Wisconsin Horses Test Positive for EEE, WNV

There are now 11 EEE cases and seven WNV cases in Wisconsin horses thus far in 2016.

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The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has confirmed additional cases of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus (WNV) in horses in that state, the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) reported Sept. 26.

The state has confirmed six EEE cases since Sept. 23, the EDCC said, including:

  • An unvaccinated 8-year-old Saddlebred mare from Forest County, which presented with fever, ataxia (incoordination), and blindness. She became unresponsive and was euthanized Sept. 14;
  • An unvaccinated 4-year-old Quarter Horse gelding from Lincoln County, which presented Sept. 14 with occasional paddling, seizures, cortical blindness, ataxia, bruxism (teeth grinding), and exaggerated eye responses. He became unresponsive and was euthanized on Sept. 15;
  • An 18-year-old Quarter Horse mare from Lincoln County, which was not vaccinated this year and has an unknown vaccination history for previous years. She presented Sept. 19 with ataxia, bruxism, and blindness. She was minimally responsive, injured herself, and was euthanized Sept. 20;
  • An unvaccinated 8-yearr-old grade gelding from Clark County, which was down and unresponsive on Sept. 20. He died despite treatment on Sept. 23;
  • An unvaccinated 12-yearr-old grade stallion from Langlade County, which presented Sept. 13 as recumbent (down and unable to rise), depressed, and listless. He was eventually coaxed to stand, but went back down and died Sept. 14; and
  • An unvaccinated 8-year-old Standardbred mare from Waupaca County, which was ataxic before going down on Sept. 17. She became unresponsive and developed nystagmus (involuntary movement of the eyeballs) before dying that night.

The newly confirmed cases bring Wisconsin’s total to 11 equine EEE cases in 2016.

Additionally, the EDCC reported the state’s seventh equine WNV case for the year

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Written by:

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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