A 31-year-old horse in South Windsor is dead and a 4-year-old horse in Southbury is recovering after both contracted West Nile virus.
According to the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, these are the first cases of domestic animals contracting West Nile Virus infection in 2012.
The 4-year-old horse in Southbury was lethargic and stumbling on its front feet on Aug. 27, developed a fever and became progressively uncoordinated, according to state Department of Agriculture. A blood sample was submitted to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories and was positive for the virus. Veterinarians treated the horse and it is currently recovering.
The 31-year-old horse in South Windsor was euthanized after becoming ill.
On Aug. 29, the horse’s owner saw that the animal was unable to stand and was unresponsive. After that, the horse’s condition continued to deteriorate and it a veterinarian euthanized the animal.
A sample was collected at the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, tested at National Veterinary Services Laboratories and was positive for the virus.
Agriculture department officials said both horses had no documented history of a completed WNV vaccination series and they had not traveled.
“Horse owners should review their animals’ vaccination records with their veterinarians to ensure that WNV and Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE) vaccinations are current and their horses are protected during the mosquito season,” Dr. Mary Jane Lis, state veterinarian for the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, said in a news release.
Horses are the domestic animals most susceptible to infection with the virus.