Potomac Horse Fever Detected In Two Horses In Frederick County

One has died; the second one is expected to survive.

Annapolis, Md. (KM)  The Maryland Department of Agriculture says two horses in Frederick County have contracted Potomac Horse Fever; one of which has died. The other one is being treated by a veterinarian and is expected to survive.

MDA urges owners to watch their horses for symptoms of the disease, especially if their horses graze near rivers, streams and creeks. The symptoms are mild to severe fever, diarrhea, loss of appetite, laminitis and mild colic. Horse owners are advised to contact their veterinarian if they notice these symptoms.

Potomac Horse fever is usually contracted by horses who ingest aquatic insects such as caddisfish and mayflies.

“Potomac Horse Fever surfaces here every few years,” says Dr. Michael Radenbaugh, the Maryland State Veterinarians. “Because it can be fatal, we urge horse owners to pay special attention to how their horses feel. The vaccine for Potomac Horse Fever is not always effective, so we encourage owners to contact their veterinarian sooner rather than later if they suspect anything, even if the horse has been vaccinated.”

MDA says horse owners should follow the recommendations of their  veterinarian regarding vaccination protocols.
Potomac Horse Fever is transmitted from horse to horse, and humans are not at risk. But veterinarians who diagnose this disease must report it  to the State Veterinarian.