Rabies is a fatal viral disease that is caused by the rabies virus. The saliva of the infected animals causes the disease, and all mammals can fall prey to it. Rabies in dogs leads to sudden and gradually increasing swelling in the brain and spinal cord.
Rabies in dogs can be transmitted when an infected animal bites an uninfected one. This causes the transfer of the infection through the bite into the uninfected animal. Sometimes rabies is also transmitted when the saliva of the infected dog comes in contact with an open wound in an uninfected dog. This causes the transmission of the rabies infection without biting.
The early symptoms of rabies are hard to detect. These signs include fever, decreased appetite and energy levels. Around 2-4 days later, the symptoms get more prominent and worrisome. Rabies symptoms in dogs include:
This disease eventually causes the dog to slip into a coma and results in death.
There is no way to treat rabies. It is a fatal disease and humane euthanasia is recommended to put an end to the dog’s misery.
You can only prevent rabies by taking your dog to regular vaccination appointments. The rabies vaccine for dogs provides two-way protection; it protects your dog from getting infected by the rabies virus as well as a person was bit, scratched, or licked by an animal. The vaccine is the only prevention plan available against the transmission of this disease.
Humans are also at risk of contracting rabies if they are bitten by an infected animal. Raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, and other wild carnivores can also transmit rabies. Even small bats that look harmless and eat insects should not be handled with bare hands. Their bites may go unnoticed, but they can inflict serious wounds.
The only prevention plan for rabies is vaccination.
You can prevent yourself from contracting rabies by getting the rabies vaccine shot. If an animal bites you, you will have to get the shot for rabies as soon as possible after the bite attack. This is a safety precaution. The vaccine helps your immune system identify the rabies virus and fight against it. But once the doctor-recommended tests confirm that you have contracted rabies, there is no treatment—only a small number of people have survived rabies.
If your dog has contracted rabies, it must be quarantined for a period of 10 days to ensure that your fur baby doesn’t spread the infection to other healthy people and animals. The infected animal can be quarantined at the animal control facility or at the owner’s house.
The quarantine tenure is set at 10 days because the infected animal can only transmit rabies after it starts showing clinical symptoms and after these symptoms start to show, it will die in 10 days. If the animal tends to live after 10 days, it indicates it was not infected with the rabies virus. But if it dies within this period, you can get it tested to check if it had rabies. In case you suspect that a dog in your locality has rabies, do not go near it. However, it is imperative that you notify your local government authorities or a vet about the same.
Here are some tips you must keep in mind:
The first signs of rabies in dogs often show up in the animal’s behaviour. They may start behaving more aggressively or friendlier than normal. Apart from these, other rabies symptoms in dogs include seizures, difficulty in breathing, paralysis of motor functions, etc.
No, a rabies-infected dog can never recover. Rabies is a fatal disease, and the infected dog dies within 10 days of infection.
The initial symptoms of rabies in dogs include fever and decreased appetite as well as energy levels. The prominent symptoms start showing 2-4 days later.
Dogs contract rabies after being bitten by an infected animal. A dog can also contract the disease after an infected animal’s saliva comes in contact with an open wound.
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