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Why are we required by law to vaccinate our pets against rabies?

Rabies is a disease caused by a virus that can affect all mammals including humans.  Rabies is passed from one animal to another when saliva enters the bloodstream through an open wound, for example, when a rabid animal bites another animal or person.

Symptoms of rabies include:

  • Extreme nervousness
  • Paralysis
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Unpredictable behaviour

An animal with rabies may become very aggressive, or it may just sit completely still and do nothing.  The symptoms only appear during the last 10-12 days of the infected animal’s life, and passing on the disease can only occur during that time.

Rabies reaches the central nervous system there is no cure.

In North America, foxes, skunks, raccoons, and bats are the major sources of rabies.   There are very few cases of rabies in humans however it is still essential to have our pets vaccinated so they don’t contract it from other wildlife.


If you are bitten by an animal, try to remember which animal it was and tell someone else right away.  The wound should be immediately cleaned and disinfected.  You should go to your doctor or to a hospital immediately.  By law, cases of this disease must be reported.

Report all sick looking animals to local authorities, animal services or licensed wildlife rehabilitation rescue groups.  Never handle sick or injured wildlife.

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