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mistysangel0 10-30-2010 09:41 PM

Potomac Fever in western NY
People in the NY area watch out for signs and symptoms in your horses.. This season is almost over ( I think?)

We've had four cases in this area all of which have died. One was alive for only 12hours, she was not put down this killed her on 12 hours. One was in his late 20's and put down immediately the other I think was alive for a day or two.
Then my horse.. The first case was alive for 10 days before we put him to sleep. Nine of the 10 days hew as getting intensive around the clock care. He was the first case in over five years in my area and shortly after he died 3 more popped up.
I had personally never heard of it before my horse go it.. It's nasty.
My vet is using my families experience as an example to others that have horses with this.

There's a vaccine for it but as I understand it's not very effective. My vet compares it to the flu vaccine for people. It can help but being there are so many different strains it is rather ineffective. She also said it takes up to 6 weeks before it woudl do any good and build any sort of immunity to the infection.

Wet areas are higher risk areas. They get the infection from accidentally eating an infected bug, most commonly a Mayfly.

The beginning symptoms are

-mild depression
-decrease in appetite

soon to develop

- a fever ( usually 102-107F)
-moderate to severe diarrhea
-decreased intestinal sounds

My horse became extremely bloated by Day 2 of treatment, and was very dehydrated. They can also develop an edema. It can become very large. A side affect is very fast aggressive rotating founder. It can happen very fast.

The sooner it's caught the easier it is to treat.

Be careful and watch out for it.. It was one of the most terrible things I have had to watch happen to my horse.

This is what it did to him.. Skip through the first minute or so it's pics of him from before he got sick. It shows all nine days of his treatment I took pictures every other day. Including the day he died.

MIEventer 10-30-2010 09:49 PM

It is very scarey. Nelson got it last Late September/Early October.

The Vaccination is helpful - it does not prevent P from hitting your horse, it just minimizes it. My vet said, that if Nelson did not recieve the vaccination, he would of died because it would of hit him harder, than what it did with the vaccination.

The vaccination is ALWAYS *IMO* a great idea to have, especially if P is prevelant in your area.

My heart goes out to the horses that have been lost :(

Alwaysbehind 11-01-2010 09:14 AM

Sorry for your losses.

A good reminder to people to vaccinate!

MIEventer 11-01-2010 09:22 AM


Nelson got his vaccination in April, and then his booster in September. I don't want to take the chance of he being hit with it again, and he not being covered. Especially for his age.

As Always stated, this is a great reminder to ensure that our horses are protected as best as they can be.

vivache 11-01-2010 09:34 AM

One of my trainer's friends lost a horse she was training to it. They couldn't diagnose it until he'd passed. :c

Alwaysbehind 11-01-2010 09:54 AM

I believe all of NY has been an area that Cornell recommends vaccinate for PHF for quite some time now.

My horses, like MIE's get it twice per year. The cost of the vaccine is well worth any amount of protection if offers.

kitten_Val 11-01-2010 11:28 AM

I'm very sorry for your loss.... It's just very sad...

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