Sask. pet owners warned to vaccinate pets after rabies found in bats

Pet owners warned to get their pets vaccinated after three bats found north of Saskatoon test positive for rabies. File / Global News

Pet owners are being warned to vaccinate their pets against rabies after a series of cases north of Saskatoon. Three bats found in Corman Park and Rosthern tested positive for the deadly viral disease.

Rabies spread from the saliva of an infected animal through a bite, scratch, or lick on open skin, eyes, nose or mouth.

It attacks the central nervous system causing a variety of symptoms including weakness, paralysis, anxiety, confusion, hallucinations and seizures.

It can be tough to control and once clinical symptoms appear, it’s almost always fatal, but those can take a while to appear.

“Once they have it, it depends on the period of time,” said Dr. David Narin, a veterinarian at the Furry Friends Animal Hospital.

“Symptoms don’t show up right away, a week, months, up to a year for symptoms to show up in an animal.”

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READ MORE: 2 bat bite incidents prompt rabies warning in southern Alberta

Nairn said the best prevention is to vaccinate your pet “before they come into contact with a rabid animal.”

In case of human exposure, people can be vaccinated to prevent infection. The last confirmed case of rabies in a human in Saskatchewan was 1970.

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