What is Rabies?
Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system of mammals, including dogs. It is caused by the rabies virus and is transmitted through the saliva of infected animals. Rabies can be fatal to both animals and humans if left untreated. The virus attacks the brain and ultimately causes inflammation, which leads to a variety of behavioral changes in animals infected with the disease.
How does Rabies spread?
Rabies is most commonly spread through the bite of an infected animal, but it can also be transmitted through scratches or contact with an infected animal’s saliva. The virus enters the body and travels to the brain, where it causes inflammation and damage. Once the virus reaches the brain, it can spread to other parts of the body through the nervous system.
Symptoms of Rabies in dogs
The symptoms of rabies in dogs can vary depending on the stage of the disease. In the early stages, dogs may exhibit flu-like symptoms, including fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite. As the disease progresses, dogs may become increasingly aggressive, disoriented, and irritable. Other symptoms of rabies in dogs may include excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, and seizures.
Why is Rabies deadly?
Rabies is deadly because it attacks the central nervous system, which controls many vital functions of the body. If left untreated, the virus can cause severe inflammation and damage to the brain, leading to coma and death. Once symptoms of rabies appear, there is no known cure, making early detection and treatment critical to the survival of infected animals and humans.
Changes in behavior of a Rabid dog
One of the most significant indicators of rabies in dogs is a change in behavior. Rabid dogs may exhibit a variety of behavioral changes, including aggression, disorientation, and fear. These changes can be gradual or sudden and may progress as the disease advances.
Initial behavioral changes in a Rabid dog
In the early stages of rabies, dogs may appear lethargic and have a loss of appetite. They may also be more irritable than usual and exhibit a reluctance to be touched. As the disease progresses, dogs may become increasingly restless and aggressive, and may even bite without provocation.
Progressive behavioral changes in a Rabid dog
As the disease progresses, dogs may become increasingly disoriented and may wander aimlessly. They may also become hypersensitive to light, sound, and touch. Other behavioral changes may include excessive drooling, pawing at the mouth, and an inability to swallow.
Behavioral changes in different stages of Rabies
The behavioral changes in rabid dogs can vary depending on the stage of the disease. In the early stages, dogs may exhibit flu-like symptoms and appear lethargic. As the disease progresses, dogs may become increasingly aggressive and disoriented. In the final stages of the disease, dogs may become paralyzed and may ultimately succumb to the virus.
Understanding aggression in Rabid dogs
Aggression is a common behavioral change in rabid dogs. Dogs may become increasingly irritable and may attack without provocation. This aggression may be directed at people, other animals, or even inanimate objects. It is important to note that not all aggressive dogs are rabid, and not all rabid dogs are aggressive.
Changes in appetite and thirst in a Rabid dog
Dogs infected with rabies may have a loss of appetite and may drink excessively. This is due to the virus attacking the central nervous system, which controls hunger and thirst. As the disease progresses, dogs may become dehydrated and weak, making early detection and treatment critical.
Howling, barking, and other vocal changes
Rabid dogs may exhibit a variety of vocal changes, including howling, barking, and growling. These vocalizations may be different from the dog’s normal vocalizations and may be more frequent or intense. Dogs may also have difficulty swallowing, which can cause them to make choking or coughing sounds.
Paralysis and other physical changes in a Rabid dog
As the disease progresses, dogs may become paralyzed or have difficulty walking. Other physical changes may include muscle tremors, seizures, and an inability to control bodily functions. These physical changes can lead to dehydration, malnutrition, and ultimately, death. It is critical to seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect your dog has been infected with rabies.