NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s state veterinarian this week reminded horse owners to protect their animals from West Nile Virus after a horse in Weakley County that contracted the disease had to be euthanized.
Horse owners should work with a veterinarian to determine a vaccination schedule, according to a news release from the Agriculture Department. Because West Nile is a mosquito-borne illness, horses in areas with heavy mosquito infestations may require more frequent vaccination. Owners should also eliminate mosquito breeding sites by removing standing water and regularly cleaning water containers. And they can use equine-approved repellents and fans in the stalls.
Approximately one-third of infected horses will die, and those that recover can relapse or develop secondary issues, State Veterinarian Samantha Beaty said.
While humans can be infected by West Nile, the virus does not pass between horses and people. Both horses and people only become infected when they are bitten by infected mosquitos.