When you own a pet, more often than not, you start thinking of them as family. Some animals are more loved than others, not because of any specific characteristic, but rather because of how well they connect with human beings.
While treating them as family is a good thing, it also means that you need to be vigilant about their health. One such animal that humans share a special bond with is the horse, and every horse owner who loves their pet has to be sure that it is kept safe from diseases. These days, Zika is on the loose, and you may be worried that your beloved horse is at risk of getting the disease.
Yet Another Disease Spread by Mosquitos
The Zika virus can be contracted by humans from the bite of an Aedes mosquito that has been affected. First discovered in 1947, the Zika disease has had multiple outbreaks in different parts of the world over the years. Currently, it has been declared as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the WHO.
Common symptoms of the disease in humans include fever, joint pain, rash, and conjunctivitis. The disease very rarely affects humans very severely, and the symptoms are usually mild.
The Risk to Horses
If you’re worried that your horse is at risk of getting the Zika disease, you can breathe a little easier. As of right now, there is no evidence to suggest that horses can contract the disease, and it has only been found in humans thus far.
However, that’s not to say that your horses are completely safe. There is always a chance that your horse might get bitten by an infected mosquito, especially if you reside in a tropical setting. But even upon getting bit, there is no guarantee that your horse will get the disease. There are certain diseases, like chickenpox, that horses are immune to. For all we know, Zika could be just the same.
More Research Required
Zika is currently being seen in many parts of the world. It has also been found in areas where horses are present, so a lot of research needs to be done to determine whether it can affect our equine friends or not.
The speculation is, that even if Zika does affect horses, it may only cause mild fever and other similar signs. These would probably go away on their own after some time. With humans, the main concern regarding the Zika disease is that it may be the cause of a birth defect known as microcephaly.
The Zika virus is spreading around the world at a fast pace, so you should be careful not to be in areas where mosquitoes thrive. If you think that your horses, or other pets, are at risk then you should know that the disease has not yet been found in any species other than human beings and other primates. The symptoms of the disease are mild and usually go unnoticed, and more research is being done to determine as to what effects the disease may possibly cause.
Disclaimer: Of Horse! and sponsors do not endorse nor validate the accuracy of a blog post. Each article is the opinion of the blogger.