As reported a few days ago in this post, a raccoon in Hamilton recently tested positive for rabies. After this positive test result, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, in conjunction with Hamilton Public Health and Animal Services, increased surveillance of raccoons in the area. As a result of this increased surveillance, 3 additional cases of raccoons with rabies have been confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
This confirms fears that rabies is present in the wild raccoon population in the area. It has been roughly one decade since rabies was last confirmed in Ontario raccoons. It is still believed that the risks to humans and pets is low, however pet owners should confirm their pets are up to date on their rabies vaccines. Contact us if you are not sure whether your pet is up to date. If you or your pet are exposed to a raccoon or other wildlife in the form of a scratch or bite, seek immediate medical advice. The incident should also be reported by calling 311.