Rabies in Dogs, Clinical Symptoms & Prevention

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Rabies is an infectious and fatal viral disease that commonly affects dogs, cats, and also humans. It is a single-stranded RNA type of virus that attacks the brain and nervous system of dogs. Let’s see about the rabies symptoms, stages, prevention, and more.

How Rabies contracts in dogs?

The Rabies virus usually enters the body of the dog through an open wound, usually caused by the bite of a rabid dog, or contracts via the mucus membrane of the dog.

Stages of Rabies Disease

Rabies in dogs is a progressive disease which means it gets worse over time. There are three stages in Rabies disease,

  • The First Stage is called a Prodromal
  • The Second Stage is ferocious, and
  • The 3rd and final stage is Paralytic.

Rabies symptoms – Prodromal Phase

This is the first stage of rabies in dogs. The first signs are often changes in behaviour such as anxiety, nervousness, and aggressiveness. If you notice such signs the first thing you have to do is to see a veterinarian. Delay in treatment will worsen the disease and the disease will progress to the next stage.

Rabies Symptoms – Ferocious Phase

The First phase of Rabies, If left untreated might progress to the second phase which is called ferocious phase. In this stage the impact of the rabies infection will be explicitly visible, You will find the dog more aggressive, biting on people and other dogs, licking uncontrollably, Wandering away, and suffering of pain, and anxiety.

Rabies Symptoms – Paralytic

After the 2nd stage, the disease progresses much into a horrific disease with symptoms which are extremely difficult to manage. At this stage, the dog will appear disoriented, and more and more intense abnormalities will start to emerge such as seizures, paralysis, high fever, excess salivation, and eventually lead to death.

How to Prevent Rabies in Dogs?

The Golden Proverb ‘Prevention is better than cure’ is greatly applicable here, yes rabies disease is very easier to prevent than to treat. Puppies should be administered the anti-rabies vaccine at 12 weeks of age, then 12 months later and thereafter every 3 years once. Please see your local veterinarian for administering Anti-rabies vaccinating to your dog.