The Office of the State Veterinarian announced today Delaware’s third case of West Nile Virus (WNV) found in horses in 2018. The infected equine is a 10-year-old pony gelding that was purchased from a Pennsylvania livestock auction and transported to a premises in New Castle County, DE on August 27. On August 30, the pony was observed to have a fever, was leaning and walking sideways. He progressed to show signs of wobbling and staggering, decreased tail tone, and facial nerve deficits. Samples were submitted to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, which confirmed the diagnosis of WNV on September 7. The vaccination history for this pony is unknown.
Two Delaware racing officials have been named chairman and secretary of the Organization of Racing Investigators, which represents racetracks, regulatory agencies and law enforcement involved in upholding the integrity of horse racing.
With warm weather here and mosquito season under way, Delaware horse owners are being advised to make certain their equines’ vaccinations are current to protect against the threat of two potentially fatal diseases. Unvaccinated horses suffer most severely from both West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis, which are spread by infected mosquitoes and can be fatal.