BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- State agriculture officials say a three-year-old mare in St. James Parish was euthanized after tests found Eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus in the animal.

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain says the Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Baton Rouge confirmed the diseases in the horse on July 12.

Strain says both diseases are preventable and he urged all horse owners to keep their animals vaccinated. At a minimum, he says horse owners should vaccinate against tetanus, EEE, Western equine encephalitis, West Nile virus and rabies.

Owners with horses displaying symptoms that include lack of coordination, walking in circles and facial twitching should contact their veterinarians.

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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