Nile Virus ALERT
Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that causes inflammation
or swelling of the brain and spinal cord. Since its discovery in
New York in 1999, the incidence of equine West Nile virus has more
than doubled. Once horses show clinical signs of illness, the disease
is fatal nearly 40% of the time.
of West Nile Virus:
These symptoms can be confused with rabies, EPM ("Possum Disease),
equine encephalitis, and other serious neurological diseases. If
you see these signs in your horse, see your veterinarian immediately.
·Stumbling or tripping
·Muscle weakness or twitching
·Loss of appetite
·Depression or lethargy
·Head pressing or tilt
·Wandering or circling
·Inability to swallow
·Inability to stand up
How do horses get West Nile virus?
The cycle starts with infected birds, which can travel long distances
in a short amount of time (see Where is WNV?). http://cindi.usgs.gov/hazard/event/west_nile/usa_avian_jul_29.html
When a mosquito bites a bird carrying the West Nile virus, it too
becomes infected. The mosquito then feeds on a horse, human or other
mammal. Once a horse has been bitten, it may take only 5 to 15 days
for signs of West Nile virus to appear.
Treatment: There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus. Your
veterinarian may be able to provide supportive therapy that can
save your horses life. However, in addition to good mosquito control,
there is now a vaccine that may aid in the prevention of disease
caused by West Nile virus.
Mosquito control tips:
·Keep horses stabled during dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes
are most active.
·Turn off lights that attract mosquitoes at night.
·Use fluorescent lights, which do not attract mosquitoes.
·Keep screens in stable windows.
·Eliminate common mosquito breeding areas like shallow stagnant
water and puddles.
·Empty water collecting in buckets, tarps or tires.
·Clean water troughs once a week.
·Use peripheral mosquito repellents like Dr. T's Mosquito
& Gnat repellent which in no way will harm the animals while
providing seven times the residual of any similar item!
James B. Tennyson
US Hwy 19 North
PO Box 682
Pelham, GA United States 31779