Equine owners and their veterinarians should take note that the risk of West Nile Virus in Saskatchewan appears to be higher this year. As of August 28, 2018, there have been 19 confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in Saskatchewan horses. In contrast, there were only eight positive cases detected in all of 2017. The onset of West Nile Virus “season” also appears earlier this year, in that cases started to occur in early August, whereas normally equine cases tend to occur in the latter part of August and the first part of September.
For currently unvaccinated horses, vaccination now may still provide protection for part of the remaining West Nile Virus season. For horses that were vaccinated early, or that have received only one vaccination, a West Nile Virus booster will provide additional protection for the remaining West Nile Virus season.
For horses that do become clinically ill with West Nile Virus, the earlier they receive treatment the more likely they are to survive. Learn more on our West Nile Virus in Horses information page.