Local News

Three N.C. horses test positive for mosquito-borne illness

Posted July 23, 2009

— The state has recorded its first three equine fatalities due to a mosquito-borne disease this summer, according to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Two horses in Beaufort County tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis, State Veterinarian Dr. David Marshall said Thursday. The horses were unvaccinated. They were treated by a veterinarian and euthanized after presenting symptoms of EEE.

The third horse tested positive for EEE in Columbus County. It too was euthanized.

The state urged horse owners to vaccinate their animals against EEE and West Nile virus.

Symptoms of EEE 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 and impaired vision.

A veterinarian should be consulted if an animal is exhibits symptoms of either of these diseases.


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  • my voice Jul 24, 2009

    Inexperienced horse owners are clueless. Do research people. Ask questions! If you don't have knowledge on any particular subjects, read books, search the internet, ask someone that does have knowledge before you jump into something you do not know how to take care of. Horses in the wild and domesticated horses are completely different. Wild horses take care of themselves for the most part. Domesticated horses depend completely on the owners/caretakers for EVERYTHING! This could have been prevented if the owners would have taken responsibilty and took the horses to the Vet. atleast once a year. If you can't afford to do so, give the animal to someone that can!

  • iron fist Jul 24, 2009

    Money is very tight for a lot of people sometimes they have to choose between medical care and food, or vaccinations for their animals. I am sure the owner would have gotten the vaccinations if they could have. There are many reasons as to why the horses were not vaccinated. dchance don't fall off your "high horse"

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jul 24, 2009

    Concerning animal vaccinations, many people see them in the same light as life insurance, medical insurance, or Extended Service Plans. Its a gamble, when you purchase them, as to whether you will ever need them. Or a gamble as to whether you will ever recoup the money you have paid into the Insurance. I'm not saying its right or wrong. Just sayin'.

  • ddchance Jul 23, 2009

    What is sad about this story.. is that the vaccines could of prevented this from happening. I know it costs money to vac your horses... but its less then having a vet come .. diagnois them and put them down! Not to mention the poor animal that only has its owner to protect them from this disease. If you can't afford them.. pass or sell them to someone who can and will.

  • patriotsrevenge Jul 23, 2009

    What the story doesn't tell you is that EEE also infects humans and is EXTREMELY dangerous. Humans frequently die when infected with this virus. Y'all remember to use that mosquito repelant, ok?