Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”
There have been five confirmed cases of rabies in North Carolina livestock this year, which is about average for the state.
Because horses, cattle and goats are naturally curious animals, they can be at risk for being bitten by a rabid animal that gets inside their fence line, so it’s important to consider vaccinating livestock against rabies, Commissioner Troxler says.
Livestock infected with rabies exhibit a wide variety of symptoms, including depression; lack of appetite; difficulty eating, drinking or swallowing; head-pressing; and circling. Horse owners should be aware that rabies can often look like colic in horses. The incubation period for rabies is two weeks to six months, and once symptoms appear, the disease is almost always fatal.
Here are some tips to protect yourself and your animals:
- Do not feed or attract wildlife to your yard or pasture or try to capture wild animals.
- Call your local animal control if you notice a nocturnal animal out during the day that shows no fear of humans or is behaving aggressively.
- If you hunt, use gloves while skinning animals.
- If you are scratched or come into contact with the saliva you suspect is rabid, seek medical attention immediately.
- Livestock owners should talk to their veterinarian about the risk of rabies in their area and about vaccinations.
Click on the link below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda talk about rabies vaccinations for livestock.
Southern Farm Network is a division of Curtis Media Group.