Dog Diseases Treatment

How Do Dogs Get Rabies? Symptoms and Questions to Know About

Dogs are very intelligent, gentle, loyal and brave companions of human beings. They pet all around the world for different purposes like hunting, working in the farm, pulling carts, herding animals and for entertainment. Dogs come to a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and temperaments.

This diversity is achieved by a process called crossbreeding or selective breeding.

With the help of selective breeding, you get a dog of your required temperament, color, size and shape but this process also causes some unwanted health problems. Some of the very common genetic health problem are:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Urinary Bladder Stones
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart Disease
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome

Along with these genetic health disorders, dogs are also prone to some other diseases most of them are a virus or bacterial diseases. It is because these diseases are transmitted from infected dog to healthy dog with physical contact or with sharing food.

These diseases are fatal and get worse with time. There are some diseases which even can affect human beings along with dogs and other animals. Rabies is included in such deadly diseases. This write-up covers everything about the disease you must know as the owner of a dog which is not just a dog but has become part of your family.

Dogs Get Rabies

What is rabies disease in dogs?

Can you think of any disease which can change your gentle and placid dog into a snarling beast? or can you imagine a disease powerful enough which turn your active and playful canine to paralysis within a very short time period of one month? This is what a Rabies disease is capable of.

Rabies actually is a virus which affects the brain and spinal cord of mammals mainly dogs, cat, and humans. It causes inflammation of the brain. Causes of this disease are reported in every state of the United States except Hawaii. This disease is found all over the world except Australia and Antarctica. This is a fatal disease and annually causes the death of 50,000 humans and millions of animals around the world.

It is very rapidly affecting disease. With the appearance of the symptoms, it results in a fatality.   The best way to keep away from this disease to keep away infected animals. If you love your canine friend you must not let him wonder with outsides dogs, keep him in a clean environment.


 How rabies is transmitted?

This deadly virus spreads rapidly from infected to healthier. Those animals infected with this virus secrete a large amount of virus in their Saliva. This saliva if somehow reaches the open wound of any healthy dog will get affected. However, the primary source of dispersion of the disease are animals like bats, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, and skunks in the United States and in other countries as well.

An infected dog can also pass this virus to other dogs, dogs and even humans with a bit. A virally infected dog when bites the virus gets into the body of a healthy living organism with its Saliva. This disease can also be transmitted even when Saliva containing virus comes in contact with mucous membranes like eyes or mouth.

If we particularly talk about the United States the Rabies is found in cats more than any other animals. So if you have both cats and dogs as your pet make sure the cat is vaccinated, otherwise your dog can get this virus even by sharing a bowl of water.

Dogs Get Rabies

Can dogs get rabies from squirrels?

Rodents like squirrels, chipmunks, rats, mice, hamsters, and gerbils must be kept away from the home because they may cause your dog’s digging. However, rodents are still not declared as the cause of Rabies in dogs. So these creatures are not a carrier of this deadly virus.


Can dogs get rabies from eating poop?

As rabies virus is a contagious disease so some people may think that a healthy dog can be affected by eating the poop of an infected dog but in reality, it is not true. Rabies virus can only be transmitted through Saliva.  So the healthy dog can only be infected when an infected dog bites him or licks his wound.


Can dogs get rabies from mice?

Animals like mice, rats, gophers, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits and hares are not found with Rabies virus. They even are not accused responsible for transmitting rabies virus to human being or dogs.


What Are the General Symptoms of Rabies in dogs?

If you have a dog that you love most, you must have knowledge of everything which can harm your dog. On the other hand, you must have complete information about Rabies disease and its symptoms because it does not take long to kill your canine friend.

They very initial signs that your dog is infected with Rabies virus are his behavioral changes. Even if your dog is well trained and gentle he will become restless and apprehended. Along with this, he will be aggressive. While dogs infected with this virus go under drastic temperament changes. A dog that was pretty friendly after he is a victim of this virus will become irritating and an active dog will become docile.

Your canine friend may even come to bite and other animals. Another thing you must consider is that if your healthy dog is bitten by an infected dog he will constantly lick, bite and chew the place he was bitten. Don’t take it as normal behavior and rush to vet for Euthanasia of the Dog.

As time passes the condition will get worse and less to cure. Within a few days of infection your dog will become hypersensitive to touch, light and sound. Your dog may initially eat normal things but he will try to hide in dark places. This virus is much dangerous than you can even think. Soon your dog will stop eating and lying in the corner because at that time their throat and jaw muscles are paralyzed. This condition is indicated by the formation of foaming at the mouth.

This is where your canine friend’s body will start to paralyze. If your dog shows Disorientation, incoordination and staggering be sure that his hind legs are paralyzed. This virus causes sudden death. Some other before death indications of this virus are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Seizures


How long it takes show symptoms after infection?

An indication of the symptoms dements upon transmission method of the virus. However, normally dogs take 2 to 8 weeks to indicate that they are infected, but the virus transmitted through Saliva can be as quick as 10 days. If you want your dog service this deadly disease you need to take him to vet in its very earlier stage.


Which dogs at highest risk of being infected with a virus?

If you really love your dog, don’t let him wonder outdoor without you being with him. A dog set free to wander around is at high risk coming in contact with infected animals. Your dog may find an infected dog and fight with him or he may chase an infected cat.


Can dogs get rabies if vaccinated?

Vaccination from a deadly disease like Rabies is really a smart decision which all dog lovers take. This not only keeps the dog safe from getting infected with this virus but also is safe for the people living with the dog. It is advisable for those people bitten by a dog to go for a checkup of Rabies within 10 days.


Can you get rabies if the dog has been vaccinated?

In common cases Rabies virus is transmitted with bite, however; the virus can also be transmitted with open wound contact. One must take care of Rabies even if the dog is vaccinated because if the dog is not infected because of the vaccination he might be a carrier of the virus. You must check yourself 10 days after the bite for Rabies. In case if your dog is vaccinated hopefully, symptoms will not develop.

How often do dogs have to get rabies shots?

Dogs and cats usually are vaccinated for Rabies when they get 4 to 6 months old. After that, they are given booster after the exact duration of one year from the time they were vaccinated. Then your dog or cat needs vaccination every 3 years. In some cases, your dog may require quick vaccination.


How is Rabies Diagnosed in dogs?

There are several indications which can tell you that your dog is infected. However, if you want to diagnose Rabies in your canine friend it is done by testing tissues of the brain of an infected dog. It is always preferred to use brain stem and cerebellum for Rabies virus diagnosis in dogs. As this test makes use of brain tissue it is never possible to perform a test on live animal hence dog is euthanized to carry on this test.  This test is known as the direct fluorescent antibody test.


How long can a dog live with rabies?

Rabies virus is rapidly growing and highly deadly. It causes sudden death. These are some indications which can be used to know that the dog is a victim of this fatal virus. But once it reaches extreme condition and nearly every sign can prominently be seen there is no chance to cure the dog. Normally it takes 10 days to kill your pet after all symptoms can clearly be seen.


Does a 3-month-old puppy have rabies?

Puppies are at a greater risk of becoming a victim of Rabies from their Mother and other dogs. If somehow mother dog is infected with this virus then puppies can easily intake rabies virus with milk. Puppies can also be infected if an infected dog bites them or even scratch them.

If you are a good breeder and real pet lover you will definitely take care of the puppies until they are 3 months old. It is Because Vaccination is only possible when puppies are 3 to 4 months old.  After vaccination, if you think that your job is over you are wrong. Puppies can get rabies when infected dog bike them no matter if they are vaccinated. They are very prone to this disease until they are given booster.

How Rabies can be cured and treated in dogs?

Rabies remains untreated even the world has moved to next in the field of science and technology. Meanwhile, this disease is highly contagious which leaves no way other than killing the victim of the Rabies disease. So if you find your canine friend infected with Rabies without wasting a movement make preparation for its euthanasia.


How can I prevent Rabies?

The only way you can prevent your dog from getting Rabies is to keep him up to date with proper vaccination. For better consultancy and best-suited vaccination, you can visit a Vet. In many developed countries, it is mandatory to vaccinate your dogs and cats when they are 3 to 4 months old.

Vaccinating your dog will prevent him from getting Rabies Virus. A vaccinated dog is not a carrier. If a dog bite that is properly vaccinated hopefully Rabies will not develop.  But if your dog shows symptoms of Rabies euthanize your dog.

Restricting your dog at home and let him not to wonder with wild animals is necessary for prevention of the Rabies. Even if you want to take your dog for a walk does it by putting your dog in leash.

What to do with dogs that had contact with infected Animals?

If you think your dog has contact with infected animal call the Vet and let him know the situation and follow what he recommends. Along with this, you need to contact the local health department and local animal control officers. This is done to tell them about the rabid animal to euthanize that animal. Once your dog has physical contact with the rabid animal he will have Rabies virus alive on his body for at least 2 hours. Therefore it is advised not to touch your dog during this time. If it is necessary, use gloves and protective clothes before making any physical contact with your dog.


Symptoms of rabies disease in humans:

This viral disease is very fatal and nearly kills 50,000 people per year. Major symptoms of Rabies in human are:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Excessive saliva production
  • Hallucinations
  • High level of excitement
  • Insomnia
  • Paralysis of lower legs
  • Swallowing due to painful throat and voice box spasms

Johni Barresto

Johni Barresto Is a father and animal lover. With a range of expertise in animal health, he decided to start Animal Heed. His passion is to share his knowledge to help animal owners worldwide. When not in front of his computer, he's out with his kids, teaching them the importance of animal care.

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