Help Protect Your Pets and Family from Rabies.
What is rabies?
Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nervous system of mammals. This includes wild animals, such as racoons, skunks, bats, and foxes as well as pets like dogs, cats, horses and ferrets. People are mammals too. This disease is deadly for wild animals, family pets and people.
- In 2016, there was one case, and this year, the province is aware of three cases, all in skunks in the St. Stephen area. Veterinarian and our Province are working together in placing vaccines in and around these areas to prevent the spread of this disease. The bait drop began in 2014 when 24 cases were recorded in New Brunswick.
- Rabies vaccination is recommended in every dog and cat over three months of age. Vaccination will protect your pet from rabies infection, and by doing so will help to protect you and your family if your pet is exposed to the virus from contact with a wild animal.
- To have the full effect and coverage of a 3 years rabies vaccine, the injection must be booster one year after the initial injection in order to allow a three-year license to be granted. Their immune system needs that extra boost to fully create a solid protection against Rabies.
- Indoor-only pets can easily be exposed to rabies too. The most frequent exposure comes from bats or other little wild animals that have gotten into homes. The other common situation occurs when unfamiliar animals bite a person. We strongly recommend that you keep your pets’ rabies vaccine current and save yourself the worry.
- Planning to bring your pet along on your family vacation? As long as your pet doesn’t seem infected with a contagious disease or parasite, border officials will allow dogs and cats to cross the border with a valid rabies certificate. Please note that they do not recognize rabies titers as valid vaccination.
Be a responsible pet owner:
- Vaccinate all household pets for rabies according to your veterinarian’s recommendation.
- Don’t Allow your pets to run outside unsupervised.
- Spay and neuter your pets.
- Enjoy wildlife from a distance. Do not invite them to your home and keep them away.
- Prevent interaction with unfamiliar dogs and cats.
- Ask the owner’s permission before you pet a dog, even one on a leash.
Rabies is, unfortunately, becoming a problem in our province, but if we can protect your pet and ourselves with a simple vaccine to your four-legged friend, we might save a life. We want all pet owners to be vigilant around any wildlife or even when they go outside to play in the backyard.
*Following a bite or other potential exposure to rabies, wash the wound and seek medical attention immediately.
For more information about rabies in New Brunswick, please visit: (reference)
Written by Monica Blanchard, RVT