We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.



Rabies is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be transmitted from animals to humans. Rabies is caused by a virus that is transmitted via the saliva of infected mammals, through open wounds, mucous membranes or bites. It affects the brain and nervous system of mammals, and if not treated quickly, it is often fatal. Signs of rabies include fever, headache, weakness, paralysis, seizures, difficulty breathing, difficulty eating/drinking/swallowing, excessive salivation, change in vocalizations, and behavioural changes (aggressive, quiet/depressed, unusually friendly).

Although historically few cases of rabies have been seen in Canada, a rise in raccoon and fox strains in Ontario has led to >480 confirmed incidents since December 2015. In Canada, the virus has tested positive in bats, raccoons, cats, dogs, cows, foxes, skunks and even a llama. Worldwide there are roughly 55,000 cases of human rabies per year with the most frequent cause being dog bites.

Prevention in our family pets is the key! At Barriefield Animal Hospital, we use two types of Rabies vaccines. In dogs, we typically vaccinate puppies at their final booster around 16 weeks. The first vaccine is good for one year. If they get the booster shot before that year is over the next rabies vaccines are due every three years. In cats, we typically use a different vaccine. It is specifically made for cats to help prevent injection site reactions and is required annually. As well as keeping your pets up to date on vaccines, spaying/neutering helps prevent roaming behaviours, which decreases the chances of your pets coming into contact with infected wildlife. Avoid getting too close to wildlife as the virus has a variable incubation period and may be difficult to assess symptoms.

Travelling outside of Canada with your pets can be difficult due to the Rabies status of different countries. Many countries require a variety of rabies protection measures. Some need vaccine certificates, while others may require microchipping and titre testing (antibody blood test) prior to entering the country. These tests are often time-sensitive, so it is always good to check out the needs of each country long before travel plans are finalized.

If you suspect that you have been bitten or come in contact with a rabid animal, you should: wash the wound well with soap and water for 10 min to decrease the chance of infection. Contact your doctor/local public health unit as soon as possible (KFL&A 1-800-267-7875).

OAVT Rabies Public Portal

If you have any questions, give us a call at 613.544.7387.

Written by: Maureen, RVT



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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Monday, March 23, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 613-544-7387. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 3-5 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

6. Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

7. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Barriefield Animal Hospital