Jessica Welch is the owner of Redmont Farm in Staunton.
She says keeping her horses healthy is her top priority.
"I vaccinate my horses yearly and especially with the core vaccines, which are rabies, west nile and encephalitis," said Welch.
It's those core vaccines, namely west nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis, that vets are urging horse owners to get.
Leaders with the Virginia Department of Agriculture say it's hard to determine which mosquitoes carry west nile virus, and that it's better to be vaccinated in order to prevent the incurable disease.
"It could result in death if you weren't taking care of that," said Welch.
A veterinarian with the Blue Ridge Equine Clinic in Augusta County says staff will visit about 400 to 500 farms every year to administer the vaccines.
Vets in the Valley also say there have been no new cases this year.
Welch says these horses are not only her pets, but a part of her business.
"Any horse that comes in has to be vaccinated before they arrive to ensure the safety of my own horses and people as well. If I were to be bitten by a horse that had rabies," said Welch.
Welch teaches riding lessons, and has a few boarders who keep their horses on her property.
She also keeps training horses at her stable.
"I cant really afford to have one out, much less a whole barn that would be sick potentially,' said Welch.
Other prevention measures, horse owners can follow include removing standing water where mosquitoes can breed.
Using insect repellents and removing horses from mosquito-infested areas during the period from dusk to dawn.
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