Of all the introduced canine diseases, one of the most feared is the rabies as this virus attacks the brain of the dog and is know to be highly fatal. This disease can also be transmitted to humans and other animals. The mere mention of rabies often bring out pictures of uncontrollable dogs that are known to bite anyone within sight along with the telltale foaming on the mouth.

Transmission – the tricky thing about rabies is that not only canines are susceptible to this virus, human beings are also at risk especially those who closely work with wildlife and even veterinarians. However, a vaccine can provide sufficient protection to both canines and human beings who are more known to be at a higher risk of exposure. Transmission can only be achieved though bites made by an infected animal to a non- infected. However, the remains of a carcass of an infected animal have been known carry the virus within 24 hours and are known to have high virus levels in the saliva.
Symptoms– after contact with virus, the dog goes through several stages. There are some reported cases of bitten dogs that have shown any symptoms but can possibly be a lifelong carrier. The incubation period is between three to eight weeks and shows the following symptoms:

  • Apprehension and anxiety
  • Fever
  • Irritability and erratic behavior
  • Labored breathing
  • Respiratory failure

Treatment – there are no known treatment rabies and if the virus has reached sever stages, death is imminent even in humans. However post exposure treatment would include one shot of rabies immunoglobulin and five does of rabies vaccines. The immunoglobulin should be administered should be administered within 24-48 hours from exposure and 5 rabies boosters shots are needed to stimulate production of antibodies to protect the body from the virus, or what is known as maintaining active immunity.

Prevention = vaccination is still the best-known preventive measure for rabies. In the United States, rabies vaccination are mandatory in all states, however, there are only an estimated 50% of the canine population with rabies vaccines.

Top 5 Canine Diseases – Know the Signs and Symptoms – Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3

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