In a recent post, we talked about what rabies was and how it was still a deadly threat to all mammals, including our best friends. It is a disease that is transmitted through saliva, so if your dog gets bitten by some unknown mammal like a bat, raccoon or even another dog you have every right to be concerned.
Rabies is considered deadly only if it goes untreated. Since dogs are social animals, they interact with other animals and mammals quite often and some of these encounters may end up being fights.
If your dog gets bitten or even scratched by some mammal who is acting rather strangely, you may want to take it to the vet as soon as possible. If you are up to date with your vaccines, on the other hand, you can continue on with your day!
But sometimes this can occur while our dogs are alone and in that case, it may be hard for us to notice that they have been bitten. Knowing what rabies does to dogs and understanding all the symptoms is vitally important.
What does Rabies do to a Dog? 3 Things to Watch Out for
3- A change in behavior
Rabies is usually divided into phases, and the first phase of the disease usually changes the way dogs behave.
Quiet and calm dogs tend to become aggressive and loud, while active and outgoing pets become extremely shy. This phase lasts around two to three days and the disease starts showing its real face after this period.
The bottom line is if you notice that your pet is acting quite off and out of character, it is probably a good idea to get him checked!
2- Second phase: Furious rabies
If being out of character for your dog means being aggressive and violent then this is the second stage that it will go through.
The dogs going through this stage will show signs such as depraved appetite, chewing or even eating stones, trash or even soil. Late into this stage, dogs may get paralyzed and become unable to eat or drink anything.
And after becoming paralyzed, our furry friends may close their eyes forever due to a violent seizure…
1- Second phase: Dumb rabies
Common rabies is the more common variant if we are talking dogs. If a dog is going through dumb rabies they may look more shy than usual.
They experience a progressive paralysis which gets worse over time and may have difficulties swallowing.
Most owners think that there may be something stuck in their dogs’ mouth or throat during this stage. We advise you not to check this by yourself and take your dog to a clinic as rabies can spread with saliva and if you happen to have an open wound on your hands, you are instantly at risk.
If not treated, the progressing paralysis causes dogs to become comatose and eventually lose their grip on life.
Rabies is also known as “fear of water” and it should be clarified that the very symptom of fear of water only shows itself in later stages of human infections.
Dogs do not become afraid of water due to rabies. If you would like to spare yourself the adrenaline and fear, the best prevention method you can go for are vaccines.
As a dog owner, you should get the necessary shots done in time. If your dog is behind on its shots, set an appointment and get those done! Not just for rabies but for every other sinister disease out there, you never know what life may throw at you and it is always better to be safe than sorry.