On September 28, a Nobles County man noticed that his horse was not doing well. The horse was separated from other horses on the property and was lethargic, disoriented, and circling. The animal’s health continued to decline. The horse was euthanized on October 1 and tested positive for the rabies virus. There is no history of rabies vaccination for this animal.
This horse was on the Nobles County property for the past month, but spent the three preceding months at another property in adjacent Rock County. It is possible the horse was exposed while in Rock County. There are multiple species of livestock as well as other horses and dogs on the property in Nobles County. Four people have been advised to receive post-exposure prophylaxis by the Minnesota Department of Health.
To date, there have been 51 cases of rabies in Minnesota animals in 2013. Twenty-nine bats and 18 skunks have tested positive and continue to be the major wildlife vectors in Minnesota. In addition, there has been one test- positive bovine, one caprine and two equine (including this one).