Protect horses from West Nile

Equine vaccinations are available to prevent the illness

Butte County officials urge horse owners to vaccinate their animals for West Nile virus, an illness transmitted to animals and people through infected mosquitoes. The vaccination is an inexpensive and effective way to prevent the disease. Last year, 21 horses in California tested positive for the disease, and eight of those animals died or were euthanized. Horses spend most of their time outdoors, of course, so they have a greater risk than humans and other animals of coming into contact with infected mosquitoes, especially during dusk or dawn. You can help make your horse’s home safer by draining standing water, cleaning holding containers and stocking ponds and tanks with mosquito-eating fish. West Nile virus can cause a variety of symptoms in horses, similar to rabies and equine herpes. Call your vet if your horse is stumbling or seems generally weak, exhibits drooping lips or teeth grinding, becomes sensitive to touch or sounds, or has difficulty rising. Find more information at

Source: Butte County Public Health