Rabies in horses? How common is it?
 
 

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Rabies in horses? How common is it?

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  • How common is rabies in horses that have been vaccinated
  • Rabies i was vaccinared before 5 years ago should i revaccinated again

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    07-29-2013, 07:45 PM
  #1
Foal
Unhappy Rabies in horses? How common is it?

I have been through years of psychotherapy and medications because of this incident I had with a horse.

Twelve years ago I went to this ranch in PA called Malibu Dude Ranch and that place was just awesome! I loved every minute of it except one part when I was on a horse and the horse next to me bit me hard on my knee. At first I never thought much of it but years later I am obsessing over it every day and night. Now I developed a strong fear for horses and I am desperately trying to get over this and become a horse lover again (which I was before getting bitten.)

I want to know if horses in these ranches give their horses rabies shots because they are exposed to the public and specifically children. I am still to this day trying to figure out why this horse bit me but in my mind the only thing that makes sense is that the horse was rabid. How common is rabies in horses and should I be worried?

Plus I want to go to a ranch in my state but I am scared to get bitten again. How often do horses bite and why?
     
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    07-29-2013, 07:49 PM
  #2
Yearling
I don't think horses actually become rabid when they gave rabies. It just makes them sick like people.

It sounds to me like the other horse was biting at your horse which is common in a herd and your knee just got in the way.
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    07-29-2013, 07:52 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovesMyDunnBoy    

It sounds to me like the other horse was biting at your horse which is common in a herd and your knee just got in the way.
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Why do horses do that? Why do they bite the other horses?
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    07-29-2013, 07:53 PM
  #4
Yearling
Horses are routinely vaccinated for rabies so no issues there. I say that but I am not certain it is a requirement. I know ours here in MD are vaccinated.

As for the fear, you just need to go back out and work through it. Horses can bite for any reason not just rabies. Had the horse been rabid you would have been very ill at the very least. Some pick up the habit form their mothers, others get mouthy when they are young and don't get corrected..in foals it seems cute but as you found out not so cute in an adult horse. Others pick up the habit from people handfeeding them treats. What you need to do is find a quiet barn somewhere or one that gives lessons..most horses used in lesson programs don't bite or kick (though it isn't completely unheard of)..out of 80 school horses we have one on property that bites..not so much a full bite as he "nibbles" at everything..reins, sleeves..anything loose.

Horses bite each other as a form of communication.
     
    07-29-2013, 07:53 PM
  #5
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovesMyDunnBoy    
I don't think horses actually become rabid when they gave rabies. It just makes them sick like people.

It sounds to me like the other horse was biting at your horse which is common in a herd and your knee just got in the way.
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"Becoming sick like people" IS becoming rabid. I've watched videos of people with rabies, and it exhibits the same as in animals - the frothing (inability to swallow) the convulsions and yes, the aggression in later stages. (In one part, the nurse went to wipe the froth from the man's face and he tried to bite her.) It isn't any different.

Here's an article about it. Yes, your horse will become rabid - JUST like people do. It will attack the nervous system the same whether you're a fox, horse or human.

Rabies in Horses — College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University

If it makes you feel better there had not been one single documented case of rabies transmitted from horse to human :)
     
    07-29-2013, 07:58 PM
  #6
Started
Horses bite each other to accomplish the same thing as when we tell someone to move or wait their turn. It's just a more violent way of doing it.
     
    07-29-2013, 08:06 PM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlkng1    
Horses are routinely vaccinated for rabies so no issues there. I say that but I am not certain it is a requirement. I know ours here in MD are vaccinated.

As for the fear, you just need to go back out and work through it. Horses can bite for any reason not just rabies. Had the horse been rabid you would have been very ill at the very least. Some pick up the habit form their mothers, others get mouthy when they are young and don't get corrected..in foals it seems cute but as you found out not so cute in an adult horse. Others pick up the habit from people handfeeding them treats. What you need to do is find a quiet barn somewhere or one that gives lessons..most horses used in lesson programs don't bite or kick (though it isn't completely unheard of)..out of 80 school horses we have one on property that bites..not so much a full bite as he "nibbles" at everything..reins, sleeves..anything loose.

Horses bite each other as a form of communication.
I have been wondering for years why the horse bit me, maybe it thought my knee was food or maybe I was excited and moving around too much or the girl who was on my horse was moving around too much on top of the horse that bit me but I don't have much knowledge on horses to know why they bite. It was a very scary and traumatizing experience for me and I have been thinking I am going to die from rabies for years.
     
    07-29-2013, 08:08 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoebox    
If it makes you feel better there had not been one single documented case of rabies transmitted from horse to human :)
Wow seriously? No one has ever been infected by rabies after a horse bite? That means I spent nearly a decade being scared for no reason? And I won't die from the horse bite that I had 12 years ago?
     
    07-29-2013, 08:09 PM
  #9
Trained
Horses are always working on their position in the herd. Biting each other is just a more direct form of saying, "Move it, NOW" and your knee just happened to be there. The people who run the place should know their horses well enough to not let someone get too close to another horse. Shouldn't have happened, blame the people, not the horses.

As for rabies, most horses get rabies shots routinely, I can't imagine a public facility not having their horses immunized on a regular basis.

IMO, you need to go be friends with 1 very gentle and sweet horse, it will get you past all the horse fears. The OCD is a whole different issue, therapy is going to have to work on that.
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    07-29-2013, 08:10 PM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by jumanji321    
Horses bite each other to accomplish the same thing as when we tell someone to move or wait their turn. It's just a more violent way of doing it.
But wouldn't the horse see my knee and know that it is not part of the horse? Wow I really didn't know horses do that. I thought they communicate in other ways besides biting. The bite is pretty hard! I was wearing sweat pants so it didn't rip through it but when I lifted the fabric it was a bloody gash OUCH it hurt so bad!
     

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horse bite, rabies, ranch, rides, vaccinations

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