- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana’s animal health officials are encouraging horse owners to consult with their veterinarians about vaccinating their animals against the West Nile virus after a spike in the number of cases last year.

Assistant state veterinarian Tahnee Szymanski says Montana had 32 equine cases of West Nile Virus in 2013, which was the third highest total in the nation.

The state Department of Livestock says it has no record of a horse that was current on vaccinations contracting the mosquito-borne disease. In contrast, one-third of the 492 non-vaccinated horses that contracted West Nile since 2002 either died or had to be euthanized.

Szymanski says there is no treatment for the disease.

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