(Photo above: By Content Provider(s): CDC/Dr. Daniel P. Perl [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
The rabies vaccination protects your horse from any rabid animal’s bite. All animals who are infected with rabies have a 100% chance of fatality. Once horses show signs of being infected, they usually die within a few days.
How can my horse get rabies? It is not very likely for a horse just to get rabies without a wild, rabid animal biting them. Rabies is transmitted through an animal’s or insect’s bite. In 2015, there was one case of human rabies in the United States. Horses that are infected with rabies can transmit the disease between other horses, as saliva infected with rabies is contagious.
Can I protect my horse from catching rabies? If your horse is boarded at a different barn, make sure all the horses there are vaccinated for rabies. In different circumstances, when your horse is kept at your house and you have more than one horse, vaccinate them all. Rabies doesn’t cost all that much. Horses infected with rabies should be kept on quarantine.
Is it contagious for humans? Yes. Horses infected with rabies can spread the disease to humans (as well as horses) through saliva. Pay attention to the signs of rabies to protect you and other people, as well as different horses. If you think you have been infected with rabies, seek medical attention immediately.
How can I tell if my horse has rabies? The symptoms of rabies in can be anywhere from colic to a fever. Some horses might be more aggressive, while others can act more depressed than aggressive. The infected horse’s muscles can twitch as well.
Where can I get the rabies vaccine? If you know how to vaccinate your own horses, then you can purchase the vaccine off of farm stores and some tack shops. Otherwise, you can either trailer your horse over to the vet or you can arrange for your vet to come and give your horse (or horses) their vaccinations.
If my horse catches rabies, is there a chance it will live? Unfortunately, it is typical for horses to pass away within a few days after they are infected with the virus. It is 100% fatal for a horse, but it is 100% preventable with the rabies vaccination.
Rabies is preventable, if treated with the proper vaccination. Always vaccinate your horse to keep both you and your horses safe. I’ll be doing some more blog posts with my research on equine vaccines and what they’re used to prevent.