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Dog rabies: symptoms and treatment

enero 12, 2021



Rabies is one of the most dangerous viral diseases a dog can contract because it is epidemic and often fatal. It is transmitted by the Lyssavirus and can affect all mammals, but bats, foxes, molfette, raccoons, wolves, cats and dogs are most sensitive to the infection and, unfortunately, it can also affect humans. The infection occurs mainly through the bite of an infected animal or through the contact of a wound with infected saliva. The virus, in fact, lurks in the salivary glands of the infected subject, penetrates the organism of the subject who is infected, affects the muscle fibers, then the nerve fibers, the central nervous system and returns to settle in the salivary glands. But what are the symptoms that can make you think about dog rabies?

Symptoms of Dog Rabies

Once the infection has taken place, rabies has an incubation period ranging from 2 to 10 days. In this prodromal phase the dog manifests variable symptoms of malaise: he often presents nervousness, fever, irritability, dilated pupils, vomiting, tremors, desire for isolation and tends to persistently lick the area where the infection occurred. As you can see, these are symptoms that should cause concern but are also common to other generic pathologies: it will therefore be up to the owner to link their occurrence to a previous exposure to a possible danger of contagion. If the dog has come into contact with wild animals, for example, or accompanied you on excursions in the mountains or in the countryside and has not always remained under your control, these first symptoms should alert you and prompt you to take the animal to the vet right away. being very careful in handling it to prevent it from biting you.

The furious rage and the paralytic rage

In the next stage, dog anger can manifest itself as furious rage or paralytic rage. In the first case the animal appears agitated, excitable and photophobic, barks and tries to bite or eat objects, is uncoordinated, violent, trembles and can have epileptic fits.

In the case of paralytic rabies, on the other hand, the virus attacks the nervous system and causes paralysis first of the infected area and then of other areas of the body, the animal struggles to swallow and presents itself with an open mouth full of saliva foamy. Often this stage leads to respiratory failure.

Dog rabies treatment and prevention

As you will have understood, anger is a serious and difficult pathology. Therefore, we can only recommend prevention: if you take your dog to areas at risk of contagion (to find out about them you can contact your local health authority, your trusted veterinarian or the zooprophylaxis institute), at least three weeks before leaving the animal to vaccination. In this way you will avoid any danger and you will live your holiday in peace.

Remember that even if vaccination is no longer mandatory in Italy, it is still a good rule to always keep your dog on a leash in order to avoid any possible encounter with wild animals. Remember that the vaccination covers Fido for one year and will therefore have to be repeated in case you leave again for a country at risk. If, despite the precautions, your dog should have the misfortune of being infected, take him immediately to the vet who will intervene immediately with a vaccine booster and appropriate therapy. The disease, once full-blown, is difficult to cure, so a timely intervention can save the life of your pet.