On 6/21/2013, a case of rabies was reported in a fox in Midlothian, Virginia. Among wild animals, the disease is most often reported in skunks and raccoons but is also found in bats and foxes, and usually is transmitted from the saliva of an infected animal into a bite wound.
Every case of rabies presents a death sentence to the infected horse – and a risk of infection for other horses. Infected horses may show common signs including depression, lack of coordination and aggressive behavior or display more obscure signs, such as lameness or colic. Because the signs of rabies can vary so widely – and the disease is so serious – some experts recommend that horse owners think of rabies first whenever they see unexplained clinical signs in horses.
Disease prevention – through vaccination and good management – is good for the horse, owner and equine veterinarian. MERIAL® vaccines provide the tools to help prevent some of the most common and most serious equine diseases, including rabies. IMRAB® is a rabies vaccine made by Merial and approved for use in six species of animals, including horses. And it is available in a combination vaccine that also helps protect against Potomac horse fever.
For more information about rabies or other equine diseases, feel free to call us: (434)973-7947.