Clinical Signs
Treatment and Prevention
If you Suspect Exposure
Vaccines and Protocols
Distribution in Western Canada


Unfortunately, infection with the rabies virus is almost always fatal unless treatment is started immediately after exposure. Because of this, it is essential you practice extreme caution around suspect wildlife and that your pet be protected with a proper vaccine protocol.
In human medicine, there is the possibility of post-exposure treatment, although it does not guarantee survival. If bitten or scratched cleanse and flush the wound with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately. Immediate local treatment of the site of viral entry is very important (4). See the VACCINES AND PROTOCOLS section for further information.



Where rabies is a public health issue, the control of rabies in the canine population is essential.  The WHO (http://www.who.int/en/) recommends there be a minimum coverage of 80% of the dog population.  For individuals at higher risk of contracting rabies, it is recommended to obtain pre-exposure vaccinations. 
Who can be affected by rabies? Carnivores and bats are primarily affected by rabies (5), but all mammals are believed to be susceptible to infection.  See the Regional Distribution section for information on reservoir hosts in your province, but remember that infection is believed to be possible in all mammalian species
What is Canada doing to protect against this disease?  Canada has a surveillance program to monitor the prevalence of rabies.  This means that any suspected case of rabies must be sent to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for diagnosis, and that the government keeps close track of all confirmed rabies cases and investigates possible human exposure.  In addition, the Government will quarantine any at risk or suspected rabid animals to ensure that the disease is not spread.  They also require that all dogs and cats be vaccinated prior to entry into Canada.  Please visit http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/anima/heasan/disemala/rabrag/rabrage.shtml for more government information.  You can help keep the occurrence of rabies down by making sure that you dog, cat, or horse is vaccinated regularly against rabies, and by immediately reporting any wildlife you see exhibiting any of the signs listed in the Clinical Signs section.

** Here are a few things one can do to help prevent the spread of rabies: (5 *) **