Outbreak Alert: Rabies in Kentucky Bat

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A case of rabies was recently reported in a bat in Lexington, Kentucky. Among wild animals, the disease is most often reported in skunks and raccoons, but it is also found in bats and foxes. It usually is transmitted from the saliva of an infected animal into a bite wound.

Every case of rabies presents a death sentence to the infected horse and a risk of infection for other horses. Infected horses might show common signs including depression, lack of coordination and aggressive behavior, or they might display more obscure signs, such as lameness or colic. 

Because the signs of rabies can vary so widely—and the disease is so serious—some experts recommend that horse owners think of rabies first whenever they see unexplained clinical signs in horses.

Disease prevention—through vaccination and good management—is good for the horse, owner and equine veterinarian. MERIAL vaccines provide the tools to help prevent some of the most common and most serious equine diseases, including rabies. IMRAB is a rabies vaccine made by Merial and approved for use in six species of animals, including horses. And it is available in a combination vaccine that also helps protect against Potomac horse fever.

For more information about rabies or other equine diseases, talk with your veterinarian. 

MERIAL and IMRAB are registered trademarks of Merial Limited. ©2012 Merial Limited, Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. EQUIBGN1229-D (05/12)

References

Marteniuk J. Rabies in horses. Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. Available at: http://old.cvm.msu.edu/extension/equine/RabiesinHorses.pdf. Accessed June 11, 2009.

AAEP Core Vaccination Guidelines. Available at: http://www.aaep.org/core_vaccinations.htm. Accessed June 11, 2009. 

Weese J.S. A review of equine zoonotic diseases: risks in veterinary medicine. AAEP Proceedings 2002;48:362-369.

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