Horse infected with West Nile

HORSE OWNERS are being warned to vaccinate their steeds.

HORSE OWNERS are being warned to get their steeds vaccinated against West Nile Virus after a horse in Prince George was diagnosed with the deadly disease.

Prince George veterinarian Christine Murdoch recently faxed vets in the region saying that antibodies to the virus had been found in a horse that hadn’t been vaccinated against West Nile.

It’s likely just a matter of time before the disease is found here; it crossed the Rocky Mountains and was found in Kamloops last year and now Prince George, said local vet Dr. David Farkvam.

“The scary thing is it causes [death] and the horses that survive often have neurological conditions and have to be put to sleep,” he said. Horses should be vaccinated for West Nile in the spring, he said.

Infected horses might walk oddly, walk in a circle, become wobbly on their back legs and do abnormal things like head pressing, he said.