For the first time in two years, a Nevada horse has been diagnosed with West Nile virus.
The animal was in Churchill County and, according to state Agriculture officials, had not been vaccinated in the past 12-18 months.
State Veterinarian Michael Greenlee with the Department of Agriculture said Friday horse owners can protect their animals with vaccinations, applying repellents to the animals and by controlling mosquitoes and mosquito breeding areas.
Positive mosquito pools have been detected in nine of Nevada’s 17 counties this year.
“Horse owners can also protect their animals by applying approved repellents to the animals and by controlling mosquitoes and mosquito breeding areas,” said the state veterinarian. “Vaccination is effective in preventing disease and owners should contact their veterinarians to ensure their horses are protected,”
West Nile virus, according to Greenlee, causes encephalitis, which affects the central nervous system. The most common manifestation is weakness in the hindquarters. Paralysis may follow in extreme cases.
“Prompt veterinary care is essential to improve the odds of an affected horse recovering,” he added.