Rabies is a deadly disease that is spread by contact with the saliva of an infected warm-blooded animal during handling or when it bites or scratches you. If bitten by an animal notify your family doctor immediately. If the animal is owned by another person, obtain information about the animal so that it can be located and isolated for 10 days. If the animal is a stray, provide your local Public Health Inspector with as much information as possible so that the owner of the animal can be located. All animal bites or scratches must be reported to the Health Unit by Hospitals, Doctors and Police Officials.
- Avoid contact with wild animals, stray dogs and cats
- Keep your pets under control. Don't let them run free especially at night
- Don't touch sick or injured animals because rabies does affect the central nervous system and cause paralysis in an animal
- Protect your pets and livestock from contact with wildlife
- With the threat of raccoon rabies, do not attempt to raise orphan raccoons
- Most important…. Have your dogs and cats (including barn cats) immunized by your veterinarian. Note: Rabies is only one of several diseases for which there is a preventative vaccine or treatment. Consult your veterinarian for more information. In Bruce and Grey counties, rabies vaccinations are mandatory under Regulation 567.
The Public Health Inspector carefully investigates each incident for evidence of human exposure to the rabies virus. The Public Health Inspector will consult and recommend the appropriate action with the patient and physician. Vaccine is provided free to physicians treating victims of exposure to proven rabid animals. It is also provided if the animal is a stray or wild animal (including bats) where the animal is not available for rabies tests.
If you are in a high risk occupation such as veterinarian staff, dead stock removal etc. or spending time (over 1 month) in a foreign country where canine rabies is endemic, you should consider pre-exposure rabies vaccine.
Links to Other Rabies-Related Sites
MNR - Rabies Research & Development
CDC - Rabies Info
Canadian Food Inspection Agency