Several cases of Potomac Horse Fever (PHF) were recently confirmed in the Hanover, VA area according to several veterinary practices in that area, including Woodside Equine Clinic in Ashland.  The information below is from Woodside’s website:


Reducing Your Horse’s Potomac Horse Fever Risk: There have been several confirmed cases of Potomac Horse Fever in our practice area recently.


Understandably, this has raised a lot of concern with our clients. Potomac Horse Fever (PHF) is contracted by ingestion of infected insects and snails, not from contact with sick horses. Although the vaccine is not 100% effective, we have seen that vaccinated horses often recover from this disease more quickly than unvaccinated horses. The American Association of Equine Practitioners recommends vaccinating every 3 months in high risk areas.


Due to the amount of rain we have had this year and the early number of cases, we are recommending PHF vaccine boosters at 3 month intervals through the fall.  It is recommended that all horse should be vaccinated if they have never had the vaccine. They will need a booster in 30 days.  Other preventative measures include keeping a clean, uncontaminated water source available for your horse and reducing nighttime lighting to decrease insect population in the barn.


Please view our articles for more information written by our internal medicine specialist, Dr. Nora Grenager and our Intern Dr Candice Lorandeau here


Contact your veterinarian  if you have any questions and discuss with him or her the options you have available for your horse.