A confirmed case of rabies in a horse which attended a recent team roping event in Texas has prompted a call for members of the public who may have had contact with the animal to see their doctor.
Parker County Sheriff’s animal control supervisor, Karen Kessler, said the horse was recently at a team roping event at the Mineral Wells indoor arena and lived in the 1900 block of North Whitt Cut-Off Road.
Officials are urging any person who may have had contact with the horse from March 27 to April 18 to see a physician and contact the sheriff’s office at (817) 594-8845.
The horse was a contestant with its owner, Carson Pilgrim, of Whitt, at the roping event and was physically unable to perform due to neurological damage.
The horse was diagnosed when the owner sought a veterinarian’s assistance. The horse is described as a bay, 8-year-old gelding.
Rabies symptoms include irritation, weakness, disorientation, neurological instability, loss of appetite and lack of thirst.
Officials believe the horse could have possibly come in contact with a skunk infected with rabies.
Sheriff’s animal control officers are advising the public to have all livestock and domestic animals vaccinated for rabies.
“The skunk population seems to have increased this year, which also increases the possibility of being infected,” Kessler said.
“This includes all animals and humans. In order to protect your loved ones and pets, we cannot stress enough the importance of awareness and prevention.”
Kessler said the horse’s owner has been cooperative throughout the investigation. Parker County Sheriff’s Office and Animal Control Division are working closely with Palo Pinto County officials and the Texas Department of Health.