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5 miles West of Saskatoon, sk
on Highway 14 at Saskatoon Livestock Sales

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Dr. Harvey Domoslai, DVM
Phone: (306) 384-7676
Emergencies: (306) 227-8331

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Rabies Alert for Saskatoon Area

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 30, 2011 07:42

The Ministry of Agriculture has been informed that three bats from Saskatoon recently tested positive for rabies. Below is a summary of the situation:

 

  • Three big brown bats (Eptisicus fuscus) were submitted to the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre (CCWHC) for testing by staff at the Saskatchewan Wildlife Rehabilitation Society. Rabies was suspected and necropsies were performed on all three animals and all tested positive.
  • The three animals were taken from three different areas of the city (Stonebridge, Montgomery Place and the University Drive) area over a very short period of time (May 25, May 26, and June 16).
  • Public Health was notified by the CCWHC through their biosafety officer through their normal reporting protocol
  • Public Health investigated and determined there was no human exposure to the bats. Leather gloves were worn by both the finder and the submitter

 

It is highly unusual to have three bats (all of one species) test positive in such a short period of time and from different parts of the city. As Big Brown bats are colonial nesters and the females are in the maternity roosts right now, there are undoubtedly other bats that are infected with the virus. Rabies will continue to cycle within a roosting colony and will eventually burn itself out but not before it decimates the population of animals within the colony.

 

Increasing numbers of wildlife are being found in city environments, and consequently there is increasing contact between wildlife and people. Veterinarians and members of the general public are reminded that rabies is one of the possible diseases you might be exposed to when handling wild animals. Always take precautions when encountering sick or dead bats or other animals (i.e. wear gloves, avoid contact with exposed skin).

 

For more information

·        Contact Wendy Wilkins, Animal Health Unit, Ministry of Agriculture at (306) 798-0253; or Dr. Domoslai 384-7676

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