Fourth case of rabies found in western Labrador

Four cases of rabies have now been confirmed in Labrador West, according to the provincial Department of Natural Resources officials
Red fox in western Labrador in Jan. 2012. (Shane Greening)

Four cases of rabies have now been confirmed in Labrador West, according to provincial officials.

The department’s Animal Health Laboratory and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed that a red fox hit by a vehicle in Labrador City on Jan. 26 and a red fox found on a trail near Labrador City on Jan.24 both had rabies.

"The latest confirmation of rabies further proves that the virus continues to be active in Labrador West," said Dr. Hugh Whitney, the province's Chief Veterinary Officer in a news release.

"We have also been advised that two young dogs taken out of northern Quebec for adoption have been diagnosed with rabies," he said.

Whitney warned people they should be careful about taking in dogs.

"Given the instances of rabies in Labrador, and that dogs from Labrador have been adopted outside the region, we advise residents at this time to not adopt dogs that have not been vaccinated and are of unknown health status."

Officials with the Departments of Natural Resources and Health and Community Services are encouraging residents of Labrador to take the following precautions:

  • Keep domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, under control;
  • Vaccinate dogs and cats against rabies;
  • Avoid wild animals, particularly foxes and wolves;
  • Report any sightings of strange-acting wild or domestic animals to forestry officers, fish and wildlife enforcement officers, veterinarians, police or public health officials;
  • Wash any bites or other areas of contact with potentially rabid animals immediately with soap and water; and,
  • Immediately go to a health clinic or emergency department for treatment of any animal bites. Any contact with potentially rabid animals should be reported to public health officials.