The American Association of Equine Practitioners
stresses the importance of vaccinating horses to protect against rabies, a
deadly but preventable neurological disease, as it recognizes the World Rabies
Day on Sept. 28.
vaccine as a core vaccination for horses. Core vaccinations, as identified by
the American Veterinary Medical Association, are vaccines “that protect from
diseases that are endemic to a region, those with potential public health
significance, required by law, virulent/highly infectious, and/or those posing
a risk of severe disease.”
Rabies is caused by a lyssavirus affecting the
neurological system and salivary glands. Exposure to horses most commonly
occurs through the bite of another infected (rabid) animal, typically a
raccoon, skunk, bat or fox. Clinical signs of rabies are variable and may take
up to 12 weeks to appear after the initial infection. Although sometimes no
symptoms appear, an infected horse can show behavioral changes, such as
becoming drowsy, depressed, fearful or aggressive. Once clinical signs appear,
there are no treatment options.
Veterinary professionals and industry organizations
in 135 countries are hosting rabies vaccinations clinics and client education
events leading up to the Sept. 28 event. Founded by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Alliance for Rabies Control, a United
Kingdom-based charity, the World Rabies Day initiative brings together relevant
partners in an effort to address rabies prevention and control. Through these
events, an estimated 5 million animals around the world will receive rabies
For complete AAEP Vaccination Guidelines and
instructions on properly vaccinating your horse for rabies, visit www.aaep.org/core_vaccinations.htm.
For more information about World Rabies Day, visit www.worldrabiesday.org.
The American Association of Equine
Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a
non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse.
Currently, the AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its nearly
10,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice
management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary
profession and horse industry.