Published: 2011-03-30 00:00:00
"These cases are still under investigation, however they may result from a mosquito borne virus," AVA president Dr Barry Smyth said.
“Diseases associated with mosquitoes are very uncommon in normal years, but this past summer has been extremely unusual – due to floods and cyclones across much of the Eastern seaboard associated with the La Nina weather pattern.
“These weather patterns have created ideal conditions for the spread of mosquito borne disease. We have seen these clinical conditions in association with mosquito borne diseases in the past.
"Clinical signs in horses may include depression and mild colic. They may also include the onset of nervous signs, including increased sensitivity to touch and sound, facial paralysis and difficulty chewing, exaggerated limb movement and weakness, and they might even lie down,” he said.
If a horse is exhibiting these clinical signs the owner should consult a veterinarian immediately.
Your vet should submit blood samples for testing and may need to submit follow-up blood samples at three days and again at seven weeks after the onset of clinical signs.
All of the horses tested by the NSW Department of Industry and Investment so far have been negative for Hendra virus.
There are a range of products available including fly veils and registered chemical treatments to help protect horses from insect bites. It is also advisable to take measures to reduce a horse’s exposure to mosquitoes.
For more information visit the Australian Veterinary Association website