Apr 15, 2010 12:22 PM
A horse in eastern Arapahoe County has tested positive for rabies, according to the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
The Agriculture Department is encouraging livestock and pet owners to discuss animal health concerns, including the rabies vaccine, with their local veterinarian.
"The department would like to stress two very important points," said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr. "One-animal owners need to be aware that rabies is transferring from one species to another and they should monitor their animals for symptoms; and two-local veterinarians are a valuable resource to help producers decide the best course of action to protect their livestock and pets from rabies."
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in 2009, there were a total of 103 rabies cases in 20 Colorado counties; one of those cases included a horse. In September 2009, a horse in El Paso County was euthanized and subsequent tests determined the horse was infected with rabies; public health experts believe the horse was exposed in July 2009 to a skunk on its home property in the Black Forest area.
As of April 12, a total of 28 animals have tested positive for rabies in Colorado in 2010: 25 skunks (13 from Elbert County), 1 domestic cat from Prowers County, 1 muskrat from Morgan County, and the 1 horse from eastern Arapahoe County.
Rabies is a viral disease infecting the brain and central nervous system, which can be passed to humans. If you suspect you've been exposed to rabies, contact your physician without delay.