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Fox being tested for rabies after dog attacked in Resolute Bay, Nunavut

Resolute Bay, Nunavut. Health officials say a dog in the community was attacked by a fox on Sunday. (Garrett Hinchey/CBC - image credit)
Resolute Bay, Nunavut. Health officials say a dog in the community was attacked by a fox on Sunday. (Garrett Hinchey/CBC - image credit)

Health officials in Nunavut are testing another fox for rabies after the animal attacked a dog in Resolute Bay on Sunday.

It's the second such incident in the territory so far this year. Last week, a fox attacked a dog in the Lower Base area of Iqaluit. That animal was also being tested for rabies.

The dogs involved in both incidents were confined after the attacks.

Residents in both communities were advised to be on the lookout for foxes, and report any incidents where a person has been bitten or scratched by a fox or a dog.

Rabies infections must be treated promptly, as they are almost always fatal if not treated.

Nunavut officials are also urging people to watch for behaviour changes or other signs of rabies in any domestic animals that spend time tied up outdoors. Signs may include staggering, frothing at the mouth, choking or making strange noises.

Animals showing signs of possible infection should be avoided and reported to local health authorities or conservation officers.

Last month, residents in Rankin Inlet received similar warnings after a dog there was suspected of carrying rabies. The dog was euthanized but later tested negative for the virus.

Researchers say rabies outbreaks in the Arctic typically follow a cycle, peaking every 10 to 15 years. Last winter saw a number of incidents in Nunavut communities, involving infected foxes, and dogs being attacked and sometimes killed.