Already Worse than Last Year

Last year, Michigan experienced the worst outbreak of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) ever recorded. This year is looking like it will be worse. As of yesterday, 18 cases were confirmed through 8 counties. This is double those reported last year in only 3 counties. Cases have been reported in Barry, Clare, Isabella, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo, and Oakland.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development highly suggests vaccinating horses, using strong fans in barns from evening and throughout the night when mosquitoes are most active, animal safe insect repellents and eliminating mosquito breeding grounds of standing water where possible.

Signs in horses include fever, difficulty walking or standing, and seizures which eventually lead to death.

Vaccination is the Best Way To Protect Your Horse

Vaccination is the best way to protect your horse because this vaccine is over 95% effective. Un-vaccinated horses, on the other hand, that become infected with EEE, only have a 10% chance of survival.

In People, EEE Causes Long-Term Health Effects

Even if you do not own horses, EEE can still affect you as mosquitoes transmit this disease to both people and horses. Take precautions to protect yourself and others from mosquitoes. In people EEE can cause brain swelling resulting in symptoms ranging from a headache to seizures and even death.

For more information on how to protect yourself and your horses from EEE, please visit the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at,4610,7-125-1572_28248_50968-539057–,00.html

It is not too late! West Nile Virus is in Livingston County. A horse in the Fowlerville area died from it July 21, 2017. Please update your horse’s vaccine if they were last vaccinated over 12 months ago against West Nile Virus.

There have been cases of Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE), commonly called sleeping sickness in southern Michigan. If your horse has not been vaccinated in the past 6 months, please be advised a booster is recomended. EEE is a highly fatal mosquito spread neurological disease. Good insect repellants, sheets and fans can aid in protection. EEE is not contagious from horse to horse.

West Nile Virus

Now we have a ten year pattern of disease and response to vaccine. The vaccine has performed very well. The new recommendation is to reduce vaccine from biannual to annual with these exceptions:

  1. Horses shipped to the south for the winter.
  2. Immuno-compromised like horses with Cushings disease and immature horses three years or less.

Potomac Horse Fever Vaccine changes

Potomac Horse Fever was first diagnosed in the late 1970’s. Initially, we vaccinated in the spring and summer because most cases were diagnosed in July and August. With climate change, we see cases as early as May 1st and as late as December 1st. This coupled with the short length of immunity, we now recommend vaccination every four months. Potomac Horse Fever is the most common disease diagnosed in our practice.