On February 21st the Division of Animal Industry (DAI) was notified that a horse participating in the Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS) show in Ocala, FL had been referred to the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine, after exhibiting clinical neurological signs. The horse tested positive for Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1), wild-type strain. The horse remains at the university and is in stable condition.
As a result of the initial investigation, five additional horses were found to be positive for EHV-1. Of those five, one developed neurological signs. There are multiple quarantines on farms where horses have left the show prior to this development and quarantine of the show itself.
UPDATES from the MI Veterinary Medical Association
Equine Encephalitis Found in Van Buren County
Officials with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and Michigan State University's (MSU) Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (DCPAH) today confirmed Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a Van Buren County eight-week-old puppy.
"There have been other reported cases of EEE in dogs, but as far as we are aware, not in Michigan," said DCPAH Associate Director Dr. Thomas Mullaney. "Private veterinarians may want to consider EEE if there are neurological issues during an examination, especially if dogs have been living outside with no mosquito control on the premises."
In this case, the puppy had a sudden onset of seizures, was thin and weak, and unable to stand. During examination, the puppy had seizures, was hospitalized, became progressively worse, and the owner agreed to have the dog euthanized. MSU's DCPAH later confirmed EEE as the cause of the puppy's illness.
"This is a challenging year for vector borne diseases. Drought conditions and warm weather lead to stagnant pools of water which are breeding grounds for mosquitos," said State Veterinarian Dr. Steven L. Halstead. "This just shows how important it is to protect dogs, cats, and horses from the illnesses that mosquitoes and other vectors such as fleas, ticks, and biting flies can cause."
High Level of West Nile Virus Activity Recorded
The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is recording high levels of West Nile Virus (WNV) activity in many parts of the state. So far this season, our human case count is the highest it has been since 2002 when WNV first appeared in Michigan. Persons bitten by an infected mosquito can become severely ill; in some cases, especially among persons age 50+, WNV can be fatal.
It is important to take precautions to protect oneself and others. As you head outdoors, and particularly this weekend while you enjoy the holiday weekend, please take precautions to protect yourself and your family by following the 4Ds of West Nile Virus prevention:
DUSK Avoid being outside when mosquitoes are most active: dusk and dawn. DEET Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. DRESS Wear long sleeves and pants when possible outdoors. DRAINAGE Drain all standing water around your home.
During the WNV press briefing held yesterday, MDCH reported 80 cases and 4 deaths, 62 of the 80 cases were severe and required hospitalization. The Michigan mosquito season peaks in late August and will decline as evening temperatures get below 50 degrees.
Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in White Tail Deer
We have been getting a lot of questions about the Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) outbreak in white tail deer. This virus is similar to the bluetongue virus seen in domestic ruminants (cattle, sheep. goats) but is not the same condition. EHD in wild ruminants can infect our domestic species but rarely causes disease.
This is not a new virus and has been around since 1955. There have been other outbreaks in Michigan in 1974, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010. It is transmitted by biting flies (Culicoides). In states where the virus is more common the deer can develop antibodies to it and able to fight it off better. Here it is not that common and we have a number of the deer population die.
Clinical signs are similar to the bluetongue virus. Deer have high fevers, loss of appetite, salivation and hemorrhage of internal organs. The onset is sudden and death may occur in 8-36 hrs after the start of visible signs.
There is no treatment for the virus and it can have devastating effects on the wild deer population. Click here for more information.
From the MI Veterinary Medical Association newsletter
"West Nile virus (WNV) activity has been identified in two Michigan counties. A mosquito pool submitted by the Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission has tested positive for WNV at Michigan State University (MSU). In addition, a wild turkey found in Washtenaw County displaying neurologic signs has tested positive for WNV at MSU. These findings confirm that the virus is circulating in mosquitoes and birds in the state and presents a clear risk to human health."
"WNV activity has also been detected in other Great Lakes states this season. Hot, dry weather produces conditions that are favorable to the WNV transmission cycle. The public should be reminded to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellant and to remove mosquito breeding sites around the home."
To date there have been no reports of human or equine cases of WNV in Michigan. There has been one confirmed case in Pennsylvania this year.
EIA (coggins) Update
Did you hear about the case of Equine Infectious Anemia in Michigan? EIA is the disease that we test for when we pull blood for a Coggins test. Click here for more information.
Click here for information about the Canadian EIA outbreak in Spring 2012.
Beadle Lake Large Animal Clinic 7115 Tower Road Battle Creek, MI 49014 Hours: Monday and Friday 8AM to 5PM; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 8 AM to 4PM; Saturday 8AM to 12PM 269-441-9233 firstname.lastname@example.org