Protect Your Horse from West Nile Virus

Protect Your Horse from West Nile Virus

Mosquitoes spread disease. Here’s how to help reduce the spread of disease to your horse during peak mosquito season.

Peak mosquito season is also peak West Nile Virus season, the time your horse is at the highest risk for contracting the virus. While peak mosquito season occurs July through October across the United States, it’s not too late to help protect your horse against West Nile Virus (WNV) and other mosquito-borne diseases.

WNV can cause brain inflammation and even death. While there are methods to reduce the chance a horse can contract the life-threatening disease (see below), the best and most effective protection is vaccination.

Studies by Zoetis, a global animal health company, show that a vaccinated horse is 30 times less likely to contract WNV. In response to WNV, a disease that is fatal in 33% of horses that exhibit symptoms, Zoetis has designed the West Nile-Innovator ®. Research shows that the West Nile-Innovator ® vaccine provides an immune response that is four times greater than a one-shot combination vaccine.

Methods to protect your horse from West Nile Virus:

1) Mitigate mosquito-breeding habitats by removing stagnant water sources, keeping water containers clean, and stocking water tanks and troughs with fish that eat mosquito larvae;

2) Bring horses indoors dusk to dawn during peak mosquito-breeding season;

3) Vaccinate your horse yourself with West Nile-Innovator®. or work with your vet to vaccinate your horse.