Labrador pet own­ers urged to vaccinate af­ter fox tests positive for rabies

The Labradorian - - Front Page -

A fox that was re­cently killed in Rigo­let has tested positive for rabies.

It’s the first case of rabies re­ported in Labrador in two years.

Sam­ples from the fox were sent to Cana­dian Food In­spec­tion Agency (CFIA) lab­o­ra­to­ries in Ot­tawa for con­fir­ma­tion.

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment is en­cour­ag­ing pet own­ers Labrador to vaccinate their an­i­mals.

Rabies vac­ci­na­tion help pro­tect an­i­mals and hu­mans against rabies. Dogs and cats can be vac­ci­nated through lo­cal vet­eri­nary clin­ics. In ar­eas where no pri­vate vet­eri­nary ser­vices are avail­able, on the north­east coast of Labrador, Nu­ni­asi­avut pub­lic health nurses of­fer free rabies vac­cine for pets.

Rabies is com­mon in wild an­i­mals in Labrador. It is also cycli­cal with the last ma­jor out­break in 2012.

Rabies is spread through the bite or scratch of an in­fected an­i­mal. Any wild an­i­mal, un­vac­ci­nated dogs and cats can be in­fected.

You can­not tell if an an­i­mal is in­fected with rabies by sight. An­i­mals in the late stages of the dis­ease, how­ever, of­ten act strangely or can­not move prop­erly.

Any un­usual be­hav­iour in wild or do­mes­tic an­i­mals should be re­ported to con­ser­va­tion of­fi­cers, wildlife en­force­ment of­fi­cers, vet­eri­nar­i­ans, po­lice or pub­lic health of­fi­cials.

Rabies ed­u­ca­tion in­for­ma­tion is avail­able at www.faa.gov.nl.ca/agri­foods/an­i­mals/health/ rabies.html.

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