Mosquito season | TSLN.com

Mosquito season

For the June 20, 2009 edition of Tri-State Livestock News.

With all the wonderful rain we’ve had, it’s mosquito season again. Due to several serious mosquito-borne diseases, that’s a concern for equines and their owners. Our outfit breaks out the Vitamin B-1 along about April and both people and horses start dosing with it. For the average human, one 100-mg B-1 vitamin daily will keep the mosquitoes and other biting insects away. Besides that, it’s good for you… it’s a calming thing.

You all know we have never given West Nile vaccine, and haven’t given Eastern/Western Encephalitis vaccine in years either. Our horses are scavengers who like to check for stale bread, veggies, etc. at a disposal point near the yard each day. When they come to the house we just feed each of them half a peanut-butter sandwich with five or six B-1’s tucked in it. I can’t give any statistical proof on the effectiveness, but we can sure see the difference when riding with other people in mosquito-infested areas… their horse’s necks will be black with mosquitoes and our horses might have one or two buzzing around their heads, but hardly lighting on them. The same goes for us… and of course people can get both West Nile and the Equine Encephalitis varieties, so it’s comforting when mosquitoes are not pursuing you.

According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), two animals in Long County, GA were recently diagnosed with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Officials from the Coastal Health District say the two horses were not from the same farm, and both had to be euthanized.

Health officials say EEE in horses is fatal 70-90 percent of the time. Epidemiologist Robert Thornton with the Coastal Health District says the disease is preventable, so owners should have their horses vaccinated. Humans cannot get the disease from horses, but they can get it from mosquitoes. Even though there is a vaccine for horses, there is no vaccine for humans. To protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes, health officials want you to remember the 5 D’s:

• Dusk – Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus usually bite at dusk and dawn.

• Dawn – Avoid outdoor activity at dusk and dawn if possible. If you must be outside, be sure to protect yourself from bites.

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• Dress – Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin.

• DEET – Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing the chemical DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquitoes.

• Drain – Empty any containers holding standing water because they can be excellent breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes.

We haven’t had a serious outbreak of vesicular stomatitis (VS) since 2006, but health officials say the first case of VS has been confirmed in the U.S. for 2009 – a horse in Starr County, Texas. VS is a sporadically occurring virus that is endemic to the United States. Signs of the disease include blisters, lesions and sloughing of the skin on the muzzles, tongue, teats and above the hooves of susceptible livestock, which include horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, deer and some other species of animals.

The AAEP cautions, “To prevent the spread or introduction of infection, many states and countries will place additional entry requirements or restrictions on the movement of animals from affected states, or portions of the state. Call the state or country of destination before moving livestock to ensure that all entry requirements can be met. Do not risk shipments being turned away, or worse, spreading disease and facing legal action by animal health authorities.”

Equine maladies are always of great concern, especially with the rapid transport available today, and the way horses are moved across continents and oceans overnight. A strange thing happened this week at Belmont Park that raises concerns in my mind. The horse Sailor’s Cap ran and won a great race there last Saturday, the 13th. On the 17th he spiked a high temperature, collapsed and died.

I saw coverage of the incident on TVG – the horse racing channel – then a friend e-mailed me an Associated Press story on it. Breeder/owner Team Valor and trainer Jimmy Toner say they are “in complete shock.” Apparently the horse had some history of getting sick after traveling and a necropsy will reportedly be done at New Bolton Center in Pennsylvania.

I just pray it doesn’t turn out to be anything contagious. Think of all the horses from all corners of the world that were just at Belmont Park for the running of the Belmont Stakes… and all the others that are in and out of there on a regular basis. If this were to be some strange, exotic disease it could be very serious.

Speaking of horses traveling great distances and being gathered up in big bunches – the beautifully colored breed of horses called Appaloosa will be on display right away at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson, MS. The 62nd Annual Appaloosa National and the 2009 Appaloosa Youth World Show scheduled for June 22 through July 4 will highlight the versatility of the breed as riders of all ages and levels of expertise exhibit them in a wide variety of classes including conformation, agility, speed, cattle events, and the English disciplines. A Regional Club Workshop, ApHC Membership Meeting and Summer Board Meeting will take place, along with youth speech competition, awards banquets, a huge trade fair and other activities. To learn more go to http://www.appaloosa.com/national-show/national-show.htm.

On the ProRodeo scene, Cowboy Christmas is about to cut loose… one of the busiest and richest paying times of year on the rodeo trail. Tri-State Country hosts some of the best Independence Week rodeos – Greeley, CO; Red Lodge and Livingston, MT; Belle Fourche and Mobridge, SD and Cody, WY. On the amateur side of the fence, for sheer enjoyment, great action and some of the prettiest country you could find, Tensleep, WY is the place to be over July 4th… however do take your feather coat if you go there… I’ve been in a big blizzard on top of Powder River Pass on July 3rd…

Speaking of pro rodeo cowboys, we lost a good one when roughstock hand Buzz Seeley rode across the Great Divide from his ranch at Hot Springs, MT, May 31. Seeley was 69, and 1969 was the all around cowboy’s best season. He won the NFR Bronc Riding average that year, and finished 5th in the world standings.

Looks like that’s the end of our ol’ lariat rope for another week…

With all the wonderful rain we’ve had, it’s mosquito season again. Due to several serious mosquito-borne diseases, that’s a concern for equines and their owners. Our outfit breaks out the Vitamin B-1 along about April and both people and horses start dosing with it. For the average human, one 100-mg B-1 vitamin daily will keep the mosquitoes and other biting insects away. Besides that, it’s good for you… it’s a calming thing.

You all know we have never given West Nile vaccine, and haven’t given Eastern/Western Encephalitis vaccine in years either. Our horses are scavengers who like to check for stale bread, veggies, etc. at a disposal point near the yard each day. When they come to the house we just feed each of them half a peanut-butter sandwich with five or six B-1’s tucked in it. I can’t give any statistical proof on the effectiveness, but we can sure see the difference when riding with other people in mosquito-infested areas… their horse’s necks will be black with mosquitoes and our horses might have one or two buzzing around their heads, but hardly lighting on them. The same goes for us… and of course people can get both West Nile and the Equine Encephalitis varieties, so it’s comforting when mosquitoes are not pursuing you.

According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), two animals in Long County, GA were recently diagnosed with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Officials from the Coastal Health District say the two horses were not from the same farm, and both had to be euthanized.

Health officials say EEE in horses is fatal 70-90 percent of the time. Epidemiologist Robert Thornton with the Coastal Health District says the disease is preventable, so owners should have their horses vaccinated. Humans cannot get the disease from horses, but they can get it from mosquitoes. Even though there is a vaccine for horses, there is no vaccine for humans. To protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes, health officials want you to remember the 5 D’s:

• Dusk – Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus usually bite at dusk and dawn.

• Dawn – Avoid outdoor activity at dusk and dawn if possible. If you must be outside, be sure to protect yourself from bites.

• Dress – Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin.

• DEET – Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing the chemical DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquitoes.

• Drain – Empty any containers holding standing water because they can be excellent breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes.

We haven’t had a serious outbreak of vesicular stomatitis (VS) since 2006, but health officials say the first case of VS has been confirmed in the U.S. for 2009 – a horse in Starr County, Texas. VS is a sporadically occurring virus that is endemic to the United States. Signs of the disease include blisters, lesions and sloughing of the skin on the muzzles, tongue, teats and above the hooves of susceptible livestock, which include horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, deer and some other species of animals.

The AAEP cautions, “To prevent the spread or introduction of infection, many states and countries will place additional entry requirements or restrictions on the movement of animals from affected states, or portions of the state. Call the state or country of destination before moving livestock to ensure that all entry requirements can be met. Do not risk shipments being turned away, or worse, spreading disease and facing legal action by animal health authorities.”

Equine maladies are always of great concern, especially with the rapid transport available today, and the way horses are moved across continents and oceans overnight. A strange thing happened this week at Belmont Park that raises concerns in my mind. The horse Sailor’s Cap ran and won a great race there last Saturday, the 13th. On the 17th he spiked a high temperature, collapsed and died.

I saw coverage of the incident on TVG – the horse racing channel – then a friend e-mailed me an Associated Press story on it. Breeder/owner Team Valor and trainer Jimmy Toner say they are “in complete shock.” Apparently the horse had some history of getting sick after traveling and a necropsy will reportedly be done at New Bolton Center in Pennsylvania.

I just pray it doesn’t turn out to be anything contagious. Think of all the horses from all corners of the world that were just at Belmont Park for the running of the Belmont Stakes… and all the others that are in and out of there on a regular basis. If this were to be some strange, exotic disease it could be very serious.

Speaking of horses traveling great distances and being gathered up in big bunches – the beautifully colored breed of horses called Appaloosa will be on display right away at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson, MS. The 62nd Annual Appaloosa National and the 2009 Appaloosa Youth World Show scheduled for June 22 through July 4 will highlight the versatility of the breed as riders of all ages and levels of expertise exhibit them in a wide variety of classes including conformation, agility, speed, cattle events, and the English disciplines. A Regional Club Workshop, ApHC Membership Meeting and Summer Board Meeting will take place, along with youth speech competition, awards banquets, a huge trade fair and other activities. To learn more go to http://www.appaloosa.com/national-show/national-show.htm.

On the ProRodeo scene, Cowboy Christmas is about to cut loose… one of the busiest and richest paying times of year on the rodeo trail. Tri-State Country hosts some of the best Independence Week rodeos – Greeley, CO; Red Lodge and Livingston, MT; Belle Fourche and Mobridge, SD and Cody, WY. On the amateur side of the fence, for sheer enjoyment, great action and some of the prettiest country you could find, Tensleep, WY is the place to be over July 4th… however do take your feather coat if you go there… I’ve been in a big blizzard on top of Powder River Pass on July 3rd…

Speaking of pro rodeo cowboys, we lost a good one when roughstock hand Buzz Seeley rode across the Great Divide from his ranch at Hot Springs, MT, May 31. Seeley was 69, and 1969 was the all around cowboy’s best season. He won the NFR Bronc Riding average that year, and finished 5th in the world standings.

Looks like that’s the end of our ol’ lariat rope for another week…