E.S. Rusty Ford, the equine programs manager for the Kentucky State Veterinarian’s office, reported two additional horses confirmed with West Nile virus (WNV). Both horses were alive at the time of reporting.
The first case was a 7-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse gelding in Adair County. Onset of clinical signs was September 10. Signs included ataxia (unable to rise). As of September 13, the attending veterinarian said the horse was still seriously ill, but showing some improvement. There was no WNV vaccination history.
The second case was a 13-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse mare in Russell County. Onset of clinical signs began August 31 with mild ataxia. As of September 13 the mare was reported as continuing to improve. There was no WNV vaccination history.
The diagnosis of West Nile virus is based on detectable WNv IgM antibody on testing conducted at Murray State University’s Breathitt Veterinary Center and compatible clinical symptoms.
Of the eight equine WNV cases in Kentucky reported thus far this year, seven have survived and one was euthanized. Six were not vaccinated and two had reported vaccination status as “current.”
Seven of Kentucky’s 120 counties have had equine WNV cases: Adair (1), Bourbon (1), Franklin (1), Hart (1), Menifee (1), Metcalf (1) and Russell (2).