4/3/2021 11:05:00 PM Gaston County Reports Rabid Horse Near Cherryville
Usually transmitted through the bite of an infected animal, rabies is invariably fatal—the virus ravages a horse's nervous system and there is no cure. In fact, rabies has the highest mortality rate of any infectious disease—functionally 100 percent since euthanasia is the only option once signs of illness appear. While there is no treatment for rabies, vaccinating your horse and any other animals can provide protection from becoming infected in the first place.
Gaston County Police Press Release
We can only hope that owners of horses and other livestock took our State News article from NC Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler seriously. Troxler was urging equine owners to get their animals vaccinated against Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus. Troxler added near the end of the article: “It’s also a great time to make sure your animal is current on its rabies vaccination. In North Carolina, we see about five cases of rabies in livestock each year. Horses are naturally curious animals, which puts them at risk for a bite if a rabid animal gets through their fence line.”
Sure enough, Gaston County's third confirmed case of rabies this year was a horse.
On Wednesday morning March 31st Gaston County Police Animal Care and Enforcement was contacted by a veterinarian who was treating a sick horse in the 300 block of Robert Road just northeast of Cherryville. The Veterinarian detailed the sick horse was showing signs of rabies.
The owner has two dogs that were current on rabies vaccinations and they received a booster shot for their current rabies vaccination. Other horses at the location were vaccinated for rabies and will go through an observation period with the NC Department of Agriculture.
Animal Care and Enforcement completed neighborhood canvasses in the area of Robert Road, Buck Fraley Road and Roy Eaker Road to notify the community of the positive rabies results and verify rabies vaccinations for family animals in the area.
While NC law requires rabies vaccinations for dogs, cats & ferrets, any warm-blooded animal can get the disease, and once an animal is infected, it's too late.
The Gaston County Police Department Animal Care and Enforcement Unit stresses the importance of having a valid rabies vaccination for all of your animals' health and safety as well as the health and safety of animal owners and the community.
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