I just wanted to mention that the local news has a story on a confirmed case of Potomac Fever with a horse in St Louis, MO.
Now, I live in Missouri and quite frankly, in the St Louis surrounding area so this is quite a shock for me as an equine owner.
I give my horses quite a regiment of vaccinations (including rabies and west nile) but honestly, I've never vaccinated for Potomac Fever. Never felt the need to as it was not common in this region.
I am now going to incorporate this vaccine into my herd breeding program, as well as, my new youngsters. With the climate changes we have experienced in the midwest, it is no wonder we are seeing migration of some disease.
I hope this helps others out in the midwest who too may not be incorporating this vaccine into their health programs.
Bobbi, I"m actually not to suprised. If you consider the amount of travelling that horses do nowadays with showing and racing it's bound to happen.
I live in Texas and when I've got one who's doing alot of showing (even locally) I give them shots I don't give those that stay at home due to the exposure they may get at a show.
A horse can be in New York one day and California the next so you never know what he may be harboring.
I don't think it's so much the climates as it is the travel aspect.
By the way, I just recieved my order of the new WNV Prevenile shot and will be giving those this weekend. Has anyone used it yet?
We have to normally give WNV 2X a year so I've decided to go with this new one and just do the 1X a year. Everything I read said it's a far better shot with much better coverage and no side effect problems in the studies so I'm hoping it works out well.
Sorry, I guess I wasn't to clear and kinda confusing.
I'm not saying that horses pick up diseases from travelling itself, but that diseases we associate with certain areas of the country (such as Potomac) can end up anywhere due to horses that may be harboring it travelling and spreading it to other states.
Before a host even shows signs or symptoms he's off to a show or race in another state and then passes the bug to his new stablemates.
Heck, Texas itself is a great example. The majority of horse owners I know here only give Eastern and Western Enceph. and don't concern themselves with the Venezuelan strain (possibly due to the name from it's origin). Yet in the 70's it was the Ven. strain that made it's way to Texas and wiped out 100's of horses.
phyllis, i understand where you were coming from, and maybe I was unclear as well. My point was that potomac fever is very hard to spread from horse to horse in an environment inconducive to it's survival. It only does well in wet regions. For example....a horse goes to a show in Missouri, picks up the nemotode that is carrier, and same day transports it to Arizona, it won't live in arizona, so is unlikely to be spread there. It would have to be able to live long enough for another horse to pick it up, to be spread from horse to horse by travelling. Although, it'd be easy for a horse to travel to missouri and get it, spreading it when they arrive back in an area it won't thrive is not common.
I have always vaccinated against all strains of communicable disease (including strangles, which the vaccine itself doesn't completely protect against the disease) just out of precaution due to traveling horses.
But, like Diana clafifies, Potomac Fever is not one that I have ever vaccinated for as it is not conducive to this area simply because of the climate. It is not communicable from horse to horse nor horse to human, but simply because of environmental conditions.
We've had above average rainfall here and mild temperatures which are definately NOT the norm and the result is that we are finding ourselves in the midwest dealing with disease that is unfamiliary territory for us.
I wanted to post the recent news up as a precaution for those of us in the MO, IL, IN, KS, Iowa area because it can cause abortion, as well as, the fever and colic issues.
Its certainly something I personally want to put into my program this year. I still have some research I want to do with this as they suggest that you vaccinate against it every three months. Another issue to add to the list for the vet. I'm not sure that it is something I need to address that often.
Diana, Thanks for clarifying on that. I knew Potomac Fever was picked up due to certain conditions but was unaware that it couldn't be passed directly from one horse to another. My biggest concern in our area is mosquitos and what they may be passing around. There going to be horrible soon with all the rain we've gotten this week.
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