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Archive for Tick and mosquito

Mosquito Illnesses in Horses

horseVaccIt’s the beginning of mosquito season in North Carolina, which means it’s also time for equine owners to talk to their veterinarians about vaccinating animals against mosquito-borne diseases.

West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis are endemic across North Carolina and can cause illness or death in equine, but can be prevented with a sequence of two vaccines. Last year, there were two reported cases of WNV and 13 cases of EEE, but veterinarians expect that the actual number is higher.

Symptoms of EEE in equine 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, impaired vision or hyperexcitability.

People, horses and birds can become infected from a mosquito carrying the diseases, but there is no evidence that horses can transmit the virus to other horses, birds or people through direct contact.

Tick & Mosquito Concerns

Natural-mosquito3With summer fast approaching and people spending more time outdoors, it is important for everyone to take precautions against tick and mosquito bites. Tick and mosquito borne infections cause illnesses and deaths in North Carolina each year, with more than 800 cases reported in 2013. To encourage awareness of this issue, Governor McCrory recently proclaimed April 2014 as “Tick and Mosquito Awareness Month” in North Carolina. Tick borne diseases in North Carolina include Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. These diseases are diagnosed from all regions of the state and can be acquired at any time of year. However, the vast majority of infections occur in the months of June through September. The North Carolina Division of Public Health encourages using repellents, using air conditioning and keeping windows closed, and emptying free standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets and pool covers.