The Oklahoma State Veterinarian Office reports on a rabies case in a Quarter Horse in Cotton County in the southern part of the state.
The unvaccinated mare experienced symptoms of being uncomfortable, frequent urinations, biting at flanks, progressed to hyperexcitability, hypersalivation, and self mutilation last week.
The animal was euthanized and confirmed positive for rabies.
One additional horse with potential exposure is currently quarantined.
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.
In unvaccinated horses, rabies is rapidly progressive after onset of clinical signs with death occurring 5-7 days following the onset of clinical signs.
There is no cure for rabies. Prophylactic treatment has been effective if administered after exposure but before onset of clinical signs. Rabies is fatal in all horses with clinical signs.
Rabies vaccines are highly effective. Horses should be vaccinated annually to maintain immunity.