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west nile virus
new virus
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Death Of Horses From Virus
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There is a new horse virus in town! The equine virus herpes-1 is killing horses here in the west, valuable horses that perform in rodeos and other such activities. We suffered from the West Nile virus here but there is a vaccine for that and most all horses in our part of the woods been treated with the vaccine. That virus also attacked humans and was one reason to vaccinate horses to keep it from spreading to human. It is spread by mosquitoes so control of the pest keeps it from spreading from horses to mosquitoes to humans.

The method of spread of the new virus is not certain. But rodeo performers are dropping out of the competition to protect there horses. A good roping horse can cost tens of thousands of dollars with the potential of earning the cowboy much more. The locals here tell me that the virus is probably spread in rodeo arenas and other places where horses congregate. It can be spread by sharing food, brushes, bits and other equipment.

We have a significant wild horse population here in the west. If the virus gets into the wild herds, it may devastate them. That would solve the current over-population problem here with our wild horses but we would like to keep a reasonable number trotting around the mountains here. The population use to be controlled by allowing a certain number of animals to be harvested and marketed as meat, especially in Europe. But now that the animal lovers have their way and not allowing horses to be used except as pets, the folks of Belgium and not eat all the horse meat they would like to eat.

My son is a veterinarian here in our town. He no longer treats horses but he is the veterinarian for company that sells supplements for horses. His company has been swamped by horse owners who have sick animals and want to save them from possible death.

There have been no cases of The equine virus herpes-1 in humans. Supposedly it poses no risk for humans. Let's hope so. The West Nile virus caused a panic here in Idaho and people died or were crippled for life by the disease.

Many horse activities in the west have been canceled. The northwest has canceled rodeos, horse shows, even the participation of horses in parades. State fairs have removed horse activities. The virus breakout was first in Weld County, Colorado. It spread to Ogden, Utah and all horse owners who had animals in contact with sick animals were notified of the virus.

The incubation period for the virus is 2 to 14 days. The horse may start sneezing, have a high fever, stagger and have paralysis. Most recover. Some don't. But from a local worker with herbs (not my son), they can help and they are getting a lot of telephone calls from worried owners.

Colorado has the most cases but 140 animals were exposed in Ogden, Utah. The horse owners here in Idaho that I know have not affected by the equine virus herpes-1. Well, come on out here and see for yourself.

Fly Old Glory!


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