RABIES in ONTARIO

RABIES in dogs

On February 6th, 2017, health Officials in Hamilton announced the confirmation of rabies in a domestic cat.  This is the second case of rabies found in a domestic animal in over 20 years.  Since 2015, 277 animals have tested positive in Hamilton for rabies.

 

What is rabies?

Rabies is a virus that is transmitted from one infected mammal to another through saliva and sometimes brain tissue or spinal fluid. The most common ways dogs get rabies is from a bite from an infected mammal, or through an existing open wound that gets exposed to an infected mammal’s saliva. The most frequently infected carriers of rabies are stray cats and dogs, bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes.

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RABIES in cats

What can you do to prevent rabies in cats?

Trending in southern Ontario news over the past 2 days is the discovery of a cat infected with the rabies virus in the Hamilton area. With all the modern efforts and awareness surrounding rabies prevention, the public wants to know how this is happening.  Understanding your risk and learning how to prevent rabies infection is important to preventing rabies in cats, and yourselves. 

Rabies is transmitted through saliva from an infected animal through a bite or exposure to existing open wounds and scratches. Transmission can also happen through contamination and exposure to brain tissue and spinal fluid from a dead animal that has died from rabies. 

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RABIES in humans

Rabies is a viral infection that is almost always fatal if left untreated.

What can you do to protect yourself and your family from rabies? As required by law in Ontario, vaccinating your pets is the best course of action for protection against rabies. Ontario vet clinics offer 3 solutions; a three-year vaccine, a one year vaccine, and titre testing which measures antibodies in their system to determine if your pet is still protected from earlier vaccinations. For most, the best course of action is a 3-year vaccine to ensure protection against rabies.

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Rabies found in second cat in Hamilton, Ontario

Officials are warning Hamilton area residents to keep their animals inside and protected as a second cat in the region has been found and confirmed as positive with a rabies infection. This is the second known case of a cat testing positive for the viral infection in the past year. In 2016, a Hamilton man required post exposure treatment after exposure from a bite. City of Hamilton officials are speculating that the rise in domestic cat infections can be linked to the recent boom in raccoon numbers in the city.

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