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Question
Posted by: Caz | 2007/05/08

Equine Encephalosis - some facts please

Thanks for the responses so far. Judging from the info, it seems there is no certainty about how the virus is transmitted. Also, despite the reassurance that horses seem to recover after a few days (with anti-inflammatory treatment), horses have been dying in numbers! Thankfully none of mine have exhibited any of the symptoms described, but I'd rather take precautions based on fact.

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Our expert says:
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Hi Equine encephalosis is a viral condition suspectedly transmitted by midges in late summer (when these arthrodpos are most active). The incubation period is 2-6 days and the symptoms include: increased temperature (fever), loss of appetite, increased heart and respiratory rate in the mild forms. More severe forms include: swelling about the face, eyes, above the eyes, stiffness, unsteady gait and seizures (fits). In very severe cases there is respiratory distress and acute (sudden) heart failure due to fluid accumulation in the chest, lungs and around the heart. Fewer than 5% of affected animals die. The treatment is usually antiinflammatory drugs to reduce the inflammation and antibioitcs if deemed necessary.

The disease, because of many similarities, can be mistaken for African Horse Sickness (AHS). Prevention includes treatment for midge control and the other control measures taken for AHS. Apparently 75% of horses in SA test positive for antibodies to Equine Encephalosis but a carrier state has not been shown. Hope this helps.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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