Dog Disease - Canine Rabies

Rabies is a dangerous viral disease which may prove to be hazardous for warm-blooded animals including human beings. This disease is mainly found affecting wild animals but at the same time this may also affect domestic animals like dogs and cats. In dogs death follows within a week of the appearance of symptoms.

Causes of Canine Rabies
This dog disease is transferred by the saliva of the infected animal. Saliva may be transferred due to contact with eye, nose, and mouth or due to a bite from the infected animal. The saliva passes to the nerves and spinal cord via the brain. This virus would show no signs of the disease for 3-8 weeks until the brain is infected by rabies. Thereafter the virus multiplies and spreads to the salivary glands.

Symptoms of Canine Rabies
The symptoms of rabies may vary in dogs. These may initially include:
·        Behavior and personality changes
·        Anxiety
·        Shyness
·        Fear
·        Depression
·        Licking the site of the bite

As the disease proceeds, the symptoms become aggravated and  include:
·        Restlessness
·        Agitation
·        Overreaction to things and noises
·        Full blown aggression
·        Disorientation followed by seizures
·        Inability to swallow
·        Excess salivation
·        Respiratory distress

Unfortunately these symptoms are soon followed by death.

Diagnosis of Canine Rabies  

The only possible way to diagnose rabies in canine is through a direct fluorescent antibody test using samples of brain tissue. Unfortunately this can only be carried out after the death of the animal as brain tissues can be obtained after the death. Diagnosis in live animals can only be presumed and not confirmed depending upon the clinical signs and patient history. The pets, especially the unvaccinated pets, which are exposed to rabies, are quarantined in order to watch for symptoms of rabies.

Treatment of Rabies

If a dog is bitten by an infected animal, he can be saved by an immediate trip to the vet for a number of injections. Unfortunately, once the symptoms appear there is no cure or treatment. Dogs suffering from rabies will need to be euthanized. This is in order to avoid suffering to the animal and to prevent transmission of disease in other animals. However, rabies can be prevented by annual rabies vaccination. It is important to note that law demands rabies vaccines in most areas and failure to do so may lead to unnecessary fines.