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West Nile May Have Led To Death Of Horse And Colt In Copperopolis

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Copperopolis, Ca — A Copperopolis couple´s 8 year old horse died in a mysterious fashion this week, leaving them to believe that it was possibly due to the West Nile Virus.

“She had absolutely no mobility whatsoever in her hind end,” says Cindy Roundy who lives in the Diamond 20 Subdivision. “The vet went ahead and listened to her heart and lungs, and he witnessed the fact that she was immobile on her back end. He said that it was a classic symptom of West Nile and that she was going to have to be put down because it´s irreversible.”

Roundy says this is not the first such occurrence in her area this year. “There´s also, about a block away from my house, another neighbor that lost about a three day old colt with similar symptoms,” adds Roundy. That colt had an overall body tremor which the vet also said is a common sign of West Nile.”

Brian Moss, who is the Administrator for the Calaveras County Environmental Management Agency, says his office was made aware of the horse and the colt. He says, unfortunately, it was not until after both had died. He says too much time had passed, so there will not be a test to find out whether these animals did in fact have West Nile. He does, meanwhile, say that there is a message that should come out of this.

“We recommend that people vaccinate their horses against the West Nile Virus,” says Moss. “If you suspect equine dealing with West Nile Virus, we would recommend that the animal be tested for the virus.”

Roundy also adds that she hopes horse owners take her situation as a reminder to have horses vaccinated.

Calaveras County has had no officially confirmed cases of horses or humans contracting West Nile Virus this year. There have, however, been two birds testing positive. One was in the Railroad Flat area and the other in Copperopolis.

Written by BJ Hansen