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What Animals Are More Likely to Carry Rabies in Canada?

rabies in Canada. carriers of rabies

Rabies in Canada isn’t something you hear about as much as it used to be, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still an issue for your pets and your family.

While rabies has been essentially eradicated from most areas of Canada, there are still cases every year, which means it’s important to know what animals can carry the virus and how to protect yourself and your family.

Rabies is a serious, life-threatening disease that affects the nervous system of mammals. Though it is most commonly associated with dogs, any mammal can contract and spread rabies.

Here are the top 7 animals most likely to carry rabies in Canada.

⦁ Bats

There are 12 different species of bats in Canada, all known to be carriers of rabies. Bats are particularly dangerous because they can fly into your home uninvited and undetected, putting you and your family at risk.

If you think you may have been exposed to a bat, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately, as the early stages of rabies may be challenging to detect.

⦁ Raccoons

Raccoons are the most common carriers of rabies in Canada. They’re also among the most spirited animals when it comes to raiding garbage cans and coming into contact with people. If you live in an area with a high raccoon population, it’s important to take extra precautions to ensure they can’t get into your home or yard.

⦁ Skunks

Like raccoons, skunks are attracted to human habitations in search of food. This puts them in close proximity to people, which increases the risk of exposure to rabies. Skunks are also known for being relatively docile, making them seem harmless; however, this docility makes them more likely to be approached by humans or other animals, increasing the chances of spreading rabies.

⦁ Foxes

While foxes typically avoid contact with humans, they will attack if they feel threatened or cornered. This makes them particularly dangerous as they may seem friendly at first but can quickly turn aggressive if they feel threatened.

Additionally, foxes are known for roaming in packs, so if you encounter one fox, there is a good chance there are others nearby.

⦁ Wolves and Coyotes

 These two closely related animals are both highly susceptible to rabies and pose a serious threat to humans, especially given their size and strength. If you encounter either of these animals in the wild, it’s important to retreat immediately and avoid making any sudden movements that could trigger an attack.

⦁ Rabbits

While rabbits are rarely carriers of rabies, their timid nature means they’re often preyed on by other animals who do carry the disease. This increases the risk of exposure for rabbits and humans who come into contact with them. Given their small size, rabbits may also be more difficult to spot than some of the other animals on this list; however, this only increases the importance of being aware of your surroundings outdoors.

⦁ Bears

Bears aren’t technically rodents like some other animals on this list, but they’re still susceptible to contracting and spreading rabies. Bears pose a serious threat to humans, given their size and strength, if they contract the disease. As such, it’s essential to be extra cautious when hiking or camping in bear country, as any sudden movement could trigger an attack.

Ending Notes

Rabies is a serious disease that can affect any mammal; however, certain animals pose a greater threat than others due to their increased susceptibility or proximity to humans.

A rabies-related death hasn’t been recorded in Canada in years, but that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. The truth is that rabies still exists north of the border, and you should be prepared to deal with any potential infection if it occurs.

While it’s true that certain animals are more prone to carrying rabies than others, you should never try to approach or interact with any wild animal, no matter how cute they appear to be.