Dog Health Problems - The Occurrence of Rabies
Rabies is a most dreaded disease, resulting in certain death, but incidences in the USA are extremely rare - In 1998 only one person died of rabies in the USA, although in other parts of the world such as Asia the incidences are far higher. In the UK and Australia the virus has been completely eradicated.
Dog Health Problems - The Transmission and Spread of Rabies
The Transmission and Spread of Rabies usually occurs when an infected animal bites a non-infected animal. The virus is passed by infected saliva through the bite. The virus has also been known to spread via the viral contamination of broken skin and from eye, nose and mouth mucous. It is also believed that the virus can spread through the air in bat infested caves.
Dog Health Problems - Symptoms of Rabies
The virus moves through the body slowly whilst it moves along the nervous system to the brain. The incubation period for dogs can last up to six months. There are several distinct phases of an animal with rabies:
- Incubation Period - can last from days to months
- Prodromal phase - where first symptoms are displayed lasting 2 to 4 days
- Furious phase - the 'mad dog' phase which can last between 2 and 4 days
- Paralytic phase - the final 'dumb' phase lasting 2 to 4 days
- Virus grows in the muscle tissue
- Virus moves along the central nervous system to the brain
- The dog shows no signs of any illness
- The process can take up to six months
Following the incubation period the disease progresses very quickly and the animal dies.
Prodromal Phase - First Symptoms of Rabies
This phase lasts 2 to 4 days and the following symptoms may be displayed:
- Change in tone of the dog’s bark
- Loss of Appetite
- Small changes in behaviour
Furious Phase - Mad Dog Syndrome
This phase lasts 2 to 4 days and the following symptoms may be displayed although not all dogs go through this phase:
- Constant growling and barking
- Aggression - vicious attacks on people and objects