Maryland Horse Positive for Rabies, Farm Quarantined

A horse residing in Harford County, Md., was euthanized and tested positive for rabies, resulting in a 45-day quarantine of the farm.

Around July 13, owners of the horse began to notice drastic changes in the horse's behavior and gait. A large animal veterinarian examined the animal and suspected rabies.

The horse was then sent to the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton facility, where the diagnosis was confirmed.

"There was no threat at any point outside the immediate family and the farm," said Bill Wiseman, Harford County public information officer.

Family members and other individuals working on the farm were given inoculations. Through the efforts of local, state, and international authorities, one family member working outside the country was located abroad and received treatment as well.

All other domesticated animals on the farm were current on their rabies vaccinations. These animals received boosters as an added precaution. Maryland state regulations call for a 45-day quarantine of the farm, which will expire Aug. 31.

Approximately 25 feral cats living on the farm were trapped, removed, and euthanized as a precaution. Officials said they believe the horse's exposure might have come from an Eastern raccoon.

The Harford County Health Department strongly recommends keeping all pets and livestock up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations.

About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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