Mosquito season isn't just a nuisance for humans, but for their pets and animals as well.
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) is advising all horse owners to contact their veterinarians about getting their animals vaccinated against mosquito-borne diseases. West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE) are endemic across North Carolina according to the NCDA&CS.
"Now is the time to vaccinate against West Nile Virus and EEE," State Veterinarian David Marshall said. "Mosquito breeding peaks in August, so starting the vaccination protocol now gives it time to take effect."
There were two cases of West Nile reported in North Carolina last year and 13 cases of EEE. In addition to getting animals vaccinated, owners are asked to do their best to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds by ridding their yards and pastures of standing water.
Symptoms of EEE in equine include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death. Symptoms of WNV in horses can include loss of appetite and depression, fever, weakness or paralysis of hind limbs, convulsions, impaired vision or hyperexcitability according to the NCDA&CS.
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