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5 miles West of Saskatoon, sk
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Dr. Harvey Domoslai, DVM
Phone: (306) 384-7676
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Horse Owner Today

Saskatchewan West Nile Virus Confirmed Cases

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   September 6, 2013 07:10

During the month of August, two horses in Saskatchewan were confirmed to have West Nile
Virus (WNV). Both horses were treated and have recovered uneventfully. The first case, reported on August 6, occurred in RM 222 (Craik). The latter case, reported on August 12, occurred in RM 4 (Coalfield).

Horse owners and their veterinarians are reminded that WNV remains a risk in many parts of the province.

The following is excerpted from Saskatchewan Health’s Saskatchewan West Nile & Culex Report, August 30, 2013:

West Nile Activity Will Persist Into the September Long Weekend

West Nile Virus Risk

Although Culex tarsalis numbers have been declining in our traps, the warm evening temperatures are still causing some 2nd generation Culex tarsalis females and other species to remain active and biting. The arrival of the 2nd generation was delayed this year and was caused in part by the late spring and cool weather we encountered at the end of July. We may continue to see some more positive pools and we still have the potential to see infections going into the Labour Day long weekend. The forecasted trend to cooler temperatures next week will certainly limit mosquito activity to the warmer afternoon and early evening period. Furthermore, people will start to cover up more consistently as the evening and night-time temperatures cool off.   Fortunately the overall all level of virus cycling in birds and mosquitoes has been delayed and limited this year, and the risk of acquiring a WNV infection has been lower than in previous years.

As we enter September and early fall, people should continue to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, at least until we get a hard frost. There are still a few mosquitoes that will be active on warm days and evenings, including Culiseta inornata and Aedes vexans.  Although these are potential carriers of WNV, particularly in high activity years, they are not particularly competent vectors for human disease.

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West Nile Virus hits Saskatchewan horses

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   September 11, 2012 14:36

NOTICE: West Nile Virus in horses - update

To Sept. 7, there have been six (6) horses in Saskatchewan confirmed to have West Nile Virus. All six horses have been euthanized due to the severity of their neurological symptoms. These cases  have occurred in the RM 370 (Humboldt),  RM 65 (Tecumseh),  RM 121 (Moosomin), RM 137 (Swift Current), RM 38 (Laurier) and RM 395 (Porcupine), although this last case had recent travel history to the United States and likely contracted the virus there.

It is important to note that while listlessness and depression are often seen in cases of WNV in horses, in at least two of the cases reported here the horses remained bright and alert but remained recumbent due to severe neurological deficits.

Average daily temperatures have remained warm and above normal into the end of August and beginning of September. Though the season for the Culex tarsalis mosquito is almost over, horse owners and veterinarians should continue to watch for potential cases of West Nile Virus for the next few weeks.

Wendy Wilkins, DVM PhD
Disease Surveillance Veterinarian
Room 202
Animal Health Unit
Ministry of Agriculture
3085 Albert St
Regina, Saskatchewan
S4S 0B1
(306) 798-0253 (wk)

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West Nile Booster

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   July 13, 2012 20:37

Question:  Hi there. You did herd health for us earlier this spring. I was just curious...do we need a booster shot for the West Nile?
Thanks E.
Answer:  Hi E, If your horse has previously been vaccinated (in the past 2-3 years) you don't need a booster. If this is their first vaccine, yes you need to boost at this time. Thanks -Dr.D.

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West Nile, when to vaccinate?

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 6, 2012 19:48

Q:  When should horse owners administer their west nile vaccine?

A:  The vaccine will be west nile plus ewt combo vaccine not just west nile virus. Best to give mid May to end of July because west nile is usually an August and September disease.
Boosting will give highest immunity in first 3 to 4 months afterwards even though protective for a whole year.
If you have a pregnant mare vaccinate one month before foaling.
If you have a foal of a vaccinated mare start a series of 3 vaccinations once a month at 3 months.  
If the mare was not vaccinated prior to foaling, start at 5 months which may mean for some it is November by the time foal is 5 months, which is after mosquito season. Those foals can be started on their series the following April so
April-May-June. Dr Lisa Wayman DVM.