Spring means vaccinating horses against deadly diseases

Spring means vaccinating horses against deadly diseases
(Source: Pixabay)

(WWBT) - It’s time for horse owners to get their animals vaccinated against deadly equine diseases.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says horses should be vaccinated against West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis twice a year.

In 2018, two horses across the state contracted West Nile and eight cases of EEE were confirmed.

The mortality rate for horses with EEE is up to 90 percent, but the DACS says vaccines are effective at preventing horses from contracting the disease.

Both diseases are transmitted by mosquitos and horses cannot contract the disease just from coming in contact with other infected horses. However, when there is an infected horse in the area, DACS says both horses and humans are at risk of contracting the disease from mosquitos.

The vaccines are effective for six to 12 months, and horse owners should contact their veterinarian to schedule a vaccination. DACS said the vaccine must be given two weeks before the horse is exposed to virus and should be vaccinated twice during the first year, about 30 days apart.

For more information, visit the DACS website.

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