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North Carolina Horse Council Designates February as 'Horse Health Awareness Month'

North Carolina Horse Council

February 1-28, 2005 , has been designated by the North Carolina Horse Council as “Horse Health Awareness Month”. Horse Health Awareness Month is designed to help owners call attention to their horse’s health needs. Some equine veterinary practitioners and horse organizations across the state are holding special clinics and other events for shots and Coggins tests. If your veterinarian is not participating, urge them to do so!

There are four especially important diseases that deserve special awareness:

Rabies: always a fatal horse disease that is spread by wild animals and is a human health threat – vaccinate once a year.

Sleeping Sickness (Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis): mostly a fatal horse disease that is spread by mosquitos – vaccinate twice a year.

West Nile Virus: often can be a fatal disease that is spread by mosquitos – vaccinate twice a year.

EIA (Equine Infectious Anemia): spread by biting flies – no vaccine available – “Coggins” test once a year.

New regulations adopted by the State of NC , effective October 1, 1999 , required a negative Coggins test within the past 12 months on all equine over 6 months of age when being sold or ownership transferred. A negative Coggins test (within the past 12 months) is also required for all equine brought to or kept at any public stable or other public place for exhibition, recreation or assembly. All horse owners are urged to become familiar with the regulations and have their horses tested. Encourage your neighbors to have their horses vaccinated and tested too.

Questions can be directed to the North Carolina Horse Council office at (919) 854-1990.