All about Rabies

By | August 25, 2008

Are you pet lover? Particularly dog lover? Then you need to read this article. Because Rabies is a viral disease generally associated with dogs, although in recent years canine rabies has been almost eliminated in North America and Europe due to extensive and often obligatory vaccination requirements. However it is still a significant problem in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. Dogs are considered to be the main pool for rabies in developing countries. Rabies in dogs is a fatal disease transmitted by the bite of an infected animal, such as a cat, raccoon, bat, or another dog. Animals with rabies suffer corrosion of the brain and tend to behave bizarrely and often aggressively, increasing the chances that they will bite another animal or a person and transmit the disease. Generally doctors recognize the three stages of rabies. The first stage is a one to three day period distinguished by behavioral changes and is known as the prodromal stage. The second stage is the excitative stage, which lasts three to four days. It is this stage that is often known as furious rabies due to the leaning of the affected dog to be agitated to external stimuli and bite at anything near. The third stage is the paralytic stage and is caused by damage to motor neurons. In coordination is seen due to rear limb paralysis and drooling and difficulty swallowing is caused by paralysis of facial and throat muscles. Death is usually caused by respiratory arrest.

So a dog or person bitten by an unknown dog (or other animal) should always be treated without waiting for symptoms, given the potentially fatal consequences of a rabid biter: there have been very few cases of someone surviving rabies when treatment was not begun until after symptoms appeared.

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