MADISON COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A horse in Madison County had to be put down after it contracted a rare form of herpes. Now, the Virginia Department of Agriculture is issuing tips to keep other horses from suffering the same fate.

According to a press release, the horse at a small “boarding stable” in Madison County tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus on November 30. Because the horse was experiencing neurological symptoms associated with myeloencephalopathy — that is, damage to the blood vessels of the brain — it was euthanized due to a “poor prognosis.”

The stable the horse was living in has been placed under quarantine, though officials say there’s no cause for alarm — most horses have already been exposed to equine herpes, and the disease isn’t communicable to humans.

“A large percent of horses carry the virus with no clinical signs for the remainder of their lives,” officials wrote.

However, some horses develop a neurological form of the disease, caused by the same virus but primarily affecting the brain and nervous system.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture website states that horses usually contract the neurological form of the illness by breathing in infected droplets or eating “material contaminated by nasal discharges or aborted fetuses.”

The department notes that mild cases can be treated, but once an animal has difficulty standing, the prognosis is generally considered poor.