E.Coli is certainly a bacteria that shouldn't be taken lightly. However, unfortunately, this is a very widespread contaminant and may even have its source from a rotting small animal carcass. Not all strains are as deadly or serious as the one from Walkerton. What I might consider doing is the contacting the Veterinarian who diagnosed the E.Coli and ask him/her if this condition has been reported to the local health authorities. I agree that I would not take my pet to this area also, but there are also a lot of other environmental contaminants of land and water including Salmonella and Giardia. So the question is where do you draw the line.
I guess we all live with the risk we are most comfortable with.
It may be worth investigating if there are any other known cases reported of this disease in the area.
Martin Slome DVM
Centre Street Animal Hospital
7700 Bathurst Street Units 40-42