West Nile Virus detected in a Genesee Co., NY Horse.
West Nile Virus (WNV) was confirmed on serologic samples from a twenty eight year old gelding this week. The horse had no recent travel history. The gelding hadn’t been vaccinated for EEE, WNV or Rabies in at least a year or more according to veterinary records. On 10-9-12, the gelding was staggering around the farm according to the owner. On 10-11-12, the owner called the veterinarian to come examine the horse because it had gone down that morning. When the veterinarian arrived, the horse was standing again but exhibited marked muscle fasciculations in the head and was chomping at the air. The veterinarian initiated medical treatment and took blood samples. Later in the day, the horse deteriorated to the point of seizures. Due to the rapid decline in overall condition, the owner and veterinarian agreed to humanely euthanize the gelding that afternoon. Blood samples were sent to the NYS Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory last week where West Nile Virus was confirmed. There are two other aged horses on the premises. They are both doing well and have since been vaccinated.
Until there is a good killing frost in your area, we are still recommending vaccination for horses that have not had a booster in the last several months. Young, old or pregnant animals may be at increased risk.
The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets has a new twitter account for your clients to follow on the latest news and updates from the department. Follow us at: @NYAgandMarkets. Our e-Alerts to accredited veterinarians will continue to be sent out regularly.