A Stearns County property owner noticed that one of his five-month old calves had begun showing some atypical behaviors on September 30. The property owner recalled seeing a skunk in the calf’s hutch sometime towards the end of July. The calf was bellowing, off feed, showing signs of aggression, and mounting other calves within the pen. The calf was euthanized on October 4 and tested positive for rabies October10.
Though rabies is not typically spread from bovine to bovine, the property owner has been advised to closely monitor his cattle herd in the coming weeks due to possible exposure to the rabid source. The premises is home to approximately 25 additional calves, more than 100 dairy cattle, and a dog that is currently vaccinated for rabies. The Minnesota Department of Health did not recommend post-exposure prophylaxis for anyone involved in the case.
There have been 12 cases of rabies in Stearns County this year, including 7 skunks, 4 bats, and the positive calf. This is the second bovine case of rabies in Minnesota in 2013. The other positive calf was from Todd County. A total of 53 rabies cases have been diagnosed in Minnesota animals this year.