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Country Talk Discussion Board

Re: Vaccinating horses for west nile virus

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Posted by Saddlebum....okay, just my opinion, but... on September 06, 2002 at 07:15:07 from (

In Reply to: Vaccinating horses for west nile virus posted by Tom A on September 06, 2002 at 04:26:34:

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.

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