Monday, September 3 2012, 10:44 PM CDT
Grants Pass horse may have had West Nile
By Krystle Henderson/KTVL.com
GRANTS PASS, Ore. - There is a possible case of the West Nile virus in Grants Pass. Horse owner, Robert Devoll-Evers, is heartbroken and concerned after his horse Cherokee had to be put down because it may have been suffering from the virus.
The horse's veterinarian believes the animal had the West Nile virus, which would be the first case this year in Grants Pass.
Devoll-Evers said Cherokee got so sick, so fast. "From the time he got infected to the time that it happened, it was roughly five to four days, it was that quick," Devoll-Evers said. "I had to make a decision, let him suffer or he said he wouldn't last throughout the weekend."
The symptoms can be a number of unusual behaviors but include twitching, loss of appetite and the horse will isolate itself.
Devoll-Evers' horse had the worst case scenario, it couldn't get up.
Veterinarian Gary Buckmaster says there have been cases of the West Nile virus in Grants Pass in the past but nothing this severe.
Buckmaster said all animals, including humans should take precautions. "We have a high risk this year because it's been a wet spring and there's an increased mosquito population, so do whatever you can at home to keep the mosquito numbers down by not allowing any stagnant water to lay around," he said.
The results confirming it was in fact West Nile, should be complete sometime this week.
There is a vaccine for the virus but only for horses. The vaccine involves several shots over time.
Devoll-Evers is now watching his other horses closely for signs of the virus. If caught early enough, it can be treated and may save the horse.