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The most common horse disease that crosses over to the human side is rabies, a rhabdo virus that primarily affects nervous tissue. Discover how most horses with rabies die within four or five days with information from a veterinarian in this free video on horse and human crossover diseases.
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This is Dr. Gary Garcia of Keystone Equine Associates in Odessa, Florida outside of Tampa. We are going to just talk briefly about horse diseases that cross over to the human side. I think the first one that comes to mind with most people is rabies. Rabies is a zoonosis. Zoonosis meaning that it is a animal disease that does move over to the human side, and cause disease there. Rabies is a rhabdo virus, and a rhabdo virus effects mainly nervous tissue, and that is why most of the clinical signs are neurologic. And what you see in a horse is you see apraxia, which is uneasy stubbling, and inability to stand and bear weight on their limbs. And you see dysphagia, which is the inability to swallow, which causes that salvation which is classic. you see self-mutilation, which means that they chew on themselves, and they have nervous signs that make them want to chew on their own skin. And sometimes you do see fever as well with that. Most horses die within about four or five days, and they usually die from respiratory arrest or cardiac arrest. When it comes onto the human side it's from us humans handling the horse. Either looking in their mouth, or touching a wound on the horse, and that horse is viremic or shedding virus at that time. And we either have cuts on our hand or we get exposure through the saliva or through the blood. There is still a question as to how transmissible that actually is to humans, but what is important is that if you do have a horse with clinical signs of rabies. These horses are un-vaccinated those horses need to be quarantined and/or destroyed, and the brain tissue needs to be analyzed for rabies so as to protect the us humans. So the key is to vaccinate your horse, the vaccine is yearly, and protects your horse from these devastating signs of rabies. And if you do have, you know it is a reportable disease to the health department, and anyone who is in contact with the horse should be noted to the health department. Again, this is Dr. Gary Garcia of Keystone Equine Associates in Odessa, Florida. We urge you to contact your local equine veterinarian for further information and questions. Or you can log onto our website at keystoneequine.com. Thank you.
Specialty: Horse Health