Po­tomac Horse Fever de­tected in Mary­land

Record Observer - - News -

ANNAPOLIS — Po­tomac Horse Fever has been con­firmed in two Mar yland horses, one of which has died from the disease. The Mary­land De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture is urg­ing horse own­ers — es­pe­cially those with horses that graze near rivers, streams and creeks — to watch their horses closely for signs of the disease. Clin­i­cal signs in­clude mild to se­vere fever, di­ar­rhea, loss of ap­petite, lamini­tis, and mild colic. Po­tomac Horse Fever is most com­monly con­tracted by horses that in­gest in­fected aquatic in­sects such as cad­dis­flies and mayflies.

“Po­tomac Horse Fever surfaces here ev­ery few years,” said State Vet­eri­nar­ian Michael Rade­baugh. “Be­cause it can be fatal, we urge horse own­ers to pay spe­cial at­ten­tion to how their horses feel. The vac­cine for Po­tomac Horse Fever is not al­ways ef­fec­tive, so we en­cour­age own­ers to con­tact their vet­eri­nar­ian sooner rather than later if they suspect any­thing, even if the horse has been vac­ci­nated.”

The two horses con­firmed were in Fred­er­ick County, and both horses had been vac­ci­nated. The sec­ond horse is be­ing treated by a pri­vate vet­eri­nar­ian and is ex­pected to re­cover.

The vac­cine for Po­tomac Horse fever is not al­ways ef­fec­tive but may lessen the sever­ity of the disease. Horse own­ers are ad­vised to fol­low the rec­om­men­da­tions of their pri­vate prac­ti­tioner con­cern­ing vac­ci­na­tion pro­to­cols. The de­part­ment en­cour­ages own­ers to con­tact their vet­eri­nar­ian as soon as pos­si­ble if they suspect any­thing, even if the horse has been vac­ci­nated.

Po­tomac Horse Fever can­not be trans­mit­ted from horse to horse, and peo­ple are not at risk; how­ever, vet­eri­nar­i­ans who di­ag­nose it must re­port it to the State Vet­eri­nar­ian.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the disease, see: http://www.aaep.org/info/ po­tomac-horse-fever.

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