Rabies Alerts

Three Stearns County Cattle Test Positive for Rabies

A total of three steers on a Stearns County farm have tested positive for rabies.

The farmers first noticed abnormal behavior in a steer that went down on May 11, 2024, and died the next day. This steer was not submitted for rabies testing. On May 13, 2024, the owners noticed another steer acting unusually. The steer was found down on the ground, with drooling and lack of coordination. Rabies was immediately suspected by the local veterinarian. The steer was euthanized and prepared for testing by the veterinarian and submitted to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL

Otter Tail County Kitten Confirmed Positive for Rabies

On April 21, 2024, the owner of an Otter Tail County farm noticed a wound on the front left leg of her unvaccinated outdoor kitten. The kitten was euthanized for testing on April 23. The remains were submitted to the North Dakota State University Diagnostic Laboratory, where they were confirmed positive for the rabies virus on April 29.

The owner smelled a skunk around the property in early April. The kitten smelled strongly of skunk at that time. Since nearly half of all Minnesota skunks tested for rabies are diagnosed with the virus, a skunk bite is likely how the kitten contracted rabies

Pipestone County Calf Tests Positive for Rabies

On Thursday, April 25, 2024, a calf in Pipestone county tested positive for rabies.

On Monday, April 22, 2024, a cattle producer noticed one of his calves behaving strangely. The following day, he relayed symptoms to a local veterinarian who suspected the calf had rabies. The producer administered antibiotics to the calf. The producer wore gloves and avoided contact with the calf’s mouth and saliva. On Wednesday, April 24, the calf was found dead. The carcass was sent for rabies testing at the South Dakota State University Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Lab, where it was confirmed

Pregnant Cow in Rock County Tests Positive for Rabies

A pregnant cow from Rock County was submitted for rabies testing on March 20, 2024, after a local veterinarian suspected the cow was infected with the virus.

On March 14, a farmer contacted a veterinarian to after observing that one of his late-term pregnant cows appeared to be acting abnormally and thought she might birth her calf or have bowel discomfort. A veterinarian examined the cow and administered treatment for a possible intestinal blockage. The cow did not improve but was seen favoring one side while walking away. On March 18, the cow was unable to stand. Paralysis and other

Rabid Domestic Calf in Lac Qui Parle County

On Oct. 15, 2023, a calf at a farm in Lac Qui Parle County was observed acting abnormally and showing signs of colic. An on-call veterinarian examined the calf that day and treated it with antimicrobial medication for a possible illness. The following day, the calf was foaming at the mouth and acting increasingly aggressive towards the other calf in its pen. The primary veterinarian suspected rabies and conducted a visual exam to avoid physical exposure. On Oct. 17, 2023, the calf was isolated due to worsening symptoms and euthanized later that day. A rabies test was conducted at the South

Second Calf in Lac Qui Parle County Tests Positive

A calf tested positive for rabies in Lac Qui Parle County on Oct. 26, 2023, the second to test positive in the county this year. The calf originated from a farm that had a rabies positive calf a week earlier. The spread of rabies from one calf to another, or from adult cattle, has been proven minimal, supporting the notion that both calves were possibly bitten by a rabid animal that entered the property.

The calf was unvaccinated at the time of purchase and began developing white nasal discharge about three weeks after the sale. The calf showed signs of lameness and was treated by a local

Nobles County calf tests positive for rabies

A Nobles County calf is the first rabies-positive bovine detected in Minnesota since 2020. The calf began acting strange on April 10 and the owner called their veterinarian after it was straining to defecate. The veterinarian diagnosed a possible intestinal blockage and relieved the pressure surgically. Three days later the calf struggled to stand, exhibited signs of neurologic illness, and died in the evening. The veterinary clinic performed a necropsy and sent samples to the South Dakota State University diagnostic laboratory, which confirmed rabies on April 15.

After receiving the results

Clearwater County dog tests positive for rabies

An unvaccinated Clearwater County dog tested positive for rabies on January 6, 2023, approximately two months after possible exposure to a skunk. In mid-November 2022, a skunk was seen jumping toward the dog and hovering around an outdoor food dish. The skunk was shot by the owner as it ran from the scene, was discarded, and never tested for rabies.

At the end of December, about five weeks after the skunk encounter, the dog seemed more reserved than usual. On December 30, the owner believed the dog was choking and put their hand in its mouth, but couldn’t see anything in its throat. They took

Lincoln County alpaca tests positive for rabies

An alpaca in Lincoln County tested positive for rabies after the owners and their veterinarian suspected it was infected with the virus. On July 27, 2022, the alpaca had stopped eating and could not stand, and the owner notified his veterinarian of the symptoms. The veterinarian examined the alpaca on July 28, suspected rabies infection, and recommended euthanasia. The alpaca was submitted to the South Dakota State University Diagnostic Laboratory, and test results confirmed the animal as rabies positive on July 29.

Minnesota Board of Animal Health records dating back to 1949 indicate this is

Puppies exposed to rabid skunk in Polk County

On July 11, 2022 the owner of a litter of seven puppies heard a commotion in their yard and discovered one of the puppies being carried away by a skunk. Two littermates were barking at the skunk and the other four had scattered when the owner approached. The puppies were 8-weeks-old and were not yet rabies vaccinated. The owner submitted the skunk to the North Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, which confirmed it as rabies-positive on July 15.

The Board of Animal Health recommended the owner euthanize and submit the puppy that was bitten by the skunk for rabies testing

Possible feline exposure to rabies positive bat in Pipestone County

The following situation underscores the importance of strong Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationships and reminding people of the proactive role routine vaccinations play in protecting an animal’s health. All dogs, cat, ferrets, and horses should be currently vaccinated against the rabes virus. In the event an animal is exposed or potentially exposed, pets should receive a rabies vaccination booster within 96 hours of exposure.

A Pipestone County resident reported a dead bat on their front steps on May 16, 2022. A local veterinarian collected the bat and brought it to the South Dakota State

Morrison County kitten tests positive for rabies

On December 10, 2021 a male 18-week-old kitten tested positive for rabies, marking the first feline and first domestic animal to test positive in Minnesota in 2021.

On December 6, the owner took the unvaccinated kitten to a veterinarian because he was acting strangely. The veterinarian noted a fever (103.8 Fahrenheit) and an abscess on the kitten’s abdomen. The owner reported observing signs of trauma including missing hair from his tail and a wound on his abdomen roughly two weeks before the kitten was taken to the clinic.

Neurologic symptoms worsened into the following day and the kitten

Stearns County cow tests positive for rabies

On January 11, a Stearns County livestock producer saw one of his cows toss a skunk into the air. After killing the skunk, the producer noticed several scratches on the cow’s nose. The producer’s veterinarian submitted the skunk for rabies testing and on January 16 the skunk was confirmed positive. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health launched an investigation and discussed options for preventing further spread of the rabies virus with the producer. The options were to either euthanize the unvaccinated cow or officially quarantine her for six months.

The producer chose to officially quarantine

Rabid bat found in Benton County parking lot

A man and his son were in a Benton County parking lot when they discovered a bat, which later tested positive for the rabies virus. This case serves as a strong reminder to report all suspicious interactions between pets and wildlife to a veterinarian and keep pets vaccinated against rabies.

The Benton County bat tested positive for rabies on December 27, 2019. On December 23, the bat was found on the ground between two cars parked in a lot outside an apartment building. A man and his son captured the bat with a magazine and plastic container, avoiding direct contact. View this video from the

Goat confirmed positive in Stevens County

A Stevens County goat tested positive for rabies on November 8, 2019. This case is only the third confirmed rabies positive goat in Minnesota in the last 15 years. The other two positives were in Nobles County in 2013 and Morrison County in 2004. Despite the low number of rabies confirmations in goats, veterinarians and producers need to remember goats and other small ruminants are still at risk of contracting the rabies virus.

The 4-year old Boer goat was reported by the owner as, “being off” for two days; it stopped eating and was not interacting normally with the other nine goats in the herd

Roseau County fox kit tests positive for rabies virus

A fox kit found on a Roseau County farm tested positive for rabies on July 5, 2019. The property owner reported that a month prior, an abnormally aggressive skunk wandered onto her farm and was killed by her three unvaccinated dogs. She used a shovel to move the dead skunk onto a burn pile on the property. Less than five days later, the skunk carcass disappeared. The owner noted fox tracks near the burn pile and later discovered skunk remains near a fox den, which had reportedly been on the property for several years. Two fox kits were observed near the den.

On June 29, the property owner

Puppy tests positive in Pennington County

A 16-week-old puppy in Pennington County tested positive for rabies on Friday, September 21, 2018.

Around July 1, the rabid puppy, a male Blue Heeler/Black Labrador Retriever, was attacked and bitten in the hind leg by a skunk while still at the breeder’s home in Marshall County. The breeder shot the skunk and did not submit it for rabies testing.

Around July 15, the puppy went home with a new owner in Pennington County. On September 5, the puppy suffered a head injury while playing. On September 12, the owner brought the puppy to a veterinarian for evaluation. During the visit, the puppy was

A bat handled in St. Paul's Como Park tests positive for rabies

A rabies positive bat was found near the pavilion by Como Lake in St. Paul on Wednesday, May 30. A good Samaritan spotted the bat around 7:30 p.m. and submitted it for rabies testing.

Any pet owners who have recently been in the area where the bat was found, and have concerns their pet may have been exposed, should contact their veterinarian and the Minnesota Board of Animal Health at 651-201-6808.

The Board recommends all dogs, cats, ferrets, and horses be currently vaccinated against the rabies virus. In the event that an animal is exposed or potentially exposed, pets should be rabies

Pope County cat tests positive for rabies virus

Rabies transmission is still a risk despite cold weather.

A six-year-old, male, outdoor cat in Pope County tested positive for rabies on January 3, 2018. This is the first domestic animal to test positive for rabies in 2018. The owners observed the cat behaving oddly on January 2, exhibiting signs of in coordination and struggling to breathe. They elected to bring him indoors for observation and care. He died on January 3 and was submitted to the North Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for rabies testing.

According to the owners of the cat, skunks are frequently seen on

Stearns County raccoon tests positive for rabies virus

A raccoon in Stearns County tested positive for rabies on August 23. This is the first Minnesota raccoon to test positive for the rabies virus since 1993. The dead juvenile raccoon was found by a woman in her yard on June 26. That same day, she observed her indoor/outdoor cat limping and assumed the cat had fought with and killed the raccoon. The cat was examined by a veterinarian on June 28. The attending veterinarian re-vaccinated the cat for rabies and submitted the raccoon for rabies testing.

Staff at the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory discovered the raccoon died from a gunshot wound to