The Horse, Merck Partner for Rabies Education Week

World Rabies Day is Sept. 28. Look for articles and other content about rabies risk and learn how to protect your horses all week!

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Merck Animal Health has partnered with The Horse to help educate horse owners about rabies Sept. 25 through Oct. 1, 2016. We’re holding the week of education in conjunction with World Rabies Day, which is Wednesday, Sept. 28, and seeks to increase awareness about rabies risk. Look for rabies-related articles and other content on, our Facebook page and Twitter feed, and in our horse health newsletters.

Rabies has no treatment and is 100% deadly, yet it’s also 100% preventable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 55,000 people worldwide die of the neurologic disease each year. In 2016 animal health authorities have reported equine rabies cases in Oklahoma, Florida, and Arizona.

Rabies is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can spread between humans and other animals. It’s caused by a virus that affects mammals and is spread via saliva. The most common scenario causing equine rabies occurs when a rabid wild or feral animal (such as a skunk or raccoon) or pet (think barn cat) bites and infects a horse.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) includes rabies as one of four “core” vaccines horses should receive (the others are tetanus, West Nile virus, and Western/Eastern equine encephalomyelitis. According to the AAEP, “While the incidence of rabies in horses is low, the disease is invariably fatal and has considerable public health significance. It is recommended that rabies vaccine be a core vaccine for all equids

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Written by:

Michelle Anderson is the former digital managing editor at The Horse. A lifelong horse owner, Anderson competes in dressage and enjoys trail riding. She’s a Washington State University graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in business administration and extensive coursework in animal sciences. She has worked in equine publishing since 1998. She currently lives with her husband on a small horse property in Central Oregon.

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