149 confirmed cases of rabies in Ontario in 2017

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A raccoon in a trap after being taken from a Port Orange, Fl., home, Tuesday, May 1, 2012. (AP / Daytona Beach News-Journal, David Tucker)

CTV London
Published Sunday, January 21, 2018 3:19PM EST 

Ontario finished 2017 with 149 confirmed cases of animal rabies.

While that number is barely half of the 288 rabies cases reported in Ontario in 2016, it is more positive diagnoses of the disease than the province saw in the six-year period from 2010 to 2015.

Raccoons made up the majority of last year’s cases, with the rabies virus being found in 86 of those animals.

In addition to the 86 raccoons, the virus was found in 37 skunks, 20 bats, four cows, one cat and one red fox.

Although rabies cases peaked during the spring and summer months, the rate of new diagnoses remained steady through the end of the year. There were 10 cases reported in December – five in raccoons and five in skunks. Most of those cases occurred in or around the Hamilton area, with one in Brant County.

Most of December’s rabies cases came from Hamilton, which has been ground zero for an outbreak of the virus. Hamilton is also where the outbreak was discovered in late 2015, after a raccoon got into a fight with two dogs in an animal control van. It was eventually determined that the raccoon had contracted the virus in New York state and then somehow made its way across the border.

Nine of December’s 10 cases were tied to this outbreak, with one occurring in Brant County.

The tenth case is part of a separate outbreak of fox-strain rabies, which has been diagnosed in animals between Waterloo Region and Huron County. It involved an animal found in the Blyth area.

There have been 14 cases of fox-strain rabies confirmed as part of that outbreak, while the Hamilton-centred outbreak of raccoon-strain rabies is known to have infected 385 animals.

Prior to the recent outbreak, there had not been more than 50 confirmed cases of rabies in Ontario in one year since 2008.

Rabies case in Grimsby

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The first case of Rabies has been confirmed in the Grimsby area. The sick raccoon was picked up near Grimsby Town Hall. As of this week, there have been 159 rabies cases in the Hamilton area, including raccoons, skunks and a bat. Additionally worrying, is the confirmation of the first case of rabies in a domestic pet in over two decades; an Ancaster area cat was recently confirmed rabid.

With the Rabies threat so close to home:

• Be aware that even indoor pets can be accidentally exposed to rabid animals – bats can fly inside, raccoons have been known to wander in the “pet door”, indoor pets can slip outside etc.
• Keep your pets indoors at night and ensure that dogs are supervised when walking or being let out in to the backyard. A good trick is to keep a strong flashlight near the back door – then BEFORE letting your dog out, make some noise and sweep the yard with the flashlight.
• Don’t keep any food or water outside, you don’t want to attract animals to your yard unnecessarily.
• Warn children NOT to approach any wildlife at all and educate your kids about rabies risks.

People are urged to use caution when encountering wildlife and asked to report sick or injured wildlife in Grimsby to the Lincoln County Humane Society, at 1-800-263-2469. Unusual behaviours to watch for include animals that are lethargic – slow-moving, almost drunk-like – walking in circles and falling over or curled in a ball.

Here are some interesting Rabies links:

Engaging video suitable to share with children
Rabies in Ontario Fact Sheet
“My Pet’s Protected” World Rabies Day Contest – WIN a $50 Gift Card!

ALL pets in South Western Ontario should be vaccinated. It’s the LAW!


Call the office with any questions about Rabies and your Pet or to book an appointment. If your pet has been vaccinated elsewhere, please let the office know so that we can update your file. Make sure to enter the contest (link above) and let’s work together to protect our community!

Purina Walk for Dog Guides 2016

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It was extremely hot out but everyone had a smile on their face at the Grimsby Purina Walk for Dog Guides! Livingston Animal Hospital would like to thank everyone who came out to participate or made a donation. We are still waiting on final numbers for funds raised however, a little bird told us it is even more than last year! Great job everyone! Hope to see you all next year.

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Easter Dangers

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Easter is almost here! We all enjoy gathering with family and hunting for chocolate eggs however, this can cause serious illness in our pets too. This holiday, please make sure to keep your pet safe and minimize their chances of being exposed to any of the following dangerous Easter treats. If your pet does ingest any, please contact Livingston Animal Hospital or Burlington Veterinary Emergency and Referral Clinic at (905) 637-8111 immediately.

1. Chocolate

Easter is the APCC’s top day for chocolate intoxication calls, topping Christmas, Valentine’s Day and even Halloween! Pets can find Easter candy hidden around the house or the yard and get into unattended Easter baskets. Ensure all candy is out of reach of pets at all times especially when it will be unsupervised.


2. Lilies          

True lilies (with the Latin name starting with Lilium) or daylilies (Hemerocallis) may cause acute kidney failure in cats.  Easter lilies(Lilium longiflorum) are included in this and homes with cats should be very careful. We would discourage them from even entering houses with cats, but if they must be there, make sure cats can’t access any part of the plant, including falling leaves, the pollen or the water flowers were stored in; all can all cause life-threatening signs in cats.

3. Easter Grass

The plastic grass that is found in Easter baskets is appealing to pets but can cause a life-threatening gastrointestinal obstruction that may require surgery to resolve.

4. Table Food

Onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, grapes, and raisins which are commonly found in our meals are actually toxic to pets and should not be given to them. Even foods that aren’t toxic may cause stomach upset that could lead to pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas gland that causes severe abdominal discomfort as well as potential permanent damage to other vital organs such as the kidneys if left untreated.

5. Herbicides

Many people begin spring yard work on Easter weekend. Keep herbicides where pets can’t chew or puncture the bottle. Also, make sure that application is dry before letting the pets outside. Pets are exposed when they are outside while their owners are spraying these products. While many herbicides are not highly toxic, any exposure does warrant a call to Livingston Animal Hospital.


For more information on toxic substances for pets, please visit
The above information is provided from their website.

Dental Month Special

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Does your dog or cat have bad breath?

Is your pet exhibiting any of the following? :

Bad Breath?
Staining of Teeth?
Rubbing their face?
RELUCTANT for you to examine or touch their mouth?
Bleeding or inflammed gums?
A Change in their weight, chewing, or eating habits?

Our pets may continue to eat and chew normally while coping with pain due to an underlying dental problem. Periodontal disease may be associated with microscopic changes to the heart, liver and kidneys.
This is why it is very important that your pet has regular dental examinations.

Are you concerned about your pet’s dental and oral hygiene? We are!

Good News!!

We have extended our February Dental Month Special Until March. 31st !

We will be offering Dental Examinations for $34.00 + HST up until March 31, 2016!
If a procedure is booked, the $34 + HST will be put towards your procedure!

If your pet’s Dentistry is scheduled before March 31, 2016, we are offering a Routine Dental Assessment that includes:

  • Hospitalization under the care of Veterinary Technician’s that your pet already know, love, and trust
  • General Anaesthesia- the only safe and effective way to complete a thorough dental assessment from tooth/gum examination, to professional cleaning and polishing
  • I.V. Fluid Therapy- this allows the pet to wake up more comfortably and to maintain a safe level in their blood pressure
  • Complete Ultrasonic Dental Scaling and Polishing
  • Digital Dental Radiography is available- did you know that over 60% of a pet’s tooth is hidden under the gumline and cannot be seen with the naked eye?!
  • Pain Medication In Hospital to keep your pet comfortable. If Oral surgery was performed, your pet will be sent home with pain relieving medications
  • Antibiotic Injection in hospital to help prevent infection
  • Up to 2 Post Dental Progress Examinations with Dr. Burmeister
  • A COMPLIMENTARY BAG of a Prescription Oral Care Diet developed to help slow down the process of plaque and tartar build up in-between dental cleanings
  • 20% off all other dental products
  • and best of all, 15% Off the cost of the Procedure


Please click this to see why ‘Non anesthetic Dentistry” is not recommended

Supreme Court of Canada Ruling PROHIBITS “Non Anesthetic Dentistries”

College Of Veterinarians of Ontario- Position Statement on who is LEGALLY allowed to perform dental procedures see page 4

Dr. Fraser Hale writes about ‘Non-Professional Dental Cleaning”

Dave McMahon – Dog Behaviourist

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From The Expert
“Solutions To Common Dog Problems”
Presented by Dave McMahon

Dave McMahon is the owner and operator of Dave McMahon’s Dog Training Academy, located in Niagara Falls. Dave has been coaching dog owners on how to train their dogs for over 26 years. He is a Professor of Animal Studies at Niagara College Canada, Host of the popular Radio talk show called “Dog Talk” on 610am on Sunday mornings, and is Author of “Obedience Training For the Family Dog”.

On October.25, 2015 Dave will discuss:

  • solutions to common dog problems
  • dog bite prevention
  • how to choose the right circle of dog friends at the dog park
  • Dave will also be available to answer individual questions on behaviour

Lion's Club- Purina Dog Walk

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On May.31st 2015, the staff at Livingston Animal Hospital joined the walk to raise money for an amazing cause. We offered micro-chipping and nail trims to help raise funds. Funds raised totaled $9155.00 at Our Grimsby Location. “Dog Guides are provided at no cost to qualified applicants. Thanks to national sponsors, 100% of the funds raised from the Walk go directly to the six Dog Guide training programs. Dog Guides Canada has already provided their specially trained Dog Guides to more than 2,000 men, women and children from ages 4 to 88, all without any government funding. With your help more people can experience the mobility, safety and independence a devoted Dog Guide brings.” Thank you to everyone who came out on the rainy day to help support the walk, and to Dog Guides Canada for providing such a necessity to those in need of these wonderful companions. To find out more information about the yearly walks, or how you can help out, please visit the Purina Dog Walk website. See you all next year!

Hilary Watson- Pet Nutrition Consultant

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Pet Nutrition
“Happy Tummies, Long Life.”
Presented by Hilary Watson, Author of Hilary’s Complete & Balanced Cookbook,
and Nutrition Columnist for ‘Dogs in Canada’ Magazine

Hilary has been employed as a pet nutrition consultant for almost 30 years. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, and has completed graduate level PhD courses in comparative animal nutrition. Hilary has taught undergraduate pet nutrition courses at Vet Colleges, has been invited to speak at over 10 regional Veterinary Conferences, and has conducted many pet nutrition workshops for pet professionals and pet owners.

On May.30th, Hilary spoke about:

  • home cooking for your pet- regardless of food format, 4 nutrition principles apply
  • alternatives to traditional pet foods (raw/home-cooked, the pros and cons)
  • how to evaluate the quality of a pet food.

This talk was tailored for both the average healthy pet, and for pets with ongoing health issues.

“…very good information given! We learned a lot!”

“……..Hilary was a great speaker and we enjoyed hearing her talk”

“….so much information, however not enough time.
I wish you could have her back!”


Laura Arseneau – Certified Pet Massage Practitioner

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Pets Need Massage Therapy Too
“How To Work Through Those Kinks.”
Presented by Laura Arseneau, certified pet massage practitioner

Laura is certified in canine massage and bach flower remedies. She started her practice over a year ago and offers a mobile service to pet owners in the Niagara region. On April. 11th Laura spoke about the benefits of pet massage, followed by a demonstration on 4 basic strokes you as a owner can do to help your pet at home.

Benefits of massage include:

  • support of orthopedic conditions like arthritis
  • improved flexibility and range of motion
  • improves healing time after surgery
  • help rehabilitate rescued pets
  • decreases anxiety
  • renews energy and pleasure in life.

    “…who knew there were so many simple steps to give your pet relief!”
    “…enjoyed this talk! Laura and ‘Desi’ were a great addition to the speaker series”

    laura       laura2