Veterinarian diagnoses rabies in calves thought to have pneumonia

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) A veterinarian based out of Lynchburg caught a tough diagnosis of rabies in several calves.

It happened when three out of four calves in a pen died at a farm on the same day. They were thought to have had pneumonia, but two were taken to the Lynchburg Regional Animal Health Laboratory of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for a necropsy, or animal autopsy.

Dr. John Moody is the laboratory director and diagnostician and didn’t think pneumonia added up based on all of the symptoms. Moody ordered a full work up on the animals and one of his colleagues eventually found rabies in the brain tissue.

“I was relieved that I’d looked and that I followed the training that Dr. Garvin and Dr. Crofton had given me to submit the tissues that we needed to submit and to follow your instincts,” said Dr. Moody.

Moody contacted the Virginia Department of Health which provided rabies vaccinations to 15 people who may have come into contact with the animals.