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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2007
    Location
    Wilsonville, Ontario, CANADA
    Posts
    4,345

    Default Potomac Horse Fever - cover up in Ontario???

    This was posted on my FB page by another farm who has just lost a horse to PHF:

    ok everyone there is approx 15 known cases of Potomac Horse Fever in ontario as we speak... If you look on OEF website they only confirm one... that is not us... not only are we confirmed we are another death... the vaccine is useless and for every 4 horses that get the vaccine and come in contact with the larvae all the horses will contract the diesese maybe one will live to be a pasture horse... the vaccine does not stop your horse from getting the diseise! Please do not be lulled into a false sense of security! This wonderfull horse picked this up at a show grounds away from home and no I am not allowed to discuss it or location... as I will be sued.. again money right!!! I am warning you all to please look at the OEF website read the symptoms and be aware! For every two cases like Illeys there are another 20 horses that get it and are misdiagnosed as founder, laminitis, colic, and simply there time... Please be aware and be your horses medical advicate... I did that here she was taken to hospital and started treatment within two hours of vet care... it could not have been caught faster!!! I was banned from even mentioning the name of this disiese until I couldn't stand it!!! This horse was a fantastic young athlete in the peak of physical health and jumpeing 1.45 competing with her young rider .... if she can die so can others please this is hard for me I just don't want anyone else to go through what this lovely mare went through, her owners and caregivers. Today is a hard day!! :'(
    15 known cases and no one is being warned and the person that has been affected is being told to shut up or they will be sued??? Is this for real???

    What is reality for this? I have an inspection that I was planning on taking my mare and foal to on the 22nd - this coming Wednesday - and the farm it is being held at will have ship ins, and they also actively show themselves.

    I know 100% that I will not be able to prevent the foal from sniffing things, especially when he is loose. The mare we could probably prevent from doing so as she would be held the entire time.

    Lets say one of the horses on the property has contracted it recently - how vulnerable are my mare and foal and are the chances high that they *could* contract it from an affected horse by being on the same grounds?

    This bloody well scares me to death - especially as there seems to be a veil of silence around this - no one is saying how many horses are affected, where they are located, where they contracted it - nothing. We now have to dig and try and find out ourselves



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2003
    Location
    Thorold, ON
    Posts
    751

    Default

    Well with quick "digging" on my part - by which I mean a quick google - I learned that this disease is not transmittable horse to horse. In order for a horse to acquire the disease they must ingest the larvae.

    I am not an expert, so take that into consideration.
    Last edited by K~2; Aug. 18, 2012 at 09:29 AM. Reason: damn autocorrect
    Equine Web Design http://www.tbconnect.net | Kingsgate Stud home of Legal Jousting (IRE)



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2006
    Posts
    2,070

    Default

    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/in...m/bc/22204.htm

    It is not passed horse to horse, horse has to come in contact with things that carry the disease, snails, mayflies, and some other types of flies. It is true that the vaccine is not one of the stronger % ones due to there being a large amount of strains of it. It is treatable and many horses do survive it, but it does need to be caught early and if you are in an area it is not traditionally seen then many vets are probably not looking for it. In areas where it is more common, any high fever with diarrhea is often treated as if it is PHF.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2007
    Location
    Napanee ON
    Posts
    3,933

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by K~2 View Post
    Well with quick "digging" on my part - by which I mean a quick google - I learned that this disease is not transmittable horse to horse. In order for a horse to acquire the disease they must ingest the larvae.

    I am not an expert, so take that into consideration.
    This. We lost a horse to it (from the severe founder it caused actually) about 6 years ago. It is not contagious. It is caught from horses ingesting the larvae or the slime residue the slugs leave behind. The problem with potomac is you have to act FAST and it can take up to 2 weeks to get a result from the vet as it has to be shipped down to KY. That may have changed in the last few years though.

    A friends horse just recovered from this 2 weeks ago, he is located in the Quinte West Region of Ontario.

    The vaccine does not prevent but can help your horse fight the battle. Do not give up on the vaccine.

    ETA to add, the signs are NO appetite, extremely high fever. Our guy was at 103/104 for a few weeks. Scary stuff.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2008
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    199

    Default

    Like others have said, PHF is not transmitted between horses. The reason for so many cases this year is due to the mild winter we had and thus more mayflies and other insect carriers. The reason horses often pick up the disease at show grounds is because of the security lighting left on at night at these venues. The light attracts the mayflies which then contaminate the horses' drinking water. So, your best prevention is to turn out the lights and don't let your horse drink from any questionable water source such as a creek or pond.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2007
    Location
    Napanee ON
    Posts
    3,933

    Default

    Exactly. Bring your own water, and clean buckets. Bring lots of hay and don't let the horses graze on the show grounds.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2011
    Posts
    1,395

    Default

    While I am very sorry to hear this owner and others have lost horses to PHF the tone of panic and blame in the post is evident.

    It is well known the vaccine is less the ideal and so user be warned.

    Banned from even mentioning PHF? I did not realize Canada was a police state.

    Picked it up from the show grounds? Gosh it could have been picked up in many locations if the horse was out and about as PHF outbreaks are here and there.... even possibly the farm the horse was from as insects vector in the disease and not horse to horse contact . We had cases in my area in the past. With the drought the year....well gratefully one less thing to worry about here as mayflies etc are nonexistent.

    Misdiagnosed? Yes I am sure that happens until vets in the area clue in to the outbreak.

    OEF site confirming only 1 case? Not sure what the OEF site is but in my state email alerts and other means of informing the public are in acted after a case is CONFIRMED which involves a state vet and not just the local vet. That does not mean biosecurity procedures if appropriate are not being inacted to prevent the spread of disease outbreaks. But in the case of PHF how are you going to contain mayflies, caddies and damsels? One case or 500 cases on the grounds is enough to tell any educated owner the environmental conditions exist such that insect vectors for PHF are present.


    I do not think the person that sent you this message has a basic understanding of PHF. I think it is a natural human response to blame when you lose something you love. After all being a little paranoid is what helps keep us safe in life. But I suggest you research the disease so that little bit paranoid does not evolve into full blown paranoia.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2006
    Location
    Port Perry Ontario - formerly Prodomus
    Posts
    2,364

    Default

    there have been some cases in the past in my area - we vaccinated all of our horses.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    12,803

    Default

    People can be such alarmists, and it would be nice if they would educate themselves before freaking out.

    PHF is not contagious, as others have said. I've had two suspected, mild cases in my barn over the years. It happens. I also know of one horse that had to be put down because of it (people didn't think to have the vet out when the horse spiked a fever and it went untreated too long ).

    Different vets have different feelings on the vaccination. My vet in MD used it despite the ineffectiveness, but we were also in teh county, with 20 miles of where the disease was originally found. Here, in Middleburg, my vet is not a fan and does not use it.

    Bring your own water and clean buckets and don't let them drink from the farm's communal water (Why would anyone do that, anyway, I will never know). And, if it is prevalent in your area, be mindful of fevers (even mild ones), lethargy, diarrhea, and other symptoms. The first horse we treated was feverish but otherwise bright and happy. I caught the fever very early. The second one was feverish, very low (unlike him), and his respiration was elevated. Both horses saw the vet within probably an hour of noting their symptoms. Both ended up fine. Both WERE vaccinated.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    The quote indicates that the person doing the frothing is not only functionally illiterate and of a "chicken little" temperament but knows next to nothing about PHF.
    Click here before you buy.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 2007
    Posts
    2,899

    Default

    I had a mare who recovered completely from PHF. Fever of 104, no appetite, totally listless. We started treatment within a few hours of the onset and she returned to full athletic function about 2 weeks later. Most people are already aware that the vaccine cannot really prevent the disease. What it does do is lessen the severity/chances of the horse foundering from the disease. This is common knowledge, not a conspiracy. My mare was vaccinated and still contracted it, but I believe thanks to the vaccine she survived and was 100% normal afterwards.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2007
    Location
    Wilsonville, Ontario, CANADA
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    Default

    Thank you

    This makes me feel much better about taking my mare and foal to the inspection now

    All of the common sense precautions are what we would do anyhow - like taking our own water and using our own buckets

    Thank you again



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    16,915

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TrueColours View Post
    Thank you

    This makes me feel much better about taking my mare and foal to the inspection now

    All of the common sense precautions are what we would do anyhow - like taking our own water and using our own buckets

    Thank you again
    I would ask the facility if they keep the lights off at night. That appears to be one of the greatest risk factors.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
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    12,803

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dwblover View Post
    I had a mare who recovered completely from PHF. Fever of 104, no appetite, totally listless. We started treatment within a few hours of the onset and she returned to full athletic function about 2 weeks later. Most people are already aware that the vaccine cannot really prevent the disease. What it does do is lessen the severity/chances of the horse foundering from the disease. This is common knowledge, not a conspiracy. My mare was vaccinated and still contracted it, but I believe thanks to the vaccine she survived and was 100% normal afterwards.
    Yes. Exactly. This is why my MD vet vaccinated with it (we were in a high risk area) and why both cases I had were, thankfully, mild. It also helped that they were caught very quickly and treated very quickly.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2007
    Location
    Wilsonville, Ontario, CANADA
    Posts
    4,345

    Default

    I would ask the facility if they keep the lights off at night. That appears to be one of the greatest risk factors.
    Now I feel awful leaving the lights on in my broodmare's stall but I have to as she is on Mare Stare and due to foal shortly so kinda have to be able to see what she is doing in there ...



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