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Labrador Residents Encouraged to Vaccinate Their Pets

22 April 2015

CANADA - Pet owners in Labrador are being urged to vaccinate their animals.

The recommendation comes after one animal on a dogsled team competing in a recent heritage race in Makkovik was confirmed as having rabies, and another dog in Nain was attacked by a fox confirmed as having rabies.

The unvaccinated dog from Makkovik was euthanized earlier this month due to deteriorating health. The other animals on the same dog team have been vaccinated and are under quarantine.

Mushers are asked to be aware of this risk. Any suspicious contact between dogs, or between dogs and wild animals, should be reported to local conservation officers with the Provincial Government's Forestry and Agrifoods Agency or the Nunatsiavut Government.

There have been nine confirmed cases of rabies in Labrador this winter in Labrador City, Voisey's Bay, Hopedale, and most recently, the Makkovik and Nain areas. Additional animal carcasses have been submitted for testing.

Officials with the Provincial Government's Forestry and Agrifoods Agency and Department of Health and Community Services advise that abundant sea ice could lead to infected animals crossing from Labrador onto the island of Newfoundland. Residents are encouraged to be vigilant and take precautions when encountering animals acting in a strange or aggressive manner.

Monitoring will continue, meanwhile residents are encouraged to take the following precautions:

  • Keep domestic animals, such as dogs and cats under control and tethered or penned while outdoors;
  • Vaccinate dogs and cats against rabies;
  • Avoid wild animals particularly foxes and wolves;
  • Report any sightings of strange-acting wild or domestic animals to conservation officers, wildlife enforcement officers, veterinarians, police or public health officials;
  • Wash any bites or other areas of contact with potentially rabid animals immediately with soap and water;
  • Immediately go to your health clinic or emergency department for treatment of any animal bites.

Any significant contact with potentially rabid animals should be reported to public health officials.

ThePetSite News Desk

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