Preventing West Nile Virus in horses is critical but easy to do


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West Nile virus, recently confirmed in Ohio, can be fatal to horses. Dr. Bill Saville with the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine says the severity of the symptoms can differ depending on the horse itself. He says to always consult with a vet is you suspect an issue with your horse.

“Prevention is easy. That is the primary goal that I try to convince everybody. Even if you pay $25.00 for a vaccine, if the horse is worth $1000.00 it’s pretty cheap insurance because it works very well.” says Saville.

But vaccines are only a part of the solution. Dr. Saville says there are steps farmers need to take to prevent the disease from becoming a major issue on their farms.

“Stagnate water you need to remove. And that is CRITICAL. In other words if you have a container in the yard and it gets some rain water in it, it will take very little time until there’s thousands of larva in them. And then they produce mosquitoes. That is probably paramount.” says Saville.

Dr. Saville tells Brownfield Ohio State University has produced many fact sheets on how West Nile virus can impact horses, other types of livestock and humans.

Audio: Dr. Bill Saville, Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.


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