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Rabies Diagnosed in Tennessee HorsesBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · March 20, 2012

Several horses in Tennessee were confirmed positive for rabies in early 2012. The horses died in January and February because of infection with the rabies virus variant found in skunks.

Rabies is rare in horses, with fewer than 100 equine cases reported yearly, but it is always fatal once clinical signs appear. Transmission to humans and other animals is possible from an infected horse.

Rabies is carried by skunks, bats, foxes, and other wild animals, and may be spread to horses by bites from an infected carrier. The American Association of Equine Practitioners recommends vaccination against rabies for all horses. A yearly booster vaccination is required.