Rabies: Louisiana Mare Euthanized

Louisiana officials have confirmed that a horse was euthanized after coming into the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medice in Baton Rouge with clinical signs of rabies on June 28. The 6-year-old Thoroughbred mare was exhibiting abnormal facial twitching symptoms when she was brought in from Jefferson Davis Parish.

The neurologic symptoms worsened and the horse was euthanized, and a subsequent necropsy verified rabies.

Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, DVM, advises all Louisiana horse owners to vaccinate against the disease.

"Horses are mammals and all mammals can contract rabies," said Strain. "If you're going to vaccinate your livestock for EEE and West Nile, the cost of adding a rabies vaccination is minimal. It's a disease that can easily be prevented."

The American Association of Equine Practitioners includes rabies as a core vaccine in its vaccination guidelines. Vaccination of domestic animals, including horses and other livestock, is an important part of preventing human exposure to the virus.

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About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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