The thing I love most about these hot days is taking a drink…or a dip in a cool lake or stream. Some might say that I’m a SEAHORSE! Cooling off in a river seems like a good idea, but it can also be home to nasty bacteria that can make me sick.
If you haven’t guessed it already, this is another blog post about equine diseases and vaccines. Been hiding under a rock for a while? Then check out the other post here!
Potomac Horse Fever is caused by water bugs that carry a bacterium called Neorickettsia risticii. During the day, they love to splash in the water and at night they are attracted to light, especially the lights in the barn…directly over my food! The bugs get mixed in with the hay and contaminate it. A horse becomes infected when it unknowingly eats the bug, along with the bacteria. EW!
Some warning signs if your horse has Potomac Horse Fever are:
- Mild depression
- Decreased appetite
- Decreased belly sounds
- Watery diarrhea
Horses are treated with antibiotics and it usually resolves within a week. This is a very manageable disease but why get sick when you can prevent it?! Some preventions are getting vaccinated against Potomac Horse Fever and turning off the barn lights at night. This discourages the bugs from having a party in my stall! Luckily with this disease, it isn’t contagious from horse to horse.
Overwhelmed with all this talk of diseases and symptoms and vaccines?? Luckily for you, we created a simple vaccination kit that includes disease information cards and posters on the vaccine schedules for adult horses! We also have a separate poster for foals and weanlings, too! The kit is only $12 and the posters can be purchased for $3 each. That’s a bargain! These kits are great tools for any experienced horse owner as well as young horse enthusiasts! And remember, always talk to your veterinarian about customizing a vaccination schedule that works best for your horse.