Equine Disease Updates from EDCC

Maine, Colorado, Ohio, Indiana, California, Michigan and Florida all have disease reports you should take note of.


The Equine Disease Communication Center was off-line for a few days, so we will catch you up with this one post on equine disease happenings in Maine, Colorado, Ohio, Indiana, California, Michigan and Florida.

On September 1, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health confirmed one case of West Nile virus (WNV) in a 25-year-old, unvaccinated mare that was euthanized. The mare’s neurologic illness progressed quickly. The mare’s owners reported that she fell ill in the evening and was unable to rise the next morning. Three weeks prior to this case, another horse on the property presented with similar clinical signs and was euthanized, but was not tested for WNV. The three remaining horses on the property appeared healthy at the time of this report and the owner plans to vaccinate them.

The Maine state veterinarian confirmed that one unvaccinated horse was euthanized due to Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention was alerted late on September 1 of the positive test for EEE in York County. That is the first equine case of EEE in Maine since 2013.

The first three cases of West Nile virus in Colorado this year was reported to the EDCC on August 29 by the Colorado State Veterinarian’s office. One horse each in Larimer, Pueblo and Weld Counties was diagnosed with the disease.

A yearling cross-bred Morgan filly in Ashtabula County, Ohio, was reported to have died from Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). The yearling filly developed acute onset of clinical signs on Sunday afternoon, August 25, including signs of a low-grade fever (approximately 102 F), depression, reluctance to move without stimulation, abnormal stance, ataxic gait including reluctance to approach objects in her path and hanging her head low. She was treated that afternoon and blood samples were collected, but she was found dead the morning August 26. Two other horses on the premises became ill the day this horse died; one of those two horses also died. No horses on the premise were vaccinated against EEE.

The Indiana State Veterinarian’s office reported two cases of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in Elkart County. The first case was in a 6-year-old cross-bred gelding that had onset of clinical signs on August 16. His signs included collapse, seizures, becoming cast and lockjaw. The unvaccinated gelding was confirmed with EEE on August 23 and was euthanized. The second case was in a 3-year-old cross-bred mare that had onset of clinical signs on August 19. Her signs included head-pressing, mild neurologic signs and seizures. The unvaccinated mare was confirmed on August 27 and was euthanized.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture reported onset of clinical signs of West Nile virus (WNV) in a yearling Andalusian colt on August 18 and confirmation of the disease on August 28. The unvaccinated cold showed signs of ataxia, drooling, fever and lethargy. The colt was alive and still affected at the time of the report.

The Michigan State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development reported a confirmed case of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in a 15-year-old Quarter Horse mare in Kalamazoo County. She had onset of clinical signs on August 18 that included fever and head pressing. She was confirmed with EEE on August 28. The unvaccinated mare was euthanized.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported a confirmed case of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in Putnam County in a 4-year-old Quarter Horse mare. She had onset of clinical signs on August 17. She was euthanized on August 18 due to a poor prognosis. The horse had been vaccinated by the owner within the previous six months. This was Florida’s 26 confirmed EEE case in a horse this year and the second case for Putnam County

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