On August 13, 2013 the Canadian Food Inspection Agency was notified by a veterinary hospital in Calgary that a young domestic dog was showing unusual nervous system symptoms (attacking people and another dog in the same household). The dog was euthanized, and submitted for rabies testing. On August 15, the results of the test were positive for rabies. No human exposure has been reported.
Investigations have shown that the dog was a rescue animal that originated from Nunavut approximately 45 days before coming to live with the family in Calgary. Rabies is prevalent in the wild fox population in the Canadian north, and this is the likely source of exposure for the animal.
This is a good example of why veterinarians are constantly vigilant for odd, unusual or exotic diseases in our animal populations. Rabies is not a common disease in Alberta, but it does occur. Pet owners should also be watchful when importing or rescuing dogs from distant locations where uncommon or exotic diseases may be introduced to Alberta animals. – ABVMA