North Carolina Horse Tests Positive for Rabies

The affected horse, a 25-year-old Haflinger from Polk County, was unvaccinated.
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Animal health officials in North Carolina have confirmed that a horse in Polk County tested positive for rabies last week.

Michael Neault, DVM, director of North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) Livestock Programs, Veterinary Division, told The Horse Aug. 15 that the affected horse, a 25-year-old Haflinger, was unvaccinated.

The case was confirmed by Rollins Laboratory, said R. Douglas Meckes, DVM, state veterinarian with the NCDA&CS.

Rabies—a zoonotic disease that can be spread from animals to humans—is caused by a lyssavirus that affects the neurologic system and salivary glands. Horses are exposed most commonly through the bite of another rabid animal

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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