|Yearling paint with EEE (non-vaccinate)|
The gelding died within 2 days of showing clinical signs!
This year has been a record year for many parts of Florida with regards to rain fall. Although this has been a great thing for our over-all drought conditions, it has created a situation that may result in the awakening of a sleeping monster, also known as equine encephalitis. Depending on the virus, horses in the southeastern United States may be afflicted with the virus that causes Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) or West Nile Encephalitis. Sadly, the mortality rate for EEE in non-vaccinate horses is nearly 100% and approximately 30% in non-vaccinate horses with West Nile virus. These viruses are transmitted via the mosquito and tend to be most prevalent during the warmer months of the year. Due to the excessive rain in Florida, there are many areas with various amounts of flooding and sitting water. These are ideal conditions for an explosion in the mosquito population! Already in Alachua county, a sentinel chicken tested positive for the virus that causes EEE.
The good news is that these diseases are nearly 100% preventable through proper vaccination. At a minimum, horses should be vaccinated 2x per year for these dreaded diseases. However, with the explosion of the mosquito population this year, I recommend vaccinating 3x per year and vaccinating your horse within the the next 30 days if it has been more than 3 months since the their last vaccination.
Please contact your veterinarian today and make plans to protect your horses!!
You can read more about these conditions at the following site