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Rabies case in horse at Texas roping event sparks warning

An electron micrograph of the rabies virus. It shows the rabies virus, as well as negri bodies, or cellular inclusions. Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Dr Fred Murphy

An electron micrograph of the rabies virus. It shows the rabies virus, as well as negri bodies, or cellular inclusions. Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Dr Fred Murphy

A confirmed case of rabies in a horse which attended a recent team roping event in Texas has prompted a call for members of the public who may have had contact with the animal to see their doctor.

Parker County Sheriff’s animal control supervisor, Karen Kessler, said the horse was recently at a team roping event at the Mineral Wells indoor arena and lived in the 1900 block of North Whitt Cut-Off Road.

Officials are urging any person who may have had contact with the horse from March 27 to April 18 to see a physician and contact the sheriff’s office at (817) 594-8845.

The horse was a contestant with its owner, Carson Pilgrim, of Whitt, at the roping event and was physically unable to perform due to neurological damage.

The horse was diagnosed when the owner sought a veterinarian’s assistance. The horse is described as a bay, 8-year-old gelding.

Rabies symptoms include irritation, weakness, disorientation, neurological instability, loss of appetite and lack of thirst.

Officials believe the horse could have possibly come in contact with a skunk infected with rabies.

Sheriff’s animal control officers are advising the public to have all livestock and domestic animals vaccinated for rabies.

“The skunk population seems to have increased this year, which also increases the possibility of being infected,” Kessler said.

“This includes all animals and humans. In order to protect your loved ones and pets, we cannot stress enough the importance of awareness and prevention.”

Kessler said the horse’s owner has been cooperative throughout the investigation. Parker County Sheriff’s Office and Animal Control Division are working closely with Palo Pinto County officials and the Texas Department of Health.

 

Distribution of major rabies reservoirs in the US, 2007-2011.

Distribution of major rabies reservoirs in the US, 2007-2011. (Adapted from JAVMA, Vol 241, No 6, p 712-722).

 

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  1. Kris says:

    I was driving down the road a month or so ago between Lingleville and desdemona and seen a skunk in the middle of the day on the side of the highway he was going in circles and biting the grass. Pretty sure he was rabid cars and eighteen wheelers were going right by him with no reaction on his part. I called animal control they said they would come get him. I took them at their word waited thirty more min no one showed up not having a weapon to kill it with really sucked thought of running it over but didn’t want it to suffer more than it was hope they did get it tho.

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