Washington-- The state veterinarian wants horse owners to get their pets vaccinated against West Nile Virus.
There have been no confirmed cases yet this year and vets want to keep it that way.
West Nile is a potentially deadly virus that is carried by birds. Mosquitoes get it from birds, then bite the horses, transmitting it to them.
The state veterinarian says the vaccine is 95 percent effective at preventing it. Last year there were 8 confirmed cases in our state. Seven of those horses were not vaccinated and the other wasn't up to date on its vaccination. All 8 cases of West Nile Virus in horses were in Yakima County.
State Veterinarian Dr. Leonard Eldridge says, "It's pretty much a neurological disease. You can tell and one of the things is they have a bad headache, and you can see it in their eyes and so forth." Other symptoms that a horse has west Nile virus include being off balance, not eating as much as normal, confusion, fever, and stiffness of the muscles.