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Horse euthanized after contracting West Nile Virus in West Tennessee

The state veterinarian said a horse in Weakley County had to be euthanized after testing positive for West Nile Virus.
Credit: anjajuli - stock.adobe.com

WEAKLEY COUNTY, Tenn. — A warning for horse owners in West Tennessee. The state veterinarian said a horse in Weakley County had to be euthanized after testing positive for West Nile Virus.

“We are always concerned when WNV is discovered in horses,” State Veterinarian Dr. Samantha Beaty said in a news release. “Approximately one-third of these horses will succumb to this disease, and those that recover can relapse and develop secondary issues. Additionally, from a One Health perspective, it alerts health officials to the presence of the virus in the environment.”

Mosquitoes get the virus when they feed on infected birds. The mosquitoes can then spread the virus to people and other animals by biting them.

While people can be infected by West Nile, the virus does not pass between people and horses. Horses also do not transmit the virus to other horses.

The state veterinarian said horse owners should work with their veterinarian to vaccinate their animals.

Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by removing standing water and regularly cleaning water containers. You can also minimize horses’ exposure to mosquitoes by using equine-approved repellents and fans in stalls.

Symptoms for horses range from mild and flu-like to inflammation of the brain. Horses may show a lack of coordination and stumbling, fever, hind-end weakness, muscle tremors, excessive sweating, lips or head drooping, and teeth grinding. 

NASHVILLE – Tennessee's state veterinarian confirms a horse in Weakley County, Tenn. tested positive for West Nile Virus...

Posted by Tennessee Department of Agriculture on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

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