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Country Discussion Topics
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Vaccinating horses for west nile virus
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Tom A    Posted 09-06-2002 at 04:26:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Just had a west nile horse fatality about 15 miles up the road, and there have been cases of it all around me. Closest is about 6-8 miles. We have few, if any, mosquitoes at my place--the little bit of standing water around has frogs in it.

The local papers are all spouting an emergency and saying all horses should be vaccinated, but I'm not sure how much of that is hype. Of course the vets want to come out and stick 'em so they can make a buck (my regular vet who I trust is on maternity leave and I can't get hold of her). I'm always concerned to use any new medical product, because it seems like half the time they "discover" that it is really harmful...2 years after everybody has used it.

So: should I vaccinate my mule and donkey against west nile virus? What are y'all doing with your equines?


My last horse vaccination was    Posted 09-06-2002 at 17:58:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
about 1992. My father raised pure bred Arabian show horses beginning about 1940. They were his children, more so than me. In his later years it was my job to "take care" of the ones on their last legs. Great. It's small wonder that I don't like or want horse any more. I had to look them in the eye, almost like children, and pull the trigger. I don't think I will have much problem doing it to myself when the need arises.


Saddlebum....okay, just my opinion, but...    Posted 09-06-2002 at 07:15:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have a friend in Iowa whose new horse is in the middle of trying to fight off the virus as we speak. She is up to the $2000 mark in treatment right now, after six days. It is a very ugly disease, and the vaccinations, properly given, have about a 90% effectiveness rate. In my book, 90% is pretty good odds, plus those horses who have been vaccinated who do contract the virus have a much better survival rate, according to the preliminary data. Like anything else (liken this to flu shots, if it helps), yes, there are going to be a few animals who just flat out have crappy immune systems and get the disease anyway, even with proper vaccination. However, they are few and far between. We already vaccinate annually against Eastern and Western Encephylitis (plus a few othe things)...WNV is a form of encephylitis, why not include it in the round of annual shots if you already do that? After their initial doseage and booster shot, it becomes a single yearly dose, which is not bad, costwise. If nothing else, you might vaccinate your most valuable animals, or those most at risk (very old or very young, or those who for whatever reason have a compromised immune system).

Yep, statistically you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than getting WNV, but I don't go out in electrical storms and stand under the tallest tree I can find, either. *g* My horses (all six of 'em) have been vaccinated since April.


bob    Posted 09-06-2002 at 05:44:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
we ,ve had cases in county but vets aren,t publishing them. first two shots and then wait 2 weeks to give next one. sort of do you hope for an early frost. Real hard to figure if want to or not Son is talking about getting an early start like in march next year and running risk now . I,m not sure. vet said you have to have all 3 shots to do any good


NGONGE    Posted 09-06-2002 at 04:54:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
what are you talking about, man?


Coaltrain    Posted 09-06-2002 at 04:38:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Tom I vaccanted my mules. But if mosquitos is the only way itis transimited and it takes 30 days for it to work looks like danger may be over soon. Several around here has same concern. I heard not far from here 2 horses died that been vaccinated for how long I doin't know. Coaltrain


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