What is Rabies?
Rabies is a sickness that is spread through the spit of animals. The sickness goes to the brain of the animal making them sick and die. A sick animal that bites or scratches a human can pass on the sickness to the human. Humans can also become sick and die.
Dogs, cats, skunks, foxes, coyotes, raccoons and livestock have been found to have rabies in Ontario.
Damage to the brain causes the visible symptoms of rabies.
- Some animals may go into isolated places.
- Wild animals may lose their fear of humans.
- Animal that come out a night animal are seen during the day.
- There may be signs of weakness like a drooping head or sagging jaw, or weakness in the hind limbs.
- Diseased animals maybe angry and attack
- They may chew and bite their own limbs.
- They may attack objects or other animals.
- They may be angry at times and then very quiet.
Rabies can manifest itself in two different ways: dumb rabies and furious rabies.
The time between when the animal got rabies to the time they start to show symptoms can be from two week to months.
Yes. Rabies can be found in the spit of an animal, a few days before they show sickness. All animals that have rabies will have the signs of rabies and die of the disease.
- Wash the affected skin area with soap and water and contact your doctor or local health department. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. After normal business hours an answering service will locate on-call staff for you.
- If you think your clothing has been in contact with the spit from a rabid animal, wash it immediately in soap and hot water.
DO NOT GET ANY SALIVA FROM THE ANIMAL ON YOUR SKIN!
- Do not approach or touch the animal.
- Report it immediately to your municipal animal control agency or the police.
- Do not report animals found killed on the road (road kill) - unless you know there has been contact with a human. Road kills are not part of the rabies-monitoring program.
- All pets have to have rabies shots.
- Warn your children to stay away from wild or stray animals.
- Stop wild animals from living in your home or on your property.
- Cover up all entrances, such as uncapped chimneys, loose shingles and openings in attics, roofs and eaves.
- If you are not sure where animals are getting in, sprinkle flour around an entrances and check for footprints later. You can also stuff a rag or a ball of paper in a suspect hole and check later to see if it is gone.
- Spread mothballs or hang ammonia-soaked cotton rags near the entrance and keep the area brightly lit. Raccoons do not like loud noises, bright lights and strong smells. Use the same methods in your garden or the area where you keep your garbage or composter.
- If your pet has been bitten or scratched by a wild animal, do not handle your pet without gloves.
- Bring your pet’s food in at the end of the day.