For a healthy horse

Annual reminder to vaccinate equines against WNV

With summer officially here, the mosquito-borne West Nile virus (WNV) once again is posing a health risk for people and animals. Horses are especially susceptible to the disease. Last year, 21 horses in California were confirmed to have WNV, including several in nearby counties; one-third died or were euthanized, according to Butte County Public Health. Equine owners are encouraged to vaccinate animals against WNV. For a list of local veterinarians, go to

Consult a veterinarian if you suspect your horse has been infected with WNV, which can mimic other serious neurological illnesses. Here are the signs:

• Stumbling or lack of coordination

• Drooping lips, teeth grinding or lip smacking

• General weakness, muscle twitching and/or tremors

• Sensitivity to touch and sound

• Fever

• Difficulty or inability standing

• Convulsions or coma