Stearns County Cow Tests Positive for Rabies After Skunk Encounter
UNDATED -- A Stearns County cow tested positive for rabies after an encounter with a skunk.
The Minnesota Board of Animal Health reports a livestock producer saw one of his cows toss a skunk into the air on January 11. After killing the skunk, the producer noticed several scratches on the cow's nose. The skunk's body was submitted for rabies testing and confirmed positive on January 16.
The Board launched an investigation into the incident and the cow was placed into a six-month quarantine.
On February 15, the producer reported to his veterinarian that the cow was, "down, acting aggressively and was foaming at the mouth." The cow was euthanized the next day, and tested positive for the virus four days later.
Tissue from the cow's body, along with a sample from the farm's bulk milk tank, have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control to use in rabies research evaluating the potential shedding of virus in milk.
The Board does not identify the name of the town in which the incident occurred. This is the first case of rabies in cattle in Minnesota this year and the second case of rabies in Stearns County.