The Horse

APR 2019

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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Page 20 of 51 | The Horse April 2019 21 Betsy Greene, MS, PhD, professor and equine extension specialist at the University of Arizona's School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, in Tucson, recalls this incident, which took place several years ago at another univer- sity. "It was a familiar scenario for early rabies signs in horses," she says, "Simply, 'Somethin' ain't right.' " If the students and staff at a veterinary teaching hospital—who arguably are on alert for subtle clinical signs and poten- tial exposures all the time—can expose themselves to this always-fatal zoonotic (passed between humans and animals) disease, think how easy it is for a horse owner to do the same. If all your pets and every single animal you come into contact with are vacci- nated according to veterinary guidelines, you can stop reading now. But if not (and seriously, who knows the vaccination status of friends'—let alone strangers'— animals?), you need to know how rabies spreads, how to recognize it, how you can prevent it, and what to do if you suspect it. Read on to find out what to do and what not to do to keep yourself and your horses safe from rabies. Understanding Transmission Common rabies hosts include bats, foxes, raccoons, and skunks. Bobcats, cougars, and coyotes are also occasional reservoirs. Infected (rabid) animals transmit the rabies virus via saliva when they bite or, much less commonly, when their saliva gets introduced to uninfected mammals ISTOCK.COM PHOTOS About RABIES

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