Rabies in Dogs – Is your Pekingese Rabies-free?

 


Rabies in Dogs – Is your Pekingese Rabies-free?

What is rabies? We often hear rabies in dogs and it being dangerous to both dogs and owners. Rabies is a serious viral disease that affects the central nervous system of mammals that often leads to death. This is a disease that is transmitted through bites from the infected creature. This kind of disease is common to bats, skunks, and raccoons however, domesticated creatures such as cats and dogs are also prone to developing it. And since they are at risk, humans are equally susceptible to the said virus. Once the sypmtoms show, it is already at its fatal stage. Usually, symptoms show less than a week before death comes.

The virus is transmitted via the saliva of the infected animal. Contact with the nose, mouth or eyes can pass on the virus but such instances are rare. The most common way of contracting with the disease is through a bite from the infected animal. The virus then travels through the nerves and spinal cord heading for the brain. It then incubates in the body for about 3-8 weeks, depending on the host that bit you, showing no signs or symptoms at all. Once the brain is already consumed with the virus, it would then multiply and then the signs and sypmtoms appear.

Rabies have various symptoms and the affected dogs don’t show all of the signs either. Initial signs would include sudden personality changes, anxiety, fearfulness, being aloof from other animals and people. It would progress to agitation, overreaction to sounds and sights and restlessness. Some dogs would also experience paralysis from head and neck part. With this, he would be unable to swallow thus leading to foaming of his mouth and respiratory distress. Death would follow soon after this.

The only definitive way to diagnose a dog if he has a rabies is via dFA (direct fluorescent antibody test) using brain tissues that can only be done after his death. In case you suspect your pekingese had contracted the virus, quarantine period is highly recommended for you to observe of the signs.

Rabies in Dogs

Rabies is a severe, and often fatal, viral polioencephalitis that specifically affects the gray matter of the dog’s brain and its central nervous system (CNS). The primary way the rabies virus is transmitted to dogs in the United States is through a bite from a disease carrier: foxes, raccoons, skunks, and bats. Infectious virus particles are retained in a rabid animal’s salivary glands to better disseminate the virus through their saliva.

Once the virus enters the dog’s body, it replicates in the cells of the muscles, and then spreads to the closest nerve fibers, including all peripheral, sensory and motor nerves, traveling from there to the CNS via fluid within the nerves. The virus can take up to a month to develop, but once the symptoms have begun, the virus progresses rapidly.

Source, Pet MD, http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/neurological/c_multi_rabies#.UENF49biZcQ

Diagnosing Rabies in Dogs:

  1. Look out for behavioral changes. Bear in mind that digestive problems and other illnesses may be a symptom. Typical behavioral changes in dogs includes: becoming withdrawn, appetite loss, bitinga and vicious behavior, and paralysis.
  2. Fever is also a sign of rabies. Better check his temperature.
  3. Locate an animal bite. Most dogs scratch, chew and lick this area. If there is positive behavior changes and bite mark, this may be indicative of rabies.
  4. Mad dog phase. Further signs of the “mad dog phase” is your dog becoming very violent plus excessive salivation (foaming of the mouth). Other signs may be: constant barking/growling, odd cravings, dilated pupils, eating inedible things, aggression, disoriented, hyperactive, seizures, anxiety, drooling, trembling, and roaming. Stay clear away from this dog, if you see such signs. He would attack you or any family member at during this stage.
  5. The last phase is death. As sad as it may seem, but once your dog has contracted rabies, there is no going back and it is not treatable. He would become paralyzed and fall dead.

Rabies in dogs is a very big deal and you should not take it lightly. Be on a constant lookout about sudden changes in your pet. It may be a sad conclusion for your beloved pet but rabies has no treatment as of the moment. Thus, prevention is always better than cure. Keep your dog safe from from other animals so that the risk would be minimized.

Hope this post has been informative on your part as it was on my end here.  Any opinion that you would want to share with us? Feel free to leave your piece of mind with us below.

 

 

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