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Dog Rabies - Information on Signs, Symptoms, Vaccines, Side Effects and Cost

Dog rabies is a serious and deadly virus which has no cure.

Rabies attacks the nervous system and is also known as hydrophobia. This virus is shed by the saliva of an infected animal.

Dog rabies is transmitted by an infected animal biting a non infected animal.

When this happens, the virus travels through the nerves to the spinal cord from where it reaches the brain. A dog that has contracted the virus will not show dog rabies symptoms until the virus reaches the brain. The incubation period of dog rabies varies a great deal.

It generally ranges from two to eight weeks.

Signs and Symptoms of Dog Rabies

Rabies progresses through three stages – prodromal, furious and paralytic. Each phase of this disease is characterized by its own signs and symptoms. The first phase that affects the dog is the prodromal stage. The signs at this stage, which lasts for about two to three days, are:-

• Behavior and personality changes
• Anxiety
• Shyness
• Fearfulness
• Licking the site of the original bite wound.
• Withdrawal from people and other animals
• The tone of the bark may change as well

The next stage is the furious stage. This stage lasts from 1-7 days. Signs of dog rabies at this stage include:-

• Constant growling
• Restlessness
• Growling
• Disorientation
• More erratic behavior
• An increased urge to eat –even non edible things.
• Seizures
• Dogs may roam or pace about the house. If caged, they bite and attack the closures.

Some dogs suffering from this stage may die or enter the next phase which is paralytic. Signs of this final stage in rabies are:

Dog drooling excessively and will not be able to swallow.
• Dogs generally avoid water and other fluids when in this stage.
• The muscles of the face and diaphragm get paralyzed and therefore the lower jaw is always hanging.
• This paralysis can also lead to a change in the dog’s bark.
Dog Foaming at mouth.
• These symptoms will typically lead to a seizure or coma, which then leads to death.
• Death occurs within 3-7 days of the dog showing these symptoms.

Dog Rabies Vaccine, Side Effects and Cost

There is no dog rabies treatment. Sadly, a dog that contracts rabies has to be euthanized. While there is no treatment, there is a dog rabies vaccine which should be given to dogs at regular intervals. This will prevent them from getting this deadly disease.  Check with your vet regarding the dog rabies vaccine cost as also if there are any dog rabies vaccine side effects that could affect your dog.
  Submitted on September 29, 2011