Rabies – Should I be Concerned?

Rabies is a contagious disease of the nervous system that affects any mammal.  Left untreated, rabies is usually fatal.  The virus is found in high concentrations in the saliva, mucus membranes, and central nervous tissue. Humans and other mammals become infected through a cut or scratch from an infected animal, or from exposure of the virus to the eyes, mouth, or nostrils.  In Ontario, rabies eradication campaigns have been successful at greatly decreasing the incidence of rabies infections.  In the past 12 years, there have only been three cases of human rabies in Canada.  This is a stark contrast to the experience in developing countries, where an estimated 55,000 people die each year due to rabies, mainly due to dog bites.

From the MNR website, most rabid animals show these signs:

  1.  They are extremely excited
  2.  They may attack objects or other animals
  3.  They may froth at the mouth
  4.  They may bite at anything

The following measures are recommended to protect people and animals from rabies:

* vaccinate pet cats and dogs as recommended by your veterinarian and/or by-laws

* report any bite or scratch to your local public health unit or family doctor and seek appropriate medical attention for the wound

* do not approach wildlife – do not feed wild animals or attempt to nurse sick animals back to health

 

Please call us at Golf Glen Veterinary Clinic at (905) 727-3003 if you would like to discuss your pet’s vaccination needs in further detail!  We are always happy to help.

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