Rabies is a viral disease that affects the brain and nerves, and is usually spread through an animal bite.
Rabies attacks both domestic and wild animals, as well as humans. Globally, dogs are the most common animal involved. If your pet is not vaccinated against rabies, both you and your pet are at risk. Rabies is big threat since more often than not, death results.
Symptoms and Prevention
An unexplained change in behavior is the most common trait. A friendly pet may turn aggressive or act strangely with no explainable cause. Because this disease affects the brain and nerves, the infected animal may act in many different ways including paralysis of the throat and jaw muscles, foaming at the mouth, disorientation, incoordination and staggering of the hind legs. Other classic signs of rabies include loss of appetite, weakness, seizures and sudden death.
In humans, the most common symptoms are hallucinations, insomnia, partial paralysis, agitation, anxiety, confusion, hyperactivity, difficulty in swallowing and excessive salivation.
Rabies can be prevented by vaccinating your pet, and getting yourself vaccinated against rabies as well. Vaccination is the best prevention even if your pet is an indoor pet. It is important to report your suspicion of rabies to your veterinarian or an animal shelter, in order to protect the public.
If you suspect a rabies case, avoid as much contact as possible with the animal. You should quarantine the pet from other pets and humans until you receive further instructions from your veterinarian.
Responsible pet ownership requires you to have a qualified veterinarian whom you can always consult on matters pets.