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Dog who is not up to date with rabies vaccine

lynsaymark
April 9th, 2012, 07:29 PM
I have a dog who has not been vaccinated for rabies in 4 years who came into contact with a raccoon today. The raccoon did NOT display any signs of rabies but is there anything I should be concerned with? My dog will be getting the rabies vaccine tomorrow. What are the rules/laws in Ontario? I am afraid to tell the vet because I dont want them to take away my dog :(

hazelrunpack
April 9th, 2012, 10:07 PM
How old is your dog, lynsaymark? Has it been vaccinated previously?

I don't know what the rules are in Ontario, but I hope someone can weigh in on the issue and set your mind at ease. Here, as long as your dog hasn't bitten anyone, they'd just revaccinate and make you license the dog.

Melinda
April 10th, 2012, 07:13 AM
ontario is now considered a rabies free province, meaning there have been no cases in 7 yrs +, in our case (eastern ontario) its been roughly 11 yrs now. My dog only had two rabies shots in 7 yrs and my vet agree's with me that yes, she is still covered and had vacine still in her system.

Sylvie
April 10th, 2012, 10:12 AM
Don't worry, they will not take your dog away from you. The worst that could happen is that they give you a lecture on why you should give rabies shots.

lynsaymark
April 10th, 2012, 10:25 AM
We live in southwestern Ontario. She goes to get her rabies shot today but I am afraid of the outcome if I tell the vet what happened ....on the other hand if by some small chance she got rabies (the coon did NOT show any signs and has been living in that area for a while) I am afraid of what could happen.....are there signs to look for before animal becomes dangerous? Thanks for all of your help!

hazelrunpack
April 10th, 2012, 02:32 PM
Has she ever been vaccinated? If not, best to ask the vet. I don't think anyone here has ever seen an active case of rabies firsthand.

I do know that animals with rabies can pass it on even before they're symptomatic. I really think you should come clean with your vet. Especially if she's never been vaccinated.

Sylvie
April 11th, 2012, 06:02 AM
How did you make out at the vets?

Longblades
April 11th, 2012, 08:51 AM
ontario is now considered a rabies free province, meaning there have been no cases in 7 yrs +, in our case (eastern ontario) its been roughly 11 yrs now. My dog only had two rabies shots in 7 yrs and my vet agree's with me that yes, she is still covered and had vacine still in her system.NO!!! NO, NO. Sorry to be loud but that's not true. We still have rabies. You may have heard that Ontario was declared free of racoon rabies. http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/Rabies/index.html

Rabies vaccination is required by law in much of Ontario. Heck, in Canada.

My thinking is that if you are concerned it would be most irresponsible of you to allow a Vet to handle the dog without informing him/her of the situation.

If the dog was vaccinated with the three year rabies four years ago it is likely he is still protected. You can tell for sure by asking for a titre count. Some folks titre instead of vaccinating (till the count gets too low that is) but the catch is they still need a certificate from the Vet to say what the titre count was and they need to know if that is acceptable to the health officials where they live and where they travel to.

I guess I'm coming along after the Vet visit though, how did it go?

ETA: Thought I'd better clarify the "free of racoon rabies" bit. There are three strains of rabies virus; actic fox, bat and racoon. Racoons are most susceptible to the racoon virus but they can get any of the others. Ontario has not had a racoon virus report since 2005. Racoons can still get rabies but it is less likely. This is all in the link in my post.

Choochi
April 11th, 2012, 09:47 AM
Longblades is correct, Ontario is NOT rabies free. I've seen the stats, I can try to find them later, and off unreliable memory :P our last case was a bat 2 years ago?? or a year ago?


By law your dog is required to be up to date on rabies shots. That means every year if it is the 1yr vaccine or every 3yrs if it is the 3yr vaccine. Your vet will issue a certificate when giving the shot and that and only that matter in the eyes of the law. Now.. from the actual medical point of view, the 1y and the 3yr vaccines are actually the same product and offer the same level of protection and in fact the rabies vaccine is believed to offer 5-7yrs protection (possibly longer). There is an effort right now to offer legally recognized and certified 5yr long rabies shot/certification.

So to the op.. if your dog has had the rabies shot, there is a good chance that she was protected but you should still notify the vet. They will not take your dog away. The only time you risk that is if your dog bites a person and your do not have a certificate to prove that your dog is up to date as in certified on his rabies shot. That is the ONLY time your dog may be taken away.

Telling your vet protects them, you, and your dog. Your vet will be able to tell you if there are any signs you need to watch out for, etc although I really wouldn't worry. They can also inform the animal control about the racoon, if they feel it is a safety issue for the community.

marko
April 11th, 2012, 10:02 AM
Thanks for this info everyone. Choochi i have bolded part of your reply as that seems to be the crux of the worry for the OP. Thx!

Longblades
April 11th, 2012, 04:17 PM
I don't want to unecessarily frighten anyone but a dog can be taken away to quarantine and not have bitten anyone. It almost happened to a lady at work. Her dog, fully vaccinated, brought a freshly killed bat in after her morning pee. Lady played it safe, shut her dog in the house and took the bat to her Vet. The bat tested positive for rabies and the Vet had to report it to Health of Animals branch of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

The lady had to get rabies shots, just to be safe. Once she knew the dog had a bat in her mouth she was very careful in her handling but, just to be safe.

The dog had to be quarantined for, I don't remember how long. The Health of Animals inspector visited the lady's home and because her tall fences were very secure she was allowed to quarantine the dog at her home. Otherwise it would have had to be at an approved kennel somewhere.

Here's the interesting part. While the lady was at her Vet, or maybe it was at her Doctor's but anyway, while she was away her daughter dropped in for a visit and had her own dog with her. You can guess, can't you? Daughter had a key, let herself and her dog in, let both dogs out into the back yard to play.

YUp, BOTH dogs had to be quarantined. The daughter did not have to get rabies shots, she had not been bitten and had not handled the bat. And she was also allowed to quarantine at home but the Health of Animals inspector in her area had to visit her home too, to OK her yard.

Choochi, and I think the OP, are worried the dog might be taken and destroyed as that is the only way to test for rabies if the dog is unvaccinated and has bitten a person. But the dog can be taken away for a period of time and I have no doubt it would be at the owner's expense.

Rabies is a serious threat to human health and the possiblity of it is not taken lightly. If a vaccinated dog, or cat, bites a human it will not likely be destroyed but it will be quarantined. If a vaccinated dog or cat itself is bitten by a suspect animal it likely will be quarantined. No vaccine is 100% foolproof. When my dog tangled with porcupine my Vet said count my lucky stars it wasn't a skunk. We are a rabies hot spot for skunks, or we were, and even a tangle with a seemingly healthy skunk would have required my Vet to report the incident and he was sure the dog would have to be quarantined.

No report back yet from the OP? Hope it went OK.

Choochi
April 13th, 2012, 12:02 AM
Choochi, and I think the OP, are worried the dog might be taken and destroyed as that is the only way to test for rabies if the dog is unvaccinated and has bitten a person. But the dog can be taken away for a period of time and I have no doubt it would be at the owner's expense..

You're right that's all I was thinking of. I honestly wouldn't be that concerned about a required quarantine, my worry is the dog being seized to be destroyed.

lynsaymark
April 14th, 2012, 11:01 AM
The vet visit went great! She got her rabies shot and we have to just keep an eye on her for a month. The vet was not at ll concerned with rabies as they do numerous random tests on the raccoon;s on our area and we haven't had a case of raccoon rabies in a very long time......if It had been a skunk or fox they would have been more concerned.

hazelrunpack
April 14th, 2012, 03:21 PM
Good news, lynsaymark!

Sylvie
April 15th, 2012, 09:11 AM
Great news!

Longblades
April 16th, 2012, 08:58 AM
Yay, what a relief for you.