Dr Chris Blevins Rabies

(Chris) Hello, I’m Dr. Chris Blevins here at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center. Today talking about rabies and rabies vaccines or rabies disease when it pertains to that of the horse. Here in Kansas we have had an increased aspects of rabies within the state, even more than we have had in the past years. And so why would that be even important or why should we be concerned? One, is because of the public health risk when it comes to rabies, even you as a person, but also the exposure to other type of animals. Horses can get rabies, cattle can get rabies. The most common species that has rabies here in the midwest is going to be the skunk. So anytime that you would see a skunk around especially during the daytime, just be very careful. There’s been even reports that some people have tried to help foxes and stuff during the middle of the day and they get bit and the animal actually did have rabies. So always be careful around those type of situations. Remember rabies is around you in a day-to-day basis, and it doesn’t take any type of a season to have rabies be exposed to you as a person and to your animals. So when we come to that of rabies and vaccinations everybody always hears about vaccinating your dog and horses…or dogs and cats for rabies, but we also vaccinate horses in addition and can protect them from the rabies virus. Now why would we do that? You hardly ever hear of horses getting rabies as a disease, but it does happen. We do get rabies horses, or horses that have rabies here at the vet school periodically. And horses do die of rabies here in Kansas even annually. So, it would be something just to remember and not knowing that what your horse may be exposed to out in his pasture with any wildlife, still would have rabies of a concern. This is why the AAEP, or the American Association of Equine Practitioners have put recommendations for every horse in the United States to be vaccinated for rabies annually. There is no three or five year rabies vaccine when it comes to the horse. There is an annual vaccine to protect your horse from the disease. Now, if your horse gets rabies or you are concerned if your horse has rabies, always consult your veterinarian in those situations. What kind of signs would they see? Mainly that would be any neurologic signs, maybe they’re depressed, maybe they’re standing around, they may even have fevers, some can be even aggressive, which we’ve seen on different aspects even on movies and those kind of things of other species. Some horses could even have that. A lot of times they’re just going to be in a stupor or depressed when it comes to that realm of the disease. But again, if you’re ever concerned about your horse, maybe even being a little bit neurologic or off, even if it has a fever or if it doesn’t, consult your veterinarian and get them involved to try to figure out how you can protect your horse, or how to diagnose if your horse would have rabies, which is really hard if that horse is alive. In addition to any of those aspects or any questions that you may have for your horse when it comes to regard to neurologic disease and rabies, again talk to your veterinarian. Or give us a call here at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center. I’m Dr. Chris Blevins for Horsin’ Around and we’ll see you around.

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