The risk for horses to contract West Nile virus is highest during peak mosquito activity from July through October in the United States, and concerned horse owners still have plenty of opportunity to help protect their horses against the life-threatening disease. Vaccination is effective in preventing the infection, and veterinarians and horse owners alike continue to trust West Nile-Innovator as their vaccine of choice.
Vaccination remains the most effective way to help protect horses against West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases, and vaccination has been shown to make horses 30 times less likely to contract the virus.
“West Nile continues to be a major concern for the equine community, so it’s critical that horse owners and veterinarians remember to vaccinate horses annually against this deadly disease,” said Kevin Hankins, DVM, senior veterinarian, Zoetis Equine Technical Services. “A horse that is not vaccinated annually is still very much at risk, which is why we continue to see a great number of West Nile cases in unvaccinated horses.”
Horses that have not been vaccinated, or are overdue for vaccination, can receive added protection from West Nile-Innovator, with one study demonstrating that separate administration of West Nile-Innovator and Fluvac Innovator generated four times the immune response to West Nile than was produced by a big one-shot combination vaccine.
Proper horse management techniques used in tandem with vaccines can help maximize West Nile prevention. Barn managers should be sure to destroy any mosquito-breeding habitats by removing all potential sources of stagnant water, clean and empty any water-holding containers, such as water buckets, water troughs and plastic containers, on a weekly basis, and regularly apply insect repellent or bring horses inside during the peak mosquito feeding hours of dusk to dawn.
More information about West Nile-Innovator and proper vaccination protocol can be found here.