Connecticut agriculture officials say the first horse diagnosed with Eastern Equine Encephalitis this year has been euthanized.
The miniature horse, located in Griswold, began showing signs of the infection on September 8. It’s behavior was dull and the equine had a poor appetite. Despite treatment, the animal developed a fever, became depressed, uncoordinated, and continued to deteriorate.
There was no record that the horse was vaccinated against EEE or WNV, officials said.
“Horse owners should review vaccination records with their veterinarians to ensure that EEE and WNV vaccinations are current and to take precautions against mosquito bites, especially when residing in areas with known infected mosquitoes,” state Veterinarian Dr. Mary Jane Lis said in a written release.
Symptoms vary widely, according to Bayer Healthcare, but all result from inflammation of the brain. Early signs include fever, depression and appetite loss. A horse might stagger when it walks, and paralysis develops later. Prevention is essential since the death rate is over 75% for equines infected with EEE.
Sixteen states have had a total of 123 cases of horses infected with EEE as of Sept. 10.