The Arizona Department of Agriculture confirmed Monday that a domestic horse owned in the Nogales area tested positive for rabies. The horse was hospitalized but did not respond to treatment and was later euthanized.

Beautiful horses
Public domain image/Dusan Bicanski

“While rabies among domestic animals is extremely rare with this being the first case in almost 7 years, we are reminded of the importance of keeping our animals’ vaccinations current,” said Dr. Susan Gale, acting state veterinarian.

“The rabies vaccination protects our pets from this infectious disease and vaccinating pets protects people.” Rabies affects the nervous system causing animals to act strangely. Cattle and horses should be vaccinated annually to protect against rabies.

Livestock, horse and pet owners are encouraged to speak with their veterinarian about how to protect their animals. Rabies also affects wild animals, including bats, skunks, foxes, coyotes and bobcats. Outdoors enthusiasts who see wild animals acting ill or out of the ordinary should notify local animal control or Game and Fish (24-hour dispatch line: 623-236-7201)