Two dogs have tested positive for rabies in Tuktoyaktuk, while a third is presumed positive, prompting the territorial government to issue another warning to residents in the community.
In November, the NWT government warned residents of the hamlet that two foxes had tested positive for rabies. It then cautioned residents earlier in February after two dogs showed signs of the disease.
According to Friday’s advisory, symptoms in animals that have rabies can include being fearful, aggressive, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, staggering, walking backwards, abnormal vocalizations, paralysis and seizures. Aggressive behaviour is possible but infected animals are more likely to be shy or calm and act strangely.
“With rabies being found in dogs and foxes in and around Tuktoyaktuk, you are also at risk of being exposed to this fatal disease if you are bitten or scratched or in contact with foxes or dogs in the community,” the advisory states.
Anyone who has been bitten, licked, scratched, or in contact with the infected dogs, a fox, or any dog who is behaving oddly is advised to contact the health centre to get assessed.
Rabies in humans can be fatal if untreated.
The advisory states anyone whose dog has been attacked by a fox or is showing signs of rabies should contact a wildlife officer immediately.
The NWT Department of Health and Social Services recommends that residents get their dogs vaccinated for rabies. It added that people who regularly handle wildlife and animals like hunters and dog mushers should ensure their rabies vaccinations are up to date.