Most people have at least a little bit of knowledge regarding rabies. Canine rabies is a very serious condition that is fatal to virtually all dogs that contract it. It is important to get your pet vaccinated because he can easily contract the disease if he comes across a rabid animal in the wild.
In fact, vaccination is required by most states, although there are still plenty of owners who don’t have theirs vaccinated. Rabies in dogs develops after they have been bitten by an infected animal. Animals such as raccoons, skunks, bats, and coyotes are known to transmit the disease.
There are various phases of canine rabies which occur as the virus makes its way to the brain over the course of one or two months after infection. Dogs can go through one or all stages known as prodromal, furious, and paralytic.
The furious phase causes the most common symptoms associated with canine rabies. Dogs will become quite restless and irritable and will attack anything that crosses his path. They will also respond negatively to visual and auditory stimuli. Eventually, seizures will develop and the dog will die.
The prodronal stage causes a variety of symptoms too. Dogs will become more anxious or nervous and want to be left alone. Fevers commonly develop too. Dogs will experience a drastic change in behavior too. If they are normally aggressive, they may suddenly become more affectionate. Conversely, normally affectionate dogs may become very aggressive.
It is also possible for canine rabies to enter the paralytic phase. Dogs will have a hard time controlling their muscles. The throat muscles won’t work like they should, causing dogs to have a hard time swallowing, so they will begin to drool excessively. When rabies in canines enters this stage, the diaphragm muscles will become paralyzed and dogs will die of respiratory failure.
The only way to diagnose canine rabies is to examine the brain. Obviously, this will need to be done after the dog has passed away. If a dog is suspected to have rabies after being bitten by a wild animal, then it will be isolated for at least one month, and up to six months in some areas.
Even if rabies in dogs could be diagnosed, there is no treatment. Dogs rarely survive a bout with this disease. They typically die within a week of showing signs. Vaccination can help keep your dog from getting rabies.