Recent positive rabies cases on a few farms in Ontario’s Perth County are a stark reminder of this ever-present, reportable disease in livestock.
While livestock cases of rabies are rare, it’s safe to assume the virus circulates in wildlife nearly constantly, albeit at a low level. Exposed livestock, likely from a bite, tend to exhibit neurological symptoms and excessive salivating.
Dr. John Thaler, with Heartland Veterinary Services, explains that preventing and possibly vaccinating for the virus are the best lines of defence, as rabies is a serious and fatal disease. Vaccination, however, is expensive, and should be discussed with your own veterinarian.
In the interview below, Thaler discusses signs and symptoms of the disease, and adds prevention tips, such as ensuring farm dogs and cats are vaccinated and limiting exposure to wildlife.