Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Horse care: Start mosquito protection methods now, veterinarians urge

Date:
June 19, 2014
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
Veterinarian advises to start mosquito prevention methods now in order to protect yourself and your horse from West Nile virus during the heavy infection season in mid to late summer.

Start thinking now about protecting yourself and your horse from West Nile virus, says a Kansas State University veterinarian.

Beth Davis, professor and head of the equine medicine and surgery section at the College of Veterinary Medicine's Veterinary Health Center, says there was an increase in Equine West Nile virus cases in 2013. Summer 2014 is expected to have similar weather patterns to summer 2013, so the risk of infections is just as high.

"We look to species like horses to help give us some insight into how likely humans are to have problems with the virus, but it's important to recognize that these sort of weather patterns create a high risk for mosquitoes to transmit the disease not only to horses, but also to potentially make humans sick," Davis said.

West Nile is an encephalitic disease, which means it causes inflammation of the central nervous system, specifically around the brain. It's a virally induced disease that is transferred to horses and humans through mosquito bites from infected mosquitoes. So far, eight states have reported West Nile virus infections in mosquitoes, birds or veterinary animals. Mississippi has reported one human case. Davis says the peak season for infection is mid to late summer, during the warmer months. That's why it's important to start prevention methods now to be protected by July.

West Nile virus is a core vaccine for horses, recommended by the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Four U.S. Department of Agriculture-licensed equine vaccines are available. Initial vaccination requires a series of two to three vaccines, depending on the age of the horse, and is then followed by annual boosters. Vaccine efficacy depends on horse owners working with their veterinarians to establish proper protocols, Davis said.

Another protection tip is to eliminate all sources of standing water, which are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

"Eliminate things like old tires, boats with tarps on them and rain gutters that may hold water," Davis said. "Birdbaths are areas where there is going to be standing water, so clean them at least once a week. For other areas that you can't eliminate standing water, like water troughs for livestock, put mosquito-eating fish in the tanks. Minnows and goldfish will eat any of the eggs that have been laid by mosquitoes and will minimize the mosquito replication."

The onset of clinical signs for Equine West Nile virus is often sudden, with the progression occurring over the following two to four days.

"Clinical signs of West Nile virus can vary quite a bit in horses," Davis said. "Mild forms of it may be a fever or a change in attitude for a few days. Most commonly, we do see it progress to where the horse has neurological signs, which could be a quite dramatic change in temperament or behavior. They may have a period where they're not eating properly or they seem like they're not quite with it. Also, they may experience changes in the nerves and control function in their head, in things like eye movement and their ability to chew and swallow properly. We may see dramatic changes in their gait, such as stumbling or being uncoordinated."

If you suspect your horse has been infected with West Nile virus, call a veterinarian immediately.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "Horse care: Start mosquito protection methods now, veterinarians urge." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140619124917.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2014, June 19). Horse care: Start mosquito protection methods now, veterinarians urge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140619124917.htm
Kansas State University. "Horse care: Start mosquito protection methods now, veterinarians urge." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140619124917.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) — Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — Poachers have killed 100,000 elephants between 2010 and 2012, as the booming ivory trade takes its toll on the animals in Africa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins