Neurologic Signs the First Indicator for Kansas Rabies Case

The Kansas equine recently confirmed positive for rabies first presented with lameness in the right forelimb, according to attending veterinarian David Salava, DVM, of the Salava Veterinary Clinic in Clay Center, Kan.

"Muscles fasciculation (twitching) was observed, and the whole elbow was dropped, indicating something neurological," Salava said.

Salava tested the horse for West Nile virus, but results were not yet available when the horse began acting aggressively and was euthanized. When the WNV test results returned as negative and the change in the horse's behavior was added as a clinical sign, Salava moved rabies to the top of the list of potential diagnoses.

Tests performed at Kansas State University confirmed the diagnosis. Salava described the case as "ammunition to urge people to vaccinate for rabies every year.

"We always have a reservoir of rabies around," Salava reminded horse owners.

Read more about this case.  

About the Author

Marsha Hayes

Marsha Hayes has been covering endurance, trail, and other equine topics since 2005. She believes every horse has a story.

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