The Colorado Departments of Agriculture and Public Health and Environment, in collaboration with Tri-County Health Department, have confirmed that a miniature horse in Adams County has tested positive for rabies. This is the second case of rabies in domestic livestock in Colorado this year; the first case was a mule in January in Eagle County. Before this year, the last equine rabies case in Colorado was documented in 2013.
Shortly after the miniature horse was euthanized, a skunk acting strangely was found and euthanized on the premises and also tested positive.
Rabies can spread from wild animals such as bats, skunks, raccoons and foxes to other mammals, including domestic pets and livestock. One of the greatest risks of exposure to rabies virus for people is through contact with rabid domestic pets or livestock.
“This incident highlights the need for two important things—reporting suspect rabies cases and up-to-date vaccinations. Prompt reporting of suspect cases allows for timely diagnosis and appropriate follow-up measures to protect animal and human health,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Maggie Baldwin. “Vaccinating pets and livestock is the single best method to prevent the disease which is fatal in nearly 100% of the cases.”