Toronto Public Health (TPH) is seeking an unidentified owner and their dog after receiving confirmation of an interaction on January 12 with a brown mixed Labrador retriever who has since tested positive for rabies. TPH is looking to speak with this unidentified owner and their bull-dog type dog to assess their risk of exposure to rabies and, if needed, support preventative treatment. This bull-dog type dog may once have been named “Bulldozer,” but its current name is not known.
TPH is seeking the unidentified adult bull-dog type dog that is black and grey in colour. The interaction occurred on January 12, on Bison Drive and Regatta Crescent, near the intersection of Bathurst Street and Steeles Avenue West. During the interaction, the rabid dog (brown mixed Labrador retriever) licked and jumped on both the unidentified owner and the dog that TPH is seeking. At the time, the rabid dog did not appear sick.
TPH would like to discuss the interaction with the unidentified owner who was walking the bull-dog type dog to assess both their risk of exposure to rabies.
TPH received laboratory confirmation on January 19 that the rabid dog had tested positive for rabies. TPH has worked with other local public health units and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs as well as the Ontario Ministry of Health to identify any potential human and canine contacts.
To date, all human and canine contacts have been identified and contacted with one exception to this unidentified owner and their dog. Toronto Public Health has engaged in door-knocking and postering in the community, as well as contacted nearby veterinarians and Toronto Animal Services.
If you have any information, please contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or by email at email@example.com. Please call 311 Toronto after regular business hours.
Rabies is a viral infection that affects the nervous system of warm-blooded animals, including humans. If it is left untreated before symptoms appear, rabies will lead to death. The rabies virus is spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually entering through a bite or more rarely a scratch.
It is not always possible to identify rabies without testing. Transmission and serious illness can be prevented after exposure by immunization with the rabies vaccine. The vaccine is extremely effective but must be administered before symptoms appear.
The risk of this rabid dog to the public remains very low, as officials have been able to identify all human and canine contacts with this one exception. The overall risk of being exposed to rabies in the city is also low, unless direct contact was made with an infected animal’s saliva. TPH continues to encourage all residents take the following preventative measures reduce the risk of rabies exposure:
More information is available on the City’s Rabies Prevention and Control webpage.
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