face,'' he told reporters.
Source: The Australian

(17) Mt Alford - Qld - 1 July 2011
A horse became sick on 1 July 2011 and samples from this horse were sent to Biosecurity Queensland for testing.  The horse was later euthanased by a private veterinarian.  CVO Bulletin 2 July does not list clinical presentation of this horse.
Previously a horse on the property was sick on 20 June 2011 and was later euthanased by a private veterinarian.  Blood samples were collected, and after the confirmation of the horse that died on 1 July, these samples were tested and confirmed positive to HeV.  CVO Bulletin 4 July

The horse that was euthanased on 20 June 2011 was showing the following clinical signs:
· on the morning of the 20 June 2011 the horse was noticed standing alone and “breathing funny”
· at around 4:30pm the horse was noticed to be in lateral recumbency and thrashing wildly
· the horse had rigid legs, swollen face and clenched teeth
· oral MM were purple

A third horse on the Mt Alford property has been euthanased today (4 July) by Biosecurity Queensland veterinarians. As the horse started displaying clinical signs and deteriorated over the last 24 hours, the horse was euthanased on humane grounds. This was done with the consent of the owners.  

(16) Wollongbar (NSW) 30 June 2011
First horse infected at Wollongbar
The horse was reported as being off colour and feverish on Tuesday 28 June 2100. On Tuesday evening the horse was examined by a private veterinary practitioner who noted it had a high fever (40.8), significantly elevated heart and respiration rates, brick red mucous membranes and was only passing scant faeces. The horse also had neurological signs including; slight ataxia, a wide frontal stance and a lip droop. The horse was treated for endotoxaemia and initially appeared to be responding to treatment. The horse was revisited by the private practitioner several times on Wednesday 29 June and was euthansed very early in the morning of Thursday 30 June after developing severe neurological signs including apparent blindness. CVO Bulletin here>

Second horse infected at Wollongbar
The companion horse on the property quarantined in the Wollongbar area was euthanased on 12 July 2011, after laboratory testing at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory confirmed that it was infected with Hendra virus. It was noticed to be off its food on 10 July 2011 and became more depressed, showing signs consistent with Hendra virus infection including: shifting weight, fever, increased heart and respiration rates. It is believed that this horse became infected with Hendra following very close contact with the original infected horse. CVO Bulletin here>

(15) Kerry  -  Qld - 26 June 2011
It was reported as becoming suddenly ill and a private veterinary practitioner examined the horse on Saturday 25 June.  The horse died the following day. Clinical signs noted were depression, hind limb incoordination, pyrexia, respiratory distress and congested oral mucous membranes with petechial haemorrhages.  CVO Bulletin>

                1994 - 2010   /   Only 14 outbreaks recorded               

(14) Tewantin (May 2010)

The horse was examined by the veterinarian after the owner reported it was displaying acute onset of neurological signs. The horse was reported as being uncoordinated, demonstrating mouth twitching and being off its food.

Upon veterinary investigation, the horse exhibited normal respiratory and heart rates. The horse was found to be blind. The neurological signs progressed to seizures, the horse was humanely euthanased and buried on the property.

Qld Biosecurity Vet Communique 20th May 2010

(13) Bowen (Aug-Sept 2009)

Detailed in the Biosecurity
CVO Communique No 11

View PDF File

(12) Cawarral (Jul-Aug 2009)

Detailed in Biosecurity
CVO Communique No 2

View PDF File

(11) Proserpine (July 2008)

Kate Purvis, the owner that lost 4 horses in July/Aug 2008 is very keen to educate people about this deadly virus, she has created a website for Horse Owners

Clinical Symptoms of Kate's 4 horses can also be found on her website.  Short video footage of one acutely ill Hendra horse (Dancer) and the sero-positive survivor Thomas who displayed virtually no clinical symptoms.  Biosecurity Qld publicly stated that the Proserpine case had no link to the Redlands case and had presented as 'classical' Hendra symptoms.

I have also extracted the two pages of the Perkins Review 2008, outlining these horses.

Symptom chart of Proserpine Horses
Size : 1083 Kb   Type : pdf

Case description - Extract Perkins Review 2008
Size : 82 Kb   Type : pdf

(10) Redlands (June 2008)

WH&S had no problems releasing copies of the RVC patient records for the 5 confirmed Hendra horses, Truly Gifted, Tamworth, JD, Regal Power and Barbie Doll.  No RVC files could be obtained for the first two horses Casemma and Loddy (of the three not confirmed), the 3rd of these three horses was Noddy, he died two days before Truly Gifted and his is available.  You can form your own opinions on those cases and files, Regal Power's case is the most detailed, which was after the clinic was quarantined.   Referring vet notes on the first horse Casemma, and the second Loddy are available below.

It is important to view the Epidemiology presentation of this case to evaluate why these horses should be included.

I have also extracted the 4 pages presented in Nigel Perkins 'Review'  of this case, which is quite a contrast to the detailed chronology of events he presented in his previous review of the Peachester case.

                  Summary of Cases extract of Perkins Review 2008
                    Size : 293 Kb    Type : pdf
                  Referring vet report on Casemma
                    Size : 114 Kb   Type : pdf
                  Referring vet report on Loddy
                    Size : 104 Kb   Type : pdf
                  Noddy RVC records
                    Size : 109 Kb   Type : pdf
                  Truly Gifted RVC records
                    Size : 1518 Kb   Type : pdf
                  Tamworth RVC records
                    Size : 822 Kb   Type : pdf
                  JD RVC records
                    Size : 3257 Kb   Type : pdf
                  Regal Power RVC records
                    Size : 5295 Kb   Type : pdf
                  Barbie RVC records
                    Size : 283 Kb   Type : pdf

Also a paper published by the CDC in February this year 2010, called

Hendra Virus Outbreak with Novel Clinical Features, Australia:  Hume Field, Kylie Schaaf, Nina Kung, Craig Simon, David Waltisbuhl, Heather Hobert, Frederick Moore, Deborah Middleton, Allison Crook, Greg Smith, Peter Daniels, Ron Glanville, and David Lovell (Vol16, Number 2-February 2010)
Gives a summary of the 5 confirmed horses at Redlands.  Full paper download here or view online.

(9) Clifton Beach (July 2007)
Dana was a 27 year old mare, indeterminate breeding, possibly brumby. Ridden Sunday two days before falling sick on Tuesday. Her head drooping hardly moving in the paddock. Wednesday  thinking maybe she had a respiratory infection, as she was no better and very listless, the vet was called (Wednesday), who treated her for a high fever (spiked at 40.3). Very small amount of nasal discharge.  Very depressed although still whinnying at owner and still eating. On Wed night she had a massive muscle spasm through her body, which by late that night had become small spasms all over. By the next morning she was so weak she was almost sitting. Thursday the DPI were informed, as the vet suspected possibility of Hendra virus. Dana was euthanased and samples collected.

(8) Peachester (June 2007)
Clinical presentation data not available.

(7) Murwillimbah NSW (Oct 2006)
Clinical presentation data not available.

(6) Peachester (June 2006)

Subject to a Review (conducted by Nigel Perkins / Ausvet Animal Health Services).  Thanks to the persistence of Dr R Day in expressing disgust at QDPI's attitude and response to a highly suspect case that proved positive.  This report was never published on the DPI's website, a thorough chronology of the case starts on page 9 of the Review, I have extracted the 8 pages that outline the case presentation.

Summary table of symptoms extract Perkins Review
Chronology 2006 extract Perkins Review

(5) Townsville (Nov-Dec 2004)
Clinical presentation data not available.

(4) Gordonvale (Oct 2004)

A brief case description

The horse: The horse was a 10-year-old gelding located on a property about 25 km south of Cairns. It had been acutely unwell for 1 day, with restlessness, increased respiratory effort and profuse sweating. On examination, the horse was febrile (41°C per rectum), tachycardic (120 beats/min), markedly dyspnoeic and very weak; it lay in a lateral recumbent position and could not raise its head. It was very dehydrated, and had injected mucous membranes and large amounts of blood-stained frothy secretions issuing from its nose. A decision was made to euthanase the horse, but it had a convulsion and expired before this could be performed. Blood-stained froth emanated from its nose and mouth as it died.

The main gross findings at autopsy were massive fluid congestion of the lungs, cardiomegaly with marked thickening of the ventricular walls, and a grossly enlarged liver. The veterinarian concluded that the horse had died from acute heart failure and pulmonary oedema of unknown aetiology; no tissue samples were collected for further laboratory studies. At the completion of the autopsy, the horse was deep-buried using a back hoe.

Extract from
Hendra virus infection in a veterinarian Jeffrey N Hanna, William J McBride, Dianne L Brookes, Jack Shield, Carmel T Taylor, Ina L Smith, Scott B Craig and Greg A Smith
MJA 2006; 185 (10): 562-564

Paper can be viewed here

(3) Trinity Beach (Jan 1999)

Case description extracted from

A fatal case of Hendra virus infection in a horse in north Queensland: clinical and epidemiological features
1 Animal Research Institute, Department of Primary Industries, Locked Mailbag 4, Moorooka, Queensland 4105   2 Marlin Coast Veterinary Surgery, Cnr Aropa Street and Cook Highway, Trinity Beach, Queensland 4879   3 Department of Primary Industries, PO Box 652, Cairns, Queensland 4870   4 Veterinary Pathology Services, PO Box 1119, Coorparoo DC, Queensland 4151

Although, in retrospect, the attendant believes the horse was ‘not herself’ on 16 January 1999, it was not until the morning of 17 January, when she was depressed and inappetant, that veterinary attention was sought.  Clinical signs included depression, and oedema of the face, lips and neck.  The heart rate was 55 beats per minute.  Rectal temperature and respiratory rate were not recorded.  The condition was tentatively diagnosed as allergic reaction, and treatment with antihistamines (HistamilTM), flunixin (FinadyneTM) and antibiotics (PenstrepTM).  On re-examination later that afternoon, the horse’s demeanour had improved, although the mucous membranes were dry and capillary refill sluggish.  When re-examined early on the morning of 18 January, the horse was found in sternal recumbency, but soon progressed to lateral recumbency.  A jugular blood sample was collected before the horse was euthanased by intravenous pentabarbitone sodium (LethabarbTM)As HeV pneumonia was considered in the differential diagnosis at this point, a detailed necropsy was not performed.  Lung tissue was collected from a single small chest incision.  The uterus, examined through a small flank incision, was non-pregnant.  Excess pleural fluid, a yellow frothy nasal discharge, and jaundice of the ocular sclera were other notable findings.  The mare was buried in a 2-metre deep trench and the area treated with domestic bleach.

(2) Mackay Aug 1994 & Oct 1995

2 horses died August 1994, Mark Preston died the following year in Oct 95, after a relapse believed to be from exposure to the 2 horses he helped wife (veterinarian) post mortem in Aug 1994.  Clinical presentation data not available.

(1) Hendra / Kenilworth (Aug 1994)

The Qld Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) commissioned an independent review of this outbreak.  The clinical symptoms in this case were summarised and noted in 3 pages.

It would also be valuable to view the Epidemiology page Presentation on this case which shows the number of days clinical symptoms were observed and incubation periods for each of the horses. 

1994 Clinical symptoms

If you do not have a PDF reader installed on your computer, please click here to download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Page updated:
13th June 2014
Recorded Hendra outbreaks have now occurred in the following months












Hendra could strike anywhere, anytime!
The only case files missing are Case Presentation Files for Mackey 94 (2 horses - 1 human), Townsville 2004 (1 horse), Murwillumbah 2006 (1 horse), Peachester 2007 (1 horse).
Click images to play video files
Update - 6th August 2011
Horse with Hendra Virus at Koah July 2011 Australia
Clinical Sympt oms
Horses that are infected with Hendra have shown variable and often vague clinical signs. 
There are some symptom s that have been common to recorded cases,
with or without some of the other observed symptom s.

Common clinical signs:

acute onset of illness
increased body temperature
increased heart rate
discomfort / weight shifting between legs (both fore and hind limbs)
rapid deterioration.
Some other clinical observatio ns that have been noted include the following.
Respirato ry signs, including:

pulmonary oedema and congestion
respiratory distress - increased respiratory rates
terminal nasal discharge - can be initially clear progressing to stable white froth and/or stable blood-stained froth
pulmonary involvement leading to terminal weakness, ataxia and collapse.
Neurologi cal signs, including:

‘wobbly gait’ progressing to ataxia
altered consciousness - apparent loss of vision in one or both eyes, aimless walking in a dazed state
head tilting, circling.  Head Pressing
muscle twitching - myoclonic spasms have been seen in acutely ill and recovered horses
urinary incontinence
recumbency with inability to rise.
Other observatio ns, including:

previous unexplained horse deaths
     (Note: This is important to check and has been a feature in a number of the incidents to date)
facial oedema (swelling)
facial paralysis and/or a locked jaw
spasms of the jaw, involuntary chomping
muscle trembling
altered gait, high stepping
congestion of oral mucous membranes
a high case fatality rate within 48 hours where there are multiple cases
colic-like symptoms in some cases (generally quiet abdominal sounds on auscultation of the abdomen
in pre-terminal cases)
straining with difficulty passing manure
stranguria (difficult urination) - seen in several terminal cases in both males and females (Hendra1994);
  dribbling urine - seen in some terminal cases (Redlands 2008)
hot hooves
bad breath/halitosis
delayed blood clotting times.
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