Top 6 Things to Know About Dog Rabies in Lansing, MI
Do you want to learn more about rabies, especially as it pertains to dogs? As a responsible dog owner, it’s up to you to make sure you know everything you need to know about this devastating and very dangerous disease.
Rabies is an extremely deadly illness that is unfortunately common in dogs. Read through the information below to find out more about this condition.
1. Rabies is Spread Through Saliva
Rabies is spread through the saliva of infected animals. This means that, although rabies is most associated with biting, it can be spread by grooming or sharing food and water dishes as well. Anything that involves saliva from one animal entering another animal’s body can cause the spread of rabies.
Rabies also causes dogs to drool excessively and foam at the mouth, which means their saliva is spread even further than it normally is. This is just one of the many reasons why this disease is so contagious.
2. There is No Way to Diagnose a Living Animal with Rabies
Living animals cannot be diagnosed with rabies. The only way to tell whether an animal has had rabies, for sure, is to examine the brain of the deceased animal. Because of this, there’s no way a veterinarian can tell you whether or not your dog has contracted rabies before symptoms appear.
For this reason, it is necessary to have dogs treated for potential rabies infection even if you just think there’s a small chance your dog was bitten by a rabid animal. The same is true for humans and any other animal that may have encountered another animal with rabies.
3. There is No Cure for Rabies
There is absolutely no cure for rabies. Most animals will die from this disease at some point, either before or after an excruciating illness. For this reason, a dog with known rabies (due to symptoms or known infection of an animal that bit the dog) will be recommended to be euthanized before the disease progresses to its more serious stages. This is the humane thing to do.
There is a way to treat rabies if the disease is caught before it shows a single symptom. If your dog is showing symptoms, it is probably already too late.
4. Rabies Causes a Variety of Symptoms
Symptoms of rabies in dogs include the ones that are more commonly recognized, such as foaming at the mouth and aggression, as well as others that may not be as widely known. Dogs with rabies may become fearful, agitated, or very aggressive; they may become confused and overstimulated by lights and noise; and they may drool excessively or foam at the mouth.
Dogs with rabies may also become paralyzed partially or fully, or they may develop seizures. They will be unable to swallow and will therefore become afraid of water because of this condition. This is a very unpleasant and gruesome disease.
5. Rabies Can be Spread to Other Animals
Dogs are not the only animals that can contract rabies, and this disease can be spread between dogs and other animals as well. If your dog has rabies, any of your other pets should be treated for rabies, even if they don’t show any symptoms. They are still at risk.
Additionally, rabies can be spread from dogs to humans. If your dog has rabies, you and your whole family should also be treated for rabies and will need to undergo a series of shots to ensure you don’t contract this disease as well. Rabies is highly contagious.
6. Rabies Vaccinations are Required by Law in Most Places
Finally, keep in mind that rabies vaccinations for dogs are required by law in most of the United States as well as many countries throughout the rest of the world. If you own a dog, you will be responsible for keeping him up to date on his rabies vaccinations, and you may be fined significantly or have your dog taken away if you don’t comply.
The only situation in which you should avoid giving your dog a rabies vaccination is if your veterinarian tells you to do so. This may occur in dogs with seriously compromised immune systems, but otherwise, there is no need to avoid this vaccination for your pet.
Talk with Your Vet for More Information on Rabies
If you have any more questions or concerns about rabies regarding your own individual dog, be sure to call (517) 393-8010 or book an appointment online to talk with your Pennsylvania Veterinary Care vet. Your vet can give you all the guidance you need about the rabies vaccination as well as any concerning symptoms or signs to look for in your pet.
And if you think there is even a slight chance your dog was bitten by a rabid animal, go to the vet immediately. Although unlikely, there is a possibility of saving your dog’s life if the disease is caught in time.