Archive for May, 2012

USDA Looks to Regulate Online Puppy Sales

Monday, May 14th, 2012

The USDA has proposed an addition to the Animal Welfare Act that would require online and mail-order puppy retailers to allow face-to-puppy evaluation by buyers or require regular inspection and a license from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to protect the animals’ health and welfare. The Animal Welfare Act was written in 1966 and didn’t specify for on-site evaluation because it was implicit in the buying process at that time; however, the Internet gave way to thousands of online retailers where seeing the animals in person was not part of the buying process. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (5/10)

USDA seeks to close loophole in animal welfare law to cover breeders who sell pets on Internet

Dog breeders who skirt animal welfare laws by selling puppies over the Internet would face tighter scrutiny under a rule change proposed Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The change would subject dog owners who breed more than four females and sell the puppies electronically, by mail or over the phone to the same oversight faced by wholesale dealers as part of the Animal Welfare Act.

 That law, written in 1966, set standards of care for animals bred for commercial sale and research. Retail sales were exempt from inspections under the assumption that anyone who visited the store could see whether the animals appeared healthy and cared for.

The Internet opened a new venue for puppy sales, and thousands of large-scale breeders who advertise there have not been subject to oversight or inspection.
The proposed change seeks to close that loophole by ensuring that anyone who sells pets over the Internet, by phone or mail order can no longer do so sight-unseen.  Sellers either must open their doors to the public so buyers can see the animals before they purchase them, or obtain a license and be subject to inspections by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
“We feel this is certainly a much-needed change to an outdated system,” said Rebecca Blue, deputy undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs.
The change does not affect backyard breeders who sell puppies from their homes or other physical locations. Blue said it’s designed to ensure that dogs sold and shipped to buyers are healthy, treated well and genetically sound.
“This is a very significant proposed federal action, since thousands of large-scale breeders take advantage of a loophole that allows them to escape any federal inspections,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “Dogs in puppy mills often live in small, overcrowded cages, living in filth and denied veterinary care.  We need more eyes on these operations, and this rule will help.”
Opposition to the change is hard to find.
“You need to open your home if you breed more than four dogs. That sounds appropriate to me,” said Patti Strand, director of the National Animal Interest Alliance.
The proposed rule change came as Congress considers legislation backed by Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., a longtime animal welfare supporter, and Reps. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., Bill Young, R-Fla., and Lois Capps, D-Calif., as well as Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and David Vitter, R-La. — that sought to make similar changes to the regulations.
Farr welcomed the USDA’s decision.
“The change will finally allow the USDA to properly enforce violations, shut down puppy mills, and prevent future abuses of dogs and unsuspecting customers,” Farr said.
The USDA will accept comments on the proposed rule change for 60 days.

Pet-Safe Spring Gardening Tips

Monday, May 14th, 2012

With a little planning, creating a beautiful garden that is also pet-safe is doable, writes emergency veterinarian Denise Petryk, who provides a list of toxic plants and dangerous fertilizers and chemicals. Younger animals will eat anything and are at higher risk for toxicity, but even exposure to small amounts of some toxic garden components can be harmful to pets, Dr. Petryk warns. The Seattle Times/Tails of Seattle blog (5/10)

AVOID the 10 most dangerous, most toxic plants:

foxglove.JPG

— Castor bean (Ricinus communis) — oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure, convulsions, death.

— Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), pictured right — vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, cardiac failure, death.

— Japanese Yew (Taxus cuspidata) — tremors, difficulty breathing, vomiting, seizures, death.

— Jerusalem cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum) — vomiting, seizures, depression, trouble breathing.

— Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) — vomiting, heart trouble, disorientation, coma, seizures.

— Lily (Lilium species) — kidney failure in cats — ALL parts of the plant, even in small amounts.

— Morning Glory (Ipomea sp.) — vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, tremors, disorientation, ataxia, anorexia.

— Nightshade (Atropa belladonna) — drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, slow heart, weakness.

— Oleander (Nerium oleander) — diarrhea, trouble breathing, tremors, collapse, incoordination.

— Precatory Beans (Arbus precatorius) — severe vomiting and diarrhea, tremors, fever, shock, death.

The 10 most common plants that can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea — AND if ingested in larger amounts — more serious health problems:

hydrangea.JPG

— Hydrangea, above

— Azalea

— Boxwood

— Daffodil (bulbs are more toxic than leaves and flowers)

— Tulip (bulbs are more toxic than leaves and flowers)

— Rhododendron

— Iris (Gladiola)

— Elephant’s ear

— Clematis

— English ivy

The 10 most surprising problem plants:

— Apple (the seeds contain cyanide)

— Plum, cherry, apricots and peaches (the pits contain cyanide)

–Onions, chives and garlic (cause anemia)

— Potato and rhubarb plant leaves (vomiting)

There are some wonderfully safe annuals and perennials:

begonia.JPG

–Astilbe (Astilbe sp.)

–Bee Balm (Monarda sp.)

–Begonia (Begonia sp.), pictured right

–Bugbane (Cimifuga racemosa)

–Butterfly flower (Schianthus sp.)

–Calendula (Callendula sp.) coleus.JPG –Catmint/catnip (Nepeta sp.)

–Coleus (Coleus sp.), pictured right

–Columbine (Aquilegia sp.)

–Coneflowers (Echinacea purpura)

–Coral Bells (Heuchera sp.)

–Cosmos (Cosmos sp.)

–Goat’s Beard (Aruncus dioicus)

–Impatiens (Impatiens sp.)

–Nasturtium (Tropaeolum sp.)

–New Guinea Impatiens

–Petunia (Petunia sp.)

–Phlox (Phlox sp.)

primrose.JPG–Primrose (Primula sp.), pictured right

–Queen of the Meadow (Filipendula ulmaria)

–Roses (Rose sp.)

–Snapdragons (Antirrhinum sp.)

–Spider flower (Cleome sp.)

–Turf Lilly (Liriope sp.)

–Violet (Viola sp.)

–Yellow Corydalis (Corydalis lutea)

–Zinnia (Zinnia sp.)

The non-plant concerns in the spring include fertilizers, pesticides, slug bait, mulch, and garden tools. Talk to your local nursery about the safest options, read labels carefully and store everything safely in sealed containers or out of reach.

Try natural products like vinegar for weeds, coffee grounds, beer and salt for slugs, and soap and water as a natural pesticide.

Avoid cocoa mulch as it comes from chocolate manufacturing and can contain substances that will cause minor chocolate poisoning (vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity) as well as general irritation to the mouth, stomach and intestines.

Many of our mature dogs (and almost all of our cats) are discriminate — they might sniff but they are not inclined to eat plants.

Grass is often the exception and in small amounts, common grasses are safe. Ornamental grasses can be very irritating to the mouth, throat, and nose so if you have a big grass eater, it is safest to avoid these plants.

Remember that puppies and kittens are always an exception. They will generally eat ANYTHING! It still makes most sense however to always pick the safest plants possible for our spring flower gardens and our deck pots.

Horticulturists employed at our favorite plant nurseries are excellent resources for pet safe plants and gardening products. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has a fantastic guide to pet-safe gardening and a wonderful collection of plant pictures and toxicity information here . PetPlace.com also has an array of informative articles written by veterinarians about toxic plants and gardening.

The three most common spring garden problems we see in our busy Tacoma pet emergency room include dogs ingesting SLUG bait poison (metaldehyde), dogs ingesting decomposing things out of the compost pile, and Lily ingestion or sniffing by cats.

A few bites of slug bait can cause horrible tremors. Quick emergency treatment is critical.

A compost pile snack can also cause tremors or it may cause drunk-like behavior or vomiting and diarrhea. Here too, quick emergency treatment is essential for a quick recovery.

Lilies are highly toxic to cats. It is safest to avoid all lilies — both as cut flowers as part of a bouquet or as a garden plant. Potential sniffing of the flower and inhaling the pollen can even be a problem to our cats.

Enjoy your garden but do your research first. Prevention is so much easier than sick animals and treatment.

Dr. Denise Petryk

Dr. Denise Petryk graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1991. Later this year she will complete her MBA at Pacific Lutheran University. For the last 20 years she has enjoyed the fast pace of emergency medicine and enjoys the satisfaction of explaining things clearly to pet owners. At home, she has a family of six — two hairy dogs, one short-haired monster dog and three perfect cats — and a big yard full of safe plants!

 

Photos from The Seattle Times archives

Study: Owners Oblivious to Implications of Brachycephalic Syndrome

Monday, May 14th, 2012

A recent study by the Royal Veterinary College found that 58% of surveyed owners of dogs with brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome do not recognize the medical severity of their pet’s problems, such as snoring while awake and difficulty breathing during normal exercise. Instead, owners considered this to be a normal expression of the dog’s breed and not a medical problem that should be addressed by veterinarians. PhysOrg.com

May 10, 2012

Owners of certain popular “short-nosed” dog breeds, including Pugs, Bulldogs, Pekingese and French Bulldogs, are unknowingly putting their pets’ welfare at risk and not seeking essential treatment because they consider their pets’ signs of breathing difficulties to be ‘normal’ for that breed – so reveals a new study from the Royal Veterinary College, published on Thursday 10 May 2012 by the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) in their journal Animal Welfare. Other affected breeds in the study included the Boston Terrier, Dogue de Bordeaux, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and short-nosed crossbreeds.

Cardiac Disease is Prevalent in Pets

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Heart disease is common in dogs and cats and can be an important cause of illness.

Unlike many other health problems, heart disease often profoundly limits a pet’s survival. An important statistic for pet owners to consider is about 10 per cent of dogs that present to veterinarians for care suffer from heart disease. In cats, it has been reported 15 per cent of apparently healthy cats have an underlying heart condition.

What these two statistics clearly tell me is heart disease is prevalent and therefore annual checkups play a vital role in the early identification of heart disease and helping keep your pet healthy.

Heart disease in dogs and cats falls into two categories: congenital and acquired.

Congenital problems manifest at birth and can be due to genetically inherited disorders or arise from problems during pregnancy. Acquired disorders are more common, and usually develop in adulthood or old age.

Recent research in veterinary medicine has identified some inherited disorders that occur later in life in purebred dogs such as the boxer and Doberman pinscher, and in purebred cats such as the Maine coon and ragdoll. In the past several years, genetic tests have been developed to identify these heart disorders and more will be available in the future.

An annual checkup is one of the best opportunities to identify heart disease in dogs and cats.

The annual physical examination includes an assessment of the heart with a stethoscope and evaluation of the peripheral arterial pulse. This examination allows your veterinarian to identify heart murmurs and arrhythmias, and assess if the heart is too weak.

Heart murmurs occur when there are leaks in one of the four heart valves or one of the valves does not open completely. An abnormal communication in the heart can also create a murmur. Arrhythmias are abnormalities of heart rhythm, causing the heart to beat irregularly, or too slow or too fast.

Many forms of heart disease result in a weakened heart, which in turn can lead to heart failure, where the heart cannot pump a sufficient amount of blood through the body. While continuing to work harder to pump blood, further heart damage can occur.

Early detection of these abnormalities through regular checkups helps your veterinarian identify the cause of the heart abnormality and its severity, which goes a long way toward early treatment and offers the best chance for a cure or long survival.

Depending on the nature of your pet’s heart condition, your veterinarian has an array of additional tests to help identify and assess the severity of the heart disease. Chest X-rays are used to evaluate heart size and reveal congestion in the lungs, which is an indicator of a weakened heart.

An electrocardiogram and 24-hour holter exam can assess the heart rhythm. A cardiac ultrasound exam measures the strength of the heart and identifies structural defects. Recent work shows that early treatment with medication can have a significant effect on both survival and quality of life.

As well, many congenital disorders can be treated and cured, but early detection and intervention are key to a good outcome.

The annual checkup is also the best means to help dog and cat breeders identify the healthiest purebred dogs for breeding purposes. This is an important way to limit the number of puppies with congenital and inherited disorders.

In conclusion, annual checkups are an essential way to keep your pet free of clinical signs of both heart disease and other disorders.


Dr. Michael O’Grady is a board certified cardiologist and was on the faculty of the University of Guelph, Ontario Veterinary College. His current research projects at the University of Guelph include diagnosis and management of cardiomyopathy and chronic degenerative mitral valve disease. O’Grady currently practices cardiology at Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital, a 24-hour emergency and referral hospital in Scarborough.

MRI on awake dogs measures canine response to humans

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Check out this video!

Researchers at the Emory University Center for Neuropolicy trained two dogs to stand completely still while inside an MRI scanner and then imaged the dogs’ brains while they responded to human hand signals about treats. The researchers found activity in the caudate area of the brain when the dogs were given a signal indicating they would receive a treat. Additional study could provide insights into the human-canine bond and even human evolution.

Be Aware of Chronic Kidney Disease in Cats – What to Watch For

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

According to Banfield’s 2012 State of Pet Health Report, one of every 12 older cats has chronic kidney disease, which progresses quickly in those cats but is manageable in some with fluid therapy and dietary changes for a few years. Acute kidney disease can occur in any cat after toxin exposure and is usually treatable if detected early enough, says veterinarian Nina Nardi.

 

(Reed Saxon/ Associated Press ) – In this Thursday, April 12, 2012 photo, Girly, an 18-year-old cat who has been diagnosed with kidney disease, is about to get a subcutaneous injection of lactated ringers solution, or LRS, from veterinarian Dr. Nina Nardi as her owner Nate Glass watches, at Banfield’s veterinary hospital in the Canoga Park district of Los Angeles. Kidney disease is one of the leading causes of death for cats, but there is no cure and no known cause.

 

  • By Associated Press, Published: May 8AP

 

LOS ANGELES — It’s one of the leading causes of death for cats, but there is no cure and no known cause: kidney disease.One in 12 older cats has chronic kidney disease, according to Banfield Pet Hospital’s just-released 2012 State of Pet Health Report

Banfield, the largest veterinary practice in the world with 800 hospitals in 43 states, based its report on medical data from more than 2 million dogs and nearly 430,000 cats seen by its veterinarians.

Acute kidney disease, caused by eating antifreeze, grapes, lilies or other poisons, can be cured if treated quickly enough. “If you catch it, you can treat it,” said Dr. Nina Nardi, chief of staff at Banfield’s Canoga Park hospital, 25 miles northwest of Los Angeles.But chronic kidney disease is much more common, more progressive and irreversible, she said. Treatment is aimed at easing pain and prolonging a quality life.Cats diagnosed in the early stages of chronic kidney disease live two to three years, while those diagnosed in later stages live only a few months. (Dogs can get kidney disease, but it is seven times more common in cats.)

Nate Glass can only try to ease the pain of his cat Girly, who he rescued as a kitten after she’d been shot with a BB gun in an alley behind a dollar store.

Nardi, Girly’s vet for the past five years, tested her for kidney disease because she lost three pounds between exams.

“It shocked me,” Glass said. “I didn’t think she was three pounds lighter. She still looked as fluffy as she ever did.”

Cats are notorious for hiding their health problems. Possible signs of chronic kidney disease include increased thirst, increased urination, decreased appetite, weight loss, vomiting and bad breath.

The first thing vets do for a cat with chronic kidney disease is hydrate it, Nardi said. “Fluids reduce the filtration load on the kidneys,” she explained.

Sick or not, Nardi recommends recyclable water fountains so cats always have access to fresh water. But water won’t restore kidney function, just help what’s left work better, she said.

She put Girly on an IV for three days, prescribed a special diet that cut down on protein and salt and made sure she had medicines for nausea and vomiting.

Girly now goes in twice a week for subcutaneous fluid treatments, where the liquid is injected beneath the shoulder blades.

Kidney transplants can ease pain and help a cat live longer, but they are rare and cost between $8,000 and $18,000, said Dr. Chad Schmiedt, the surgeon in charge of the transplant program for the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Watch your cat, Nardi advised. Too often, a dog will throw up once and its owner rushes to the vet, but a cat might throw up every day and no one will take it in, she said.

And she thinks love and attention can be almost as important as water. One of the worst cases she ever saw was a cat in the late stages of the disease.

“You wouldn’t have given her more than six months,” she said. But the cat had a special owner, she said, and lived for 2½ years.

 

United Lifts Ban on 9 Dog Breeds

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier and others must use reinforced carriers

United changes pet policyA shot from Continental’s PetSafe promotional video. (Continental Airlines / May 8, 2012)
By Gregory Karp Tribune staff reporter

2:53 p.m. CDT, May 8, 2012

United Airlines, in response to customer feedback that included an online petition, has changed its pet-restriction policy. It no longer bans nine breeds of dogs from being transported on United flights.
Chicago-based United, which merged with Continental Airlines, adopted Continental’s PetSafe program on March 3. It has a number of perks for flying dogs and cats.
But the program also used what critics called “canine profiling,” restricting dogs from flying on United flights based solely on their breed — a restriction the former United Airlines didn’t have. The nine restricted breeds were: Pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, ca de bou, cane corso, dogo Argentino, fila Brasileiro, perro de presa canario, presa canario and tosa (or tosa ken).
The policy prompted an online petition at Change.org that received nearly 46,000 signatures.
In response, United changed its policy, effective April 24. It no longer bans the nine breeds but requires them to be transported in reinforced crates.
“As a result feedback, United will now accept previously restricted breeds of dogs,” United said in a statement. However, the dogs must be in a non-plastic, reinforced crate that meets certain container requirements. Details are online at: tinyurl.com/united-pets
Hawaii resident Jessie Huart started the petition after her 10-year-old pit bull was denied travel due to his breed.
“I am thrilled that United listened to their customers,” Huart said in a news release. “This change is a victory for responsible dog owners everywhere at a time when many are facing breed discrimination.”
gkarp@tribune.com
from the Chicago Tribune

Solid Gold Dog Food Recall

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Solid Gold Health Products for Pets, Inc. Recalls Dog Food Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk

Contact: Consumer: (800) 364-4863

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 8, 2012 – Solid Gold Health Products for Pets, Inc., El Cajon, California, announced a voluntary recall of one batch of WolfCub Large Breed Puppy Food and one batch of Solid Gold WolfKing Large Breed Adult Dog, both with a Best Before date of December 30, 2012, and an “X” in the 11th digit of the date code.
Solid Gold is voluntarily recalling the products below, distributed in the United States and Canada. This voluntary recall is being done out of an abundance of caution as these products were produced at the facility that has been linked to recent recalls of Diamond brand pet foods due to potential Salmonella contamination.
Pets with Salmonella infections may have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
Individuals handling dry pet food can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with surfaces exposed to this product. People who believe they may have been exposed to Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. According to the Centers for Disease Control, people who are more likely to be affected by Salmonella include infants, children younger than 5 years old, organ transplant patients, people with HIV/AIDS and people receiving treatment for cancer.
The products involved in this voluntary recall are:
Solid Gold WolfCub Large Breed Puppy Food, 4 lb, 15 lb, and 33 lb, with a best before date of December 30, 2012 and batch code starting with SGB1201A31X.
4 lb identifying UPC 093766750005
15 lb identifying UPC 093766750012
33 lb identifying UPC 093766750029
Solid Gold WolfKing Large Breed Adult Dog Food, 4 lb, 15 lb, and 28.5 lb, with a best before date of December 30, 2012 and batch code starting with SGL1201A32X

4 lb identifying UPC 093766750050
15 lb identifying UPC 093766750067
28.5 lb identifying UPC 093766750081
Best by dates (lot codes) can be found on the back of the bag in the bottom right-hand corner of 33 lb, 28.5 lb and 15 lb bags and the bottom of the 4 lb bags.
Other Solid Gold recipes, sizes or brands of food are not impacted by this voluntary recall.
Pet owners who are unsure if the product they purchased is included in the recall, would like replacement product or have additional questions, may call us at (800) 364-4863 (Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM through 5:00 PM Pacific time).

How To Keep Dog’s Ears Healthy

Monday, May 7th, 2012

DR.  DARA JOHNS / Daily News columnist (Florida’s Emerald Coast)

 

I am often asked by pet owners if they need to be cleaning their dog’s ears.  If a dog has normal healthy ears, no cleaning is necessary. But if there are  signs of ear infection, yes, the ears would benefit from a good cleaning with  the appropriate materials.

Signs of ear infections include shaking the head frequently and scratching at  the ears with the back leg. One might also notice a strange smell coming from  the ears. The ear canal can be very red and inflamed. Excessive wax sometimes  accumulates in the ear. This wax could be purulent from infection or thick and  black.

When cleaning the ears, one source of cleaner is your veterinarian’s office.  These cleaners are usually gentle and do not cause undue discomfort. I say  undue, because some discomfort is unavoidable. Even healthy ears do not like  having fluid put in the ear canal. The discomfort is minimized by buffering the  solution’s pH.

Ear cleansers generally have a salicylic or acetic acid base to help break  down the wax and aid in killing yeast. I like the ones that have a good smell,  because it helps to destroy the odor emanating from the ear canal. Ear cleaners  do not have antibiotics in them. They are made to be used frequently and as  needed. If antibiotics were used in this fashion it would compound our problems  with antibiotic resistance.

One mistake I have seen is the use of antibiotic ointment as if it were a  cleaner. Owners put antibiotic drops in the ears once a week or when they see a  flare-up. These medicines were not made to be used this way. Ear washes are to  be used on a daily or weekly basis to prevent infections. Antibiotics are for  treating a severe infection. Occasionally a chronic severe case will warrant  ongoing antibiotic therapy, but these are few and far between.

What can be used at home for washing out the ears? A good natural wash  consists of one part white distilled vinegar to one part rubbing alcohol.  Combine these two ingredients and soak a cotton ball in the mixture. Wipe out  the ear, rubbing the cotton ball so that the alcohol-vinegar mix trickles down  into the ear canal.

The vinegar will kill yeast, and the alcohol will kill bacteria as well as  dry out the ear. The biggest problem with this cleaner is that the alcohol burns  irritated skin. A gentler version would be one part white distilled vinegar to  one part water. It helps treat yeast infections, and it is gentler.

If you find that the ear canal continues to build up with wax even though you  are cleaning out the ear or you see the signs of infection worsening, it is time  to make an appointment with your veterinarian. He can look at cytology and  discover the source of the infection so that a medical treatment can be  prescribed.

 

Read more:  https://www.nwfdailynews.com/articles/clean-49357-pet-ears.html#ixzz1uE0Sdbon

Risk of Reappearance of West Nile Virus in California Poses Threat to Horses

Saturday, May 5th, 2012
Horse owners urged to pursue vaccinations
SACRAMENTO, April, 19, 2012 – The risk of a return of West Nile virus to California this year is renewing calls for horse owners to make sure their animals are vaccinated. In 2011, 15 horses in California were confirmed positive for West Nile Virus. Four of the 15 were euthanized. All of the euthanized horses were not vaccinated“Outbreaks of West Nile virus are still a risk for horses,” said California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Whiteford. “Horse owners should contact their veterinarians as soon as possible to ensure vaccination status is current. If people get the necessary shots for their horses now, the animals will have optimal protection against the disease.”

Signs of West Nile virus include stumbling, staggering, wobbling, weakness, muscle twitching and inability to stand. Horses contract the disease from carrier mosquitoes and are not contagious to other horses or people. Not every horse exposed to the virus will die, however, over the past eight years, affected horses have experienced a mortality rate of nearly 40 percent.

CDFA is cooperating with the California Department of Public Health to detect and respond to the disease in California. Horses provide an additional sentinel for disease detection in the environment. For more information, click on https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/Animal_Health/WNV_Info.html