Can we talk about West Nile Virus? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 20 Old 09-24-2013, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Roux View Post
It is my understanding that the vaccine is not a guarantee against WN but it is supposed to help. But I could be wrong. Also I think some horses get WN and never show any symptoms, some get mildly sick, and some get very very ill.

IMO most horses are way over vaccinated so if your horse was done some time last year you should have nothing to worry about.
No vaccine is 100% percent against the disease you are vaccinating for. Some are more effective than others. It will boost their protection but they can still get it.

WNV has been in the US for over 12 years. Every horse has been bit by a WNV positive mosquito. The repeated exposure over the years has been a natural immunity building process. Young horses and aged horses with compromised immune systems are going to be more vulnerable and would benefit from the vaccine. A middle aged horse with prior vaccinations and natural exposure is going to be a very low risk of the disease.
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post #12 of 20 Old 09-24-2013, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mudpie View Post
I live in Central California and it's a routine practice to vaccinate for West Nile every year in spring. Very few uninnoculated horses survive, and its presence is known in California. I believe that the first two years your horses is getting the vaccine it is done twice a year (once in spring and once in fall, to build up immunity) and then you continue with the vaccine once a year in spring.

I'd definitely talk to a vet, though, and ask their opinion. Fly spray is certainly no solid or measurable defense against West Nile, though.

Good luck! :)
Initial vaccinations of a disease needs to be done with the first shot followed up with a booster 3-4 weeks later. That's for all shots. It only needs to be done once. The reason to follow up with a fall shot is the vaccine is short lived, only 10-12 weeks, not a year as most believe. If your mosquito season starts in June and ends in September, you can get by with one shot. If it goes longer than you need the booster in late summer to get to the end of the season. It's useless to get vaccinated for WNV in March with "spring shots" if your season goes until September. Hold that one out separately and give it in May.
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-24-2013, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by tinaev View Post
A friend who lives about 5 miles away just had a horse diagnosed with West Nile virus. My horse is due for his yearly exam and shots next month but this has me really worried.

So what do I do? I Google! And while Googling I come across statements like this: "Vaccination of horses is not a guarantee of protection against infection, and does not offer any protection for other animals or people. "

So can a vaccinated horse still get the virus? The fly spray we use says it protects against 70 types of insects including mosquitoes and I have never seen mosquitoes around our horses. I guess I'm just nervous now.
If it's keeping you up at night than get the vaccine. Do it now instead of in a month. In a month you probably won't need it. It also takes about 3 weeks for the immunity to build up after the shot is given.

Your horse has been bit repeatedly by infected mosquitoes even if you haven't seen them. I would suspect with all the rice field and agriculture in the Sac area, you have monitoring stations set up all over the place and can quantify how bad it is. If your horse has lived in the area for years, has been vaccinated in the past and is middle aged, I wouldn't get too worked up about things.
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post #14 of 20 Old 09-24-2013, 01:39 PM
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"Vaccination of horses is not a guarantee of protection against infection, and does not offer any protection for other animals or people. "
I lost my vaccinated stallion to EEE this year. He was 6 and in his prime. It was heartbreaking. The chances are better that they live through it if they do come down with it if vaccinated.
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post #15 of 20 Old 09-24-2013, 03:57 PM
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A horse at my old barn, Lucky, survived West Nile Virus. He was extremely fortunate (hence his name) but suffered some nerve damage and just isn't quite the same.

The hills were bathed in moonlight, the shadows not so stark;
Silver light reflected off his brown hide as he held me in the dark
– I love you, Mudpie!
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post #16 of 20 Old 09-24-2013, 04:43 PM
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Its around, the strain we have in the United States is one strain that is found in Africa as well. All told there are 4 strains. It is true that not vaccine is 100%, except maybe the rabies vaccine because you don't hear about animals getting vaccinated for that and coming down with the disease. Horses can pass the virus to foals in utero. It takes about 6 weeks for immunity to kick in. Which is where a lot of people make the mistake. They think they vaccinated their horse when in fact their horse was already infected or did not have the immunity against the virus. As a case and point we had someone in our town vaccinate their horse for EEE while the horse had 105 degree fever from EEE. I think its a better idea to ask your vet. If they think that you should vaccinate early. They would have a better idea of what disease are in and potentially the specifics of the positive horse case.
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post #17 of 20 Old 09-24-2013, 05:32 PM
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I live in what's consider the West Nile Corridor. We have people and horses get ill and die every year with West Nile. I have ALWAYS vaccinated my horses against it, never had a single site reaction or side effect and, Thanks Be To God, never had a horse become ill. IMO, $30 for the shot is very cheap insurance.

NO vaccine is 100% guaranteed to protect against an illness. Usually those who become infected after being vaccinated have a lot milder case of whatever the illness is.
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post #18 of 20 Old 09-24-2013, 08:48 PM
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We have had more just recently diagnosed in our area in NY. I think because of the wet summer. Our Vet group has recommended we all get a booster for our horses.....even tho it will be in the 30's tonite......I will get it done. Cheap insurance, and honestly-if I sat back and did nothing because I thought it "might" not help-and something did happen-I would be torturing myself with "what ifs".

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post #19 of 20 Old 09-24-2013, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone, I have definitely learned somethings from this thread!
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post #20 of 20 Old 09-24-2013, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by tinaev View Post
I'm in Northern California, near Sacramento.
They've found dead birds who tested positive for WNV in Sacto county as recently as last week, and several species of WNV positive mosquitoes in traps as recently as a couple days ago. I'd be vaccinating if it was my horse.

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