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Over 150 articles on companion animal health written by authorities including Dr. Jeff Feinman, a qualified vet and leading veterinary homeopath.

In these entertaining and informative pet health articles, Dr. Jeff and quest writers cover important pet health areas.
Wednesday, 04 August 2010 15:49

What Are the Signs of Rabies, and What Can I Do about It?

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Rabies


General Information


Rabies is a fatal disease caused by a virus. All warm-blooded animals are susceptible. The disease is usually spread when an infected animal bites another animal or person. The bitten animal or person will not become infected, however, unless the saliva of the sick animal contains the rabies virus at the time of the bite. The bat, skunk raccoon, and fox are the most commonly infected wild animals. Dogs and cats are the most commonly infected domestic animals.

Because the signs of rabies vary, diagnosis is very difficult while the animal is alive. The only positive diagnosis is by laboratory examination of the brain.

 

Early in the disease, affected animals may show a slight change in behavior or temperament. As the disease progresses, the animal becomes restless and excitable, and may have a tendency to roam or eat unusual objects. The animal then may have trouble swallowing and may begin to drool excessively. Frequently the animal becomes vicious. Convulsions may occur and are usually fatal.

 

Some animals do not die in convulsions, but instead suffer paralysis of the lower jaw. Shortly after this, the paralysis spreads over the body and death occurs. This is called "dumb" rabies.

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What to Do if Bitten


If a suspected rabid animal bites a person, the animal should be quarantined for 10 days. If the animal develops signs of rabies or dies, tissues must be sent to a laboratory for examination.

Since rabies is such a threat to people and other animals, affected animals are not treated. Euthanasia is mandatory.

Vaccination is the best means of rabies control. All pets should be vaccinated. Consult your veterinarian regarding the proper vaccination procedure for your pet.

Wild animals should not be kept as pets, nor vaccinated for rabies. There is currently no approved rabies vaccine available for wild animals, although an oral vaccine for raccoons will soon be available.

 

Learn more about Rabies from the WSU School of Vet Med here:

 

Copyright ©1996, 1997 HomeVet

Read 7362 times Last modified on Monday, 02 January 2012 00:57
Dr. Jeff Feinman

Jeffrey Feinman, BA, VMD, CVH, holds both molecular biology and veterinary degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1998 he further advanced his training and became the first Certified Veterinary Homeopath in the state of Connecticut.

Dr. Jeff is devoted to teaching both pet owners and other veterinarians about homeopathy and optimal pet care. He and his wonderful wife (and practice manager) Amy live with Chi and Tigger their adopted Rex cats and Vanya their rescued Standard Poodle.

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