Rabies is a dangerous disease that belongs to the group of zooanthroponoses. That is, both animals and people can suffer from it, and a person under special conditions will get infected from a sick pet.
It is not always possible to recognize the disease immediately, especially for those who are far from veterinary medicine. Of course, when the symptoms are already obvious, there is no doubt that this is rabies in a dog. But then it is too late to save the animal, it is important to protect yourself. So how does rabies manifest in dogs?
Symptoms of rabies
Signs of rabies in dogs do not appear immediately. The first symptoms are usually recorded 2-4 weeks after infection, but sometimes more time passes. It is important to know that the closer to the head the bite, the less time the dog has.
The disease has several forms: violent, atypical, abortive, remitting, depressive. And the symptoms will vary depending on what form the dog has developed. However, the stages are almost always the same: prodromal, manic, paralytic. And the course of the disease is almost always 2 weeks.
Prodromal stage – initial. It is extremely rare for owners to notice anything at this stage of rabies development. The first symptoms – lack of movement, lethargy, all your attempts to play with her or communicate, does not respond. Commands are not executed, although sometimes the dog is simply not recognized: it becomes so affectionate, licks, caresses, as if it was guilty of something and apologizes.
An attentive owner will notice a sharp change in the mood of their pet. It doesn’t matter if it’s aggression from scratch or excessive tenderness. You can’t lose a day from the moment you noticed a bite or witnessed your dog being attacked.
In the manic stage, the signs of rabies in dogs become more specific. The behavior becomes even more strange. The dog tries to escape somewhere, to hide away in a corner, there is a certain craving for inedible objects (the dog bites them, and sometimes swallows them). But, despite his desire to strive somewhere, there is no fear of people.
Rabies in dogs is at this stage the most dangerous, because the animal can attack and try to bite, even if it will fight off. There are characteristic symptoms: fear of water (even the noise of pouring scares the dog) and light, paralysis of the larynx and lower jaw (for this reason, the dog can not drink, and from the mouth just a stream of saliva flows).
After this stage, a paralytic develops. It only lasts a couple of days. And then comes the death of the animal. In addition to refusing food and water, there is a lack of aggression (or any emotions at all).
Then the convulsions begin, which are replaced by complete paralysis. Internal organs suffer, as a result of which the dog falls into a coma. Only death will follow the coma. However, there are other forms of the disease. For example, if rabies in dogs occurs in an atypical form, the symptoms will be very subtle: lethargy, fatigue, exhaustion. There is no aggression, and there is no division at the stage. In addition, the disease lasts for almost 6 months, and all this time the pet can infect others.
The depressive form is characterized not only by the absence of aggression, but also by transience. Death occurs in just 72 hours. The dog is registered lameness, coughing. Agree, these symptoms are difficult to associate with rabies, if you do not know about this form.
The remitting form is characterized by the fact that the symptoms disappear and then reappear (after about a week). But each time they are more noticeable. The abortive form is extremely rarely registered, it is still being studied. The animal recovers on its own, even in the second stage.
Treatment of a dog with rabies
As sad as it sounds, there is no cure. For security reasons, a suspected infected dog is isolated and monitored. If the symptoms worsen, the animal is put to sleep so that it no longer suffers.
The final diagnosis can be made only after the death of the pet, by examining the brain. If specific corpuscles are detected in the microscope (they are called Babesha-Negri corpuscles), the diagnosis is considered established. But if you want to save the life of your four-legged friend, then take care of timely prevention!
Prevention of rabies
The most effective is a rabies vaccination for a dog. This vaccination is carried out annually! And the closer the term of “renewal” of immunity, the less the animal’s body is ready to “meet” with the virus.
If grafting is in order (not expired, was done according to the rules and introduced a good vaccine), even in case of contact with sick animals, the risk that your pet will get infected, is minimal. A strong immune system will not allow the pathogen to take a “place” in the animal’s brain. And the chances that rabies will not occur in dogs are almost 99%. Agree, this type of prevention is the most effective.
Also, try to limit any contact your pet has with stray or suspicious animals. During the spring and autumn period, stay away from forest Park areas, keep both eyes open, so that the wild inhabitants of the forest do not attack your dog. The fact is that foxes and raccoons are a reservoir of disease in nature. And when they are sick, they leave their comfort zone, their home, and attack everyone they see.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.