Equine West Nile

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Thu, August 23 2012 at 4:40 PM, Updated: Thu, August 23 2012 at 4:51 PM

West Nile virus has been confirmed as the cause of a recent death of a horse in the Keno area.

Nadine Hoy of 'Project Spirit' says horse owners should be concerned, but not frightened about the West Nile virus...

"It has everybody nervous.  But if you keep your horses supremely healthy, good vitamins, good natural hays - keep them healthy - they won't have a problem with it."

Dr. Doug McInnis of West Ridge Animal Hospital notes that an effective West Nile vaccine is available for horses...

"Initially a series of two injections, about three weeks apart, and that does adequately protect your horse, it's been proven."

Empty standing water to keep mosquitoes from breeding.

"We make sure that no water is left standing."  States Nadine Hoy.  "Every water container that the horses have is cleaned and flushed every day.  Nothing is allowed to stand around."

Dr. McInnis says that horses with West Nile virus may act drowsy, or irritated.  "Flu-like symptoms, they're not feeling well, or any behavioral changes.  Let's say they're just cranky, and they used to be real nice."

So far, no other cases of equine West Nile have been reported in the Keno area.

"We do see West Nile mainly in the late summer or fall months."  Notes Dr. McInnis.  "So it is best to vaccinate your horse kind of in the summer times."

About 80 cases of equine West Nile virus have been reported in the United States so far this year.

The confirmation of West Nile virus in the dead horse from Keno was made by the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Oregon State University.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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