The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is reporting a confirmed rabies case in a 5-year-old gelding Warmblood at a private facility in Marion County.
The horse presented with symptoms of ataxia, eating shavings, dribbling urine, self-mutilation, aggression, febrile and seizures. The unvaccinated animal was euthanized.
This is the first confirmed equine rabies case in Florida for 2023.
Rabies is a fatal central nervous system disease that can affect all warm-blooded mammals, including humans. It occurs infrequently in horses.
The most common route of infection in the horse is a bite wound from a wild carnivore or bat carrying the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that equids account for less than 1% of all rabies cases in the USA; the total number of equine cases has historically ranged from 25–82 annually.