Local News

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

Posted July 23, 2009 5:58 p.m. EDT

— 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.