Kentucky Reports Additional Equine West Nile Cases

Officials announced Oct. 4 that two additional horses have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV).
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The Kentucky State Veterinarian’s office announced Oct. 4 that two additional horses have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV).

"Results of testing reported today (Oct. 4) by Murray State University’s Breathitt Veterinary Center and the University of Kentucky’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory confirms a diagnosis of West Nile virus affecting two additional equines within Kentucky, bringing to seven the number of cases reported this year," read the statement from Kentucky Equine Programs manager E.S. "Rusty" Ford.

The first, a 16-year-old Paint gelding from Graves County, began showing signs of disease on Sept. 28. He presented with persistent rear-limb ataxia (incoordination) and remained in serious condition as of Oct. 4. The gelding has no WNV vaccination history, Ford’s statement said.

The second, a 7-year-old Rocky Mountain Horse mare, developed signs of disease on Sept. 30 and was subsequently euthanized. Her clinical signs included moderate ataxia, lateral recumbency (positioned on her side, unable to rise), and hypersensitivity to touch. The mare also had no WNV vaccination history, Ford said

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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