Symptoms of Rabies
There are many pet dogs living in people’s homes. In addition, there are thousands of stray and wild dogs. Most dogs in the United States and other developed countries are vaccinated for rabies. However, in Asia and Africa stray dogs often live in packs on the streets or in the wilderness. These wild dogs are rarely vaccinated for transmitted diseases such as rabies. Dogs can get this dangerous condition when they fight with each other. Wild dogs commonly fight to establish territory. They can also get rabies from wild animal bites and scratches while hunting for food. The disease often spreads rapidly because bats and rodents that are infected relocate rapidly. Signs of rabies infection include aggressive behavior, hyperactivity, biting, paralysis of limbs and drooling.
What is Rabies?
A dangerous disease that affects mammals is rabies. It causes the brain to become inflamed due to a virus. Rabies is considered a form of encephalitis. There are several types of encephalitis. However, the rabies virus has some unique characteristics that make it different from other types of encephalitis. This condition can be transmitted to different species. The medical term for this is zoonotic. It is actually rare for an infectious pathogen to transmit to more than one species. This disease can be spread from an infected pet or wildlife to humans. Domesticated farm animals can also be infected with bites from rabid rodents, bats and predators.
How Dogs Get Rabies
Rabies can be prevented in pets with an inoculation. Many geographic regions require that dogs be given the rabies vaccine. This is because dogs often are around people. A dog can get this disease from another dog or a wild mammal. Any mammal can easily spread this disease. Your pet may run loose, and be bitten by another dog. Bats, foxes, coyotes, skunks and other wild animals can have rabies. Rodents such as mice, rats, squirrels and others can transmit rabies with a bite. There have also been incidents of rabies being transmitted with scratches from infected animals.
A Fatal Disease
The condition of rabies is almost always fatal. Medical cases of humans having rabies reveal that a patient dies less than two weeks after symptoms develop. An individual that is bitten by an animal should seek medical treatment. There is a vaccine that may cure a patient with immediate treatment. In addition, there is a new method of treating a human victim by placing them in an induced coma. The patient is then given several medications to fight off the virus. The coma and medication assist the immune system of patients in killing the virus. Only a few patients have survived using this treatment. Over 50,000 people die each year from contracting rabies. Most victims were residents of Asia and Africa.
Researchers believe dogs transmit rabies more than any other animal in the countries of Asia and Africa. Rabies vaccine baits are often left in jungles so that animals will consume the bait. This protects the stray and wild dogs from getting rabies. Several world organizations have a goal to eradicate rabies completely. Volunteers collect financial donations to assist in educating the public to understand the symptoms of rabies. Donations are used to vaccinate pets and farm animals in developing countries. Researchers have determined that many wild animals do have rabies that can be transmitted to dogs. The dogs are the animal that transmits the disease to humans. Medical educators are teaching individuals in Africa and Asia that they must seek immediate medical attention when they are bitten or scratched by any animal.