Annual event in recognition of World Rabies Day is happening at clinics across Oxford
Oxford County Public Health is once again joining forces with local veterinarians to offer low-cost rabies vaccination clinics across Oxford County on Saturday, September 30.
Rabies is a fatal disease transmitted through the saliva of infected animals. Human cases of rabies are extremely rare in Ontario, but rabies in wild animals has seen a resurgence in recent years. In 2016, there were 288 cases of rabies confirmed in Ontario, including two rabid bats in Oxford County. This marks a significant increase over 2015, which saw only 24 cases of rabies identified in the Province. The increase is due mainly to an increase in raccoon-strain rabies in the Hamilton area. Rabid animals most frequently detected include bats, skunks, foxes, and raccoons.
Ontario controls rabies in wildlife by dropping bait that contains vaccine in urban, forested and rural areas. Wildlife bait is not meant for humans, livestock or domestic animals and won’t protect your pets from rabies. The best way to prevent rabies is to ensure your pet is vaccinated and receiving regular veterinary care. By law, all cats and dogs must be vaccinated against rabies every one to three years.
Additional tips to keep your pets and family rabies-free:
- Keep pets indoors at night
- Teach children to stay away from wild animals and strange dogs and cats
- Always ask permission from a pet owner before trying to pet an animal
- Supervise children around pets
- Do not attempt to touch or feed wild animals
Oxford County’s low-cost rabies vaccination clinics cost $20 to $25 per animal (cash only), with a reminder that the clinics are not a substitute for regular veterinary care including examinations and other recommended vaccinations. Pets attending one of the clinics must be accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older, and dogs should be on leashes and cats in carriers.
For more information about the low-cost rabies vaccination clinics contact your veterinarian or Oxford County Public Health at 519-539-9800 or visit www.oxfordcounty.ca/health.
The complete list of clinics is available here.