As of 10/22/13, the Kentucky State Veterinarian’s Office has documented 11 equine West Nile virus (WNV) encephalitis cases in Kentucky this year, all in unvaccinated horses. These include multiple breeds; to date nine are alive and two were euthanized.
Also, two Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) cases have been confirmed in Kentucky horses. Both were unvaccinated and both died.
The cases were confirmed at the Murray State University Breathitt Veterinary Center and the University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories.
Owners are urged to contact their veterinarians now to get their horses vaccinated properly to reduce the risk of these and other diseases.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners lists EEE, Western equine encephalitis, WNV, tetanus, and rabies as core vaccinations recommended for all U.S. horses. See aaep.org/vaccination_guidelines.htm for a list of those guidelines.
More information can be obtained at the Kentucky State Veterinarian’s website at kyagr.com/statevet/equine-infectious-diseases.html.
Roberta Dwyer, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVPM, a professor in the Department of Veterinary Science at the University of Kentucky provided this information.
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