Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rabid Horse Found in Kentucky

A horse in the Hamilton Lane/North Yarnallton Pike area of Lexington,
Kentucky, has tested positive for rabies, according to a statement
from the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.

Department Spokesman Kevin Hall said the thoroughbred began showing
clinical signs similar to colic on 5 Feb 2009. The horse was admitted
to an equine hospital and underwent exploratory surgery. While in
isolation following surgery, the animal started having violent
seizures and was euthanized. Testing confirmed rabies in the animal
11 Feb 2009. Hall said the investigation into the level of human
exposure is under way.

"Right now we're looking to see the level of exposure," Hall said.
"We're visiting with the farm and with any workers that might have
been exposed."

A skunk near Abbeywood Road also tested positive this week 8-14 Feb
2009]. Earlier this year, another skunk that tested positive for the
disease was found in a pasture near Spurr Road. In that case, a man
was bitten while trying to dispose of the animal. These bring the
total of rabies cases in the county in 2009 to 5 -- already one more
than in all of 2008.

Kentucky state law requires that dogs, cats, and ferrets maintain
annual rabies vaccinations.

Clinical signs of rabies in a horse can look like many different
things, including colic. The CDC reported 53 cases of rabies in
horses in 2006. A Webinar (Web-based seminar) on rabies, along with a
transcript, presented by Steve Reed, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, is available
at the Source URL, noted above.

[Byline: Erin Ryder, News Editor]

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Susan Baekeland

[This moderator has long been an advocate of rabies vaccination in
horses and any farm animal that is shown or handled. It is very cheap
insurance compared to losing a human life or even a prized animal.
Unfortunately, when a large animal is exposed to rabies there are
often many people exposed before the diagnosis is made. The reason is
because rabies mimics other diseases in our large animals. - Mod.TG]

[A map of the state of Kentucky is available at: click on title above to see;

- CopyEd.EJP]

[see also:
Rabies, equine - USA: (MO) 20080823.2632
Rabies, equine - USA (NH): correction, RI 20070428.1388
Rabies, equine - USA (NH): correction, RI 20070428.1387
Rabies, equine - USA (NH) 20070426.1364
Rabies, equine - USA (TN): alert 20060912.2586
Rabies, equine - USA (NM) 20060330.0956
Rabies, equine - USA (IL) 20041230.3448]

1 comment:

Allan Haverly said...

While the incidence of rabies in horsemanship is low, the disease is invariably fatal and has considerable public health significance. It is recommended that rabies vaccine be a core vaccine for all equine.