Today is World Rabies Day. Here are the top 5 things you need to know:
1. Rabies is horrible. It is painful and fatal to pets and wild animals, and also fatal to people unless anti-rabies medication is given immediately
2. Rabies is HERE in Ontario. In the past 2 years, hundreds of raccoons and other wild animals AND 2 CATS are known to have died of rabies.
3. Even indoor cats can get rabies. Dr. Krystyna from our sister clinic Bloorcourt used to work at a vet clinic in BC that treated an indoor-only cat with rabies. He likely was bitten by a bat with rabies that got inside the house. He had to be euthanized, and so did the other cat in the house, since he was not up-to-date on his rabies vaccine. 21 people who had contact with the cat needed to get a long and painful series of anti-rabies injections. Last month an Ontario woman was bitten inside her bedroom while she was sleeping by a bat with rabies, so this is absolutely a real risk.
4. Rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats are REQUIRED BY LAW in Ontario, including for indoor cats. Puppies and kittens are required to get their first vaccine when they are several months old, and then again one year later, and after that they must keep their rabies vaccine up to date with regular boosters for their entire life
5. You can reduce the risk of rabies exposure. Don’t allow your pet to wander freely unsupervised, especially at night when bats, foxes, raccoons and skunks are most active, since they are the animals that most commonly carry rabies.
Keep yourself, your family, your pets and your community safe – make sure your pet’s rabies vaccines are always kept up to date. If your pet is overdue for their annual exam and vaccines, give us a call at 416-538-8387 or Request an Appointment now!