Rabies is one of the most feared diseases in dogs, and practically everyone who knows anything about dogs is aware of its dangers. Rabies is one of the most lethal diseases that dogs face around the world. Although rabies is more commonly found in wild animals, it is also known to afflict domestic dogs and cats. As a responsible dog owner, you should be aware of the disease and how to deal with it in the event that your dog develops it.
Rabies is a viral disease that affects an animal’s central nervous system and for which there is no cure or treatment. The sickness is spread through the saliva of an infected animal and is caused by a fatal virus. When an infected animal bites a healthy animal, the sickness is transmitted to the healthy animal, where it travels down the animal’s nerves to the spinal cord, then into the brain. The disease’s incubation time varies from animal to animal, although it normally lasts two to eight weeks.
Because the sickness is so serious and lethal, it also has the potential to be passed to humans, knowing the signs of the disease is essential for dealing with the problem. There are three fundamental stages of rabies; your dog may go through one or all of them; but, once a dog develops rabies, death is a foregone conclusion. The various symptoms associated with each stage are described below.
The prodromal stage
The prodromal phase of rabies is the period of the disease when the dog is most likely to be apprehensive and anxious. A dog who is normally friendly will become timid and shun contact with humans and other dogs. Aggressive dogs will also become tame at this period. Dogs have been known to develop a fever during this time as well. Typically, an infected dog will lick the area of the body where they have been bitten. In most dogs, the prodromal period lasts two to three days.
The phase of rage:
In dogs with rabies, the furious phase frequently follows the prodromal phase. Dogs in the angry phase have been known to exhibit erratic behavior, becoming restless and aggressive, and displaying a strong need to eat, willing to consume even non-edible objects. In the furious stage, the dogs roam around and pace, and if they are imprisoned, they have been known to bite and attack the enclosure. In this phase, a dog may get disoriented and have seizures; some dogs with rabies may die in this phase, while others will progress to the next. An infected dog’s furious phase might last anywhere from one to seven days.
The phase of Paralytic:
If a dog hasn’t died during the first two stages of the disease, this is the final stage. The nerves in the dog’s brain and neck are badly impacted at this period, and the dog begins to drool and is unable to swallow. Fluids are avoided by dogs at this stage. Since the muscles have started to become paralyzed, an affected dog’s lower jaw will hang. As the symptoms worsen, the dog develops respiratory issues and eventually dies.
As previously said, there is no cure or treatment for the sickness, therefore the best option for dog owners is to take precautions. A dog should be vaccinated against the disease and kept away from other dogs and animals that might be infected.