Recently, horses have been vulnerable to a virus that is known as EEE; this virus causes serious and fatal diseases among horses which, by the way, are not communicated from horse to horse. EEE virus comes from birds that are picked up by mosquitoes that infect the horses with it. Although it is not a new phenomenon, this virus is being spread at an alarming rate currently and causing due concern. There is a preventive measure, a vaccine, available and the Department of Agriculture and Markets of New York State insists that the EEE vaccination needs urgent attention. The call for urgency comes after identifying at least seven horses infected by the EEE virus across the state of New York this year.
The EEE virus is able to turn a horse into a dead animal; the disease it spreads all over a horse’s body is called “encephalitis” which is dreadful and is almost impossible to treat; that’s what Dr. Jerry Bilinksi says about it. Dr. Bilinksi is a veterinarian since 1969 and he loves horses as much as to own a stable in Columbia County where he breeds them. Another New York state veterinarian, Dr. David Smith confirms that equine encephalitis is a serious disease and it spreads rapidly in a matter of two days after the horse gets infected by the EEE virus.
Affected horses become sluggish and they even have hard time getting up once they fall on the ground. A horse with encephalitis appears to be devoid of any energy and its existence becomes very struggling. Horses belong to one of the few species on earth that are considered as the best friends of the human race; even a person who is not a horse enthusiast cannot tolerate watching a horse struggling to get up from the ground with no success. We tend to treat our horses like members of the family; and there is never a good enough excuse for not preventing a horse from getting seriously ill when there is vaccination available.
As the EEE is a mosquito borne virus, not allowing mosquitoes gather near the horses is a great idea. One good measure would be to get rid of standing water near the house or the stable. But that is not enough and it is nearly impossible to stop mosquitoes from reaching horses. The best way of preventing horses from getting infected by the virus is to vaccinate them as soon as possible. The vaccine is available through mail order services and they are sold at feed stores in the countryside. The EEE vaccine is pretty inexpensive, it costs only $10 but would cost more when it’s administered on a horse by a vet.
Preventive measure is the best way to cut the risk of catching a disease. There are symptoms of encephalitis that are quite visible; the horse will stagger, keep circling and will become sluggish. A veterinarian should be called without delay once any of these symptoms are observed. However, if the horse is on a schedule of annual vaccinations, almost certainly, it will not have to go through any misery associated with the disease.
Disclaimer: Of Horse! and sponsors do not endorse nor validate the accuracy of a blog post. Each article is the opinion of the blogger.