Potomac Horse Fever

In this article I will be explaining on what parts of the mammal this deadly disease attacks so keep reading and I’ll explain why. Potomac horse fever is an acute colic. Some of the symptoms is fever, diarrhea and will cause abortion in pregnant mares. It is a disease in the small and large intestine, which then causes further issues. This disease is seen typically in the fall, spring or summer seasons. Horses get it from freshwater creeks, and sometimes even pastures. The virus that causes the disease is N Risticii that is found in dogs, cats, and cattle but cannot get this disease. They have found this disease in multiple parts of the USA and Canada which they use a test that consists of florescent lights to find the virus. 

The N Risticii virus is almost 100% related to the N Helminthoeca virus that dogs get from eating raw salmon. The main species that carries the virus is freshwater snails, they release an agent called Trematodes. The signs of the parasites will be noticed in the feces of heavily infected horses. Horse that are possibly clinically infected with the disease are not contagious and can be housed with other non-ill horses. The clinical features that were observed are anorexia, mild depression, and a fever of 102 – 107 degrees; at this point in the disease the intestinal sounds may be very decreased in sound. Then around 24 – 48 hours after symptoms start the horse may have severe diarrhea, it will be a water consistency. Your horse will typically experience abdominal discomfort before experiencing diarrhea. Some horses can possibly experience dehydration or sepsis.

In the early stages of Potomac Horse Fever in pregnant mares will abort their foals around day 190 – 250 days into their pregnancy. During the abortion there is a chance of having a restrained placenta, causing distress and even a prolapsed uterus. After that health risk there is even more health risks of abortion, such as periportal hepatitis, lymphoid hyperplasia of mesenteric lymph nodes and spleen, and more. The diagnosis of Potomac Horse Fever is typically discovered from isolation or identification of N Risticii in the blood stream, or by looking at fecal samples under a microscope. Horses with this disease can be treated with oxytetracycline in early on stages the effect of the medication should be seen kicking in within the next 12 hours. In conclusion to this article this is what the disease Potomac Horse Fever is, and how it affects the horses body, along with a little information on the virus its self.               

Work Cited : https://www.merckvetmanual.com/digestive-system/intestinal-diseases-in-horses-and-foals/potomac-horse-fever  

Author : Jacob L

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