Rabies is a frightening word which can and must cause concern: it is an extremely contagious disease that not only dog owners should and can neglect to heed. However, this should not discourage you from taking your pet dog to the vet for a check-up: the early warning signs of rabies in dogs can save your life. Rabies is highly infectious – so much so that the slightest bite or scratch can result in the infection spreading quickly throughout the animal’s body. This will not only have fatal consequences on the cat itself but, if not caught and treated immediately, will also have fatal results on the dogs themselves, resulting in death. Rabies in dogs can be prevented in a variety of ways, including vaccination.
Symptoms of rabies in dogs will include foaming at the mouth, gagging, loss of appetite, loss of sleep and lethargy, loss of coordination and personality changes. If these early signs of rabies in dogs are ignored, the disease can progress, progressing from mild lameness, muscle weakness and fatigue, to a more severe form of the disease known as encephalitis. With encephalitis, the dog’s brain becomes swollen and there is sudden, irreversible loss of vision. Both of these forms of rabies in dogs can be fatal, and if diagnosed and treated immediately, the disease can be overcome.
The saliva of a dog that shows signs of rabies virus infection has the ability to enter the respiratory tract of the infected animal, thereby entering the bloodstream. If the infected dog drinks any form of water, saliva, or food that has been contaminated with rabies virus during the time the disease was contracted, the dog will likely show symptoms within a matter of hours. Signs of rabies in dogs that do not immediately develop Into rabies will include severe muscle weakness, fatigue, and a loss of appetite. Rabies in dogs which take longer to develop will include noticeable weakness in the muscles, and a lack of appetite.
Signs of rabies in dogs, which occur later in the disease will include visible weakness in the muscles, extreme muscle fatigue, and weight loss. The lymph nodes and heart will begin to fail as a result of the disease. Dogs which have reached this advanced stage of rabies will become sensitive to noise and touch and will often lick the eyes or mouth of another dog. A dog may become infected with rabies by being bitten by another infected dog, but an infected dog can spread the disease to humans by breathing, touching, and breathing directly on an infected animal. The most important thing to remember when considering what are the symptoms of rabies in dogs, is that no one symptom will prove the diagnosis of rabies in dogs overnight. Rabies must be detected with microscopic examination of the tissue, through blood tests and through serum samples.
Rabies in dogs can be diagnosed with several methods. Microscopy is one of the methods which can be used. This method is done by examining fluorescent dye in the tissues for the presence of a disease agent. This type of test is more accurate than the previous one, the serum dye test, which was the only way to diagnose rabies in dogs. The other type of test that can be used to detect rabies in dogs is the rabies histology test. This test is more reliable than the microscopic examination and blood tests, but it is also the longest lasting.
The most obvious symptoms of rabies in dogs include lameness, weakness, lack of appetite, and a loss of coordination. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should have your dog checked out immediately by a veterinarian. Rabies causes the same general signs as many other types of diseases; however, there are two distinct types of rabies in dogs, rabies prophylaxis and rabies treatment. Rabies prophylaxis, or early treatment, is always the better option, as untreated rabies can cause death within twelve hours of exposure.
The treatment method for rabies in dogs is very different from that of humans. Unlike humans, puppies cannot be given anti-rabies medications or shots until they reach four months of age, at which time they will be able to receive these medications under the care of their pediatrician. However, adult dogs should be vaccinated yearly to prevent the condition from reappearing.
There is no vaccine available for rabies in dogs, but fortunately there are still a few actions you can take to prevent the illness from attacking your dog’s nervous system. Rabies kills up to 75% of those who contract it, but can be prevented if you properly care for your pet. A healthy, treated dog is an easy way to avoid the tragedy of rabies. If you suspect your pet has rabies, be sure to talk to your vet about the best course of action for treatment. Don’t wait to see if your dog gets sick before taking action – early treatment can keep your dog healthy and away from the horror of rabies.