Two Horses in Two Oklahoma Counties Confirmed With WNV

Neither horse was vaccinated against the potentially deadly disease.
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Two Horses in Two Oklahoma Counties Confirmed With WNV
WNV transmission occurs when infected mosquitoes feed on animals, as well as humans, after having fed on infected birds. | Photo: iStock
Officials at the Oklahoma State Veterinary Office (OSVO) have confirmed two horses—one in McClain County and one in Adair County—with West Nile virus (WNV).

The McClain County horse, a 7-year-old Morgan mare at a private facility, experienced onset of clinical signs, which included stiff gait and muscle fasciculations (twitching) on Oct. 9. She was confirmed positive on Oct. 18. She was unvaccinated against WNV and is reported as recovering.

The next horse, a 5-year-old Standardbred mare on an Adair County farm, began showing signs consistent with WNV on Oct. 8 and was confirmed positive Oct. 22. Her signs consisted of ataxia (incoordination), hind-limb weakness, and knuckling on her hind feet. She was also unvaccinated for WNV and is recovering.

About West Nile Virus

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

Health Alert: West Nile Virus in Horses
VIDEO | Health Alert: West Nile Virus in Horses

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:

When do you begin to prepare/stock up on products/purchase products for these skin issues?
122 votes · 122 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!