EEE Cases Found In Raleigh

Well, it’s that time of year again;  Two cases of Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis have been found in the Raleigh area causing both Quarter Horses to be euthanized.
EEE is a mosquito born and spread disease that can infect not only equine breeds, but also birds and humans. There are no signs, however, that EEE can be spread from horses to other animals or humans.
According to the  NCDA&CS Veterinary Division, EEE causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord and is often fatal. Symptoms of EEE include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death. Once a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito, it may take three to 10 days for signs of the disease to appear”
While the disease can effect each host differently, both un-vaccinated equines displayed the tell- tale symptoms. The First equine from Bladen County survived a number of weeks with the disease before being euthanized. The second, from Robeson County, succumbed to the symptoms with 24 hrs.
The NCDA&CS Veterinary Division reccommends ” that equine owners talk to their veterinarians about an effective vaccination protocol to protect horses from EEE and another mosquito-borne disease, West Nile Virus. The EEE and WNV vaccinations initially require two doses for horses, mules and donkeys that have no prior vaccination history.”

While the best way to avoid EEE in equine breeds is to vaccinate,  there are other precautions you can take:

  • Stable horses at night, try to avoid leaving them out to wander
  • install insect screens and fans in the stables
  • turn the stable lights off at dusk
  • Use insect repellant (follow manufacturers directions)
  • Clear out any standing water- Mosquitos can breed in any small amount of water that’s left more than four days.

If your horses are showing any signs or symptoms of EEE, please contact your Veterinarian immediately.

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