Oklahoma: Horse contracts rabies in Cotton County

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The Oklahoma State Veterinary Office Reports of a rabies case in Quarter Horse in Cotton County in the southern part of the state.

Photo / Markosbieski

The non-vaccinated mare has been experiencing symptoms of discomfort, frequent urination, biting into the wings, and has progressed to hyper-excitability, salivation, and self-mutilation last week.

The animal was euthanized and confirmed to have rabies.

An additional horse with possible exposure is currently being placed in quarantine.

Rabies is usually transmitted through a bite wound from an infected animal but the virus can also enter through open wounds, cuts in the skin, abrasions, or direct contact with the mucous membranes (mouth or eyes) of infected animals.

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In unvaccinated horses, rabies progresses rapidly after the onset of clinical symptoms with death occurring 5-7 days after the onset of clinical symptoms.

There is no cure for rabies. Prophylaxis was effective if taken after exposure but before clinical symptoms appeared. Rabies is fatal in all horses showing clinical signs.

Rabies vaccines are very effective. Horses must be vaccinated annually to maintain their immunity.

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