Protect Horses From Potomac Horse Fever Through First Frost

The bacterium that causes this seasonal disease can infect horses from the late spring to fall in temperate areas.

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Protect Horses From Potomac Horse Fever Through First Frost
When water is warm, the bacterium that causes PHF passes out of the water snails and is picked up by aquatic insects such as damselflies, caddis flies, and mayflies. | Photo: iStock
Many horse owners don’t think about Potomac horse fever (PHF) until it’s too late. The bacterium that causes this seasonal disease has a better chance of infecting horses during the late spring to early fall in temperate areas. As a horse owner, you should be on the lookout for any signs until after the first hard frost.

“This disease has already affected several horses this season and it does not show signs of stopping until frost sets in, unless you take steps to help protect your horse,” said Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, MS, manager of Merial’s Large Animal Veterinary Services.

Horses can be exposed to this disease in many different areas—PHF has been identified in 43 states. It is always best to be prepared, plan, ahead and contact your veterinarian to determine what actions you can take to prevent PHF.

Vaccinating horses against PHF is one way to help reduce the risk of disease developing

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