It is that time of year again. Time to vaccinate your horses for West Nile and EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis). Why now? Mosquito-borne disease season hits its peak in July and it takes a few weeks for your animal to be fully protected by the vaccine. If you wait until you begin to hear of cases of mosquito-borne diseases showing up, it could possibly be too late. John Lebeaux, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, says that “Getting these vaccines at the right time of year can provide horses protection for the whole mosquito season.” That time is now.
What’s at Risk?
Both West Nile and EEE can be fatal to horses. West Nile at a 30-40% mortality rate and EEE at a 75-80% mortality rate and in many cases with EEE, those that do survive have long-lasting or permanent effects.
EEE affects the horse’s central nervous system and death can come quickly, within 2 or 3 days of the time that the clinical signs appear. Those signs include high fever, lack of appetite, depression and behavioral changes, head pressing, circling, blindness, seizures.
The clinical signs of West Nile can be flu-like, or the animal may appear depressed and anorexic. It can also include hypersensitivity to touch and sound, changes in mental state, drowsiness, and propulsive walking. There is no treatment for West Nile, however, supportive care can help in the rate of survival. Vaccines have a great success rate in horses for both of these illnesses but it is important to do it in the right time and to get the boosters that are suggested by your veterinarian.
Take the Extra Steps to Protect Horses from Mosquito-Borne Disease
We urge you to take the advice of Commissioner Lebeaux and get your horses vaccinated. We know that horses are more than just pets for some. You’ve invested a lot of time and money into these animals and protecting them in every way that you can is a must do.
Go beyond the vaccines. Keep your horses stabled during peak mosquito hours of the day, dusk and dawn. Do not let standing water exist, being careful to tip buckets or tires and clean out water troughs from time to time. Use repellent… that’s where we come in.
At Mosquito Squad of Central Mass and the North Shore, our mosquito misting systems are an excellent source of mosquito protection that gives large areas like a barn or stable continuous protection against mosquitoes.
Programmed to release our barrier spray automatically with the added ability to emit extra blasts as needed, this specific system can protect your horses in a way that will have you less worried about WNV and EEE and more focused on your horses for whatever reason you have them, be it professional or simply pleasure. Call us today for more information about the plan that would best suit your needs. 978-528-4983