Washington Horse Contracts West Nile Virus

The affected horse was not vaccinated against the mosquito-borne disease.
Share
Favorite
Please login

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Yakima County, Washington
Washington’s State Veterinarian has confirmed a 2-year-old horse in Yakima County with West Nile virus (WNV). | Photo: iStock

Washington’s State Veterinarian has confirmed a 2-year-old horse in Yakima County with West Nile virus (WNV). The horse was not vaccinated against the potentially fatal mosquito-borne disease. Its status was not reported.

About West Nile Virus

WNV transmission occurs when infected mosquitoes feed on animals, as well as humans, after having fed on infected birds.

Clinical signs of WNV in horses include:

  • Mild anorexia and depression
  • Fine and coarse muscle and skin fasciculation;
  • Hyperesthesia (hypersensitivity to touch and sound);
  • Changes in mentation (mentality), when horses look like they’re daydreaming or “just not with it”;
  • Occasional drowsiness;
  • Propulsive walking (driving or pushing forward, often without control);
  • Spinal signs, including asymmetrical weakness; and
  • Asymmetrical or symmetrical ataxia.

West Nile virus has no cure; however, some horses can recover with supportive care. Equine mortality rates can reach 30-40%. The American Association of Equine Practitioners includes WNV as one of the core diseases all horses should be vaccinated against at least annually.

Share

Written by:

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

What signs does your horse show when he has gastric ulcers? Please check all that apply.
56 votes · 138 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!