A four-year-old quarter horse stallion in Richmond County was euthanized after contracting the first case of Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis in North Carolina this year.
EEE is a mosquito-borne disease that is preventable in equine by vaccination. This is the first case of EEE in North Carolina this year.
EEE causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord and is usually fatal. Symptoms include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death. Once a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito, it may take three to 10 days for signs of the disease to appear.
“If your horses exhibit any symptoms of EEE, contact your veterinarian immediately,” said State Veterinarian Doug Meckes. “it is imperative that horse owners keep their vaccines current, talk to your veterinarian about vaccinating them as soon as possible against EEE and West Nile virus.”