Annually, over 60,000 people come in contact with rabid animals. The rabies disease comes from a virus which infects the central nervous system of mammals. Once it enters the body, the virus spreads and replicates until the disease reaches the brain causing death. However, being a viral disease, rabies is 100% preventable.
Unlike popular belief, rabid animals do not always exhibit symptoms like foaming-at-the-mouth. Instead, when an animal is infected with rabies they show symptoms like paralysis or unusual behavior. Some of the physical evidences of rabies include fever, seizures, excessive drooling and staggering among others. For dogs, unusual behavior may include restlessness, irritability and even aggression. For cats, unusual behavior will turn a shy and timid cat into an aggressive one or do the complete opposite for an energetic cat causing them to be withdrawn and turn to isolation.
Unfortunately, rabies is definitely lethal and will cause in death. Death of rabid animals usually occur within five days from infection and the only way to determine whether rabies was the cause of death is by testing the animal’s brain tissue, there is no way to test rabies in a live animal. For dogs and cats, once the signs of the disease is evident it will only be confirmed through death. For humans it is deadly as well thus, once bitten by an animal suspected to have rabies make sure to run and see your medic immediately because you will receive a series of shots taken at intervals in order to prevent the virus from infecting you. It is important to receive rabies shots immediately despite not being sure whether the animal that bit you had rabies because once you are infected, death will follow next.
Although rabies is extremely lethal for pets, it is definitely preventable. Make sure to vaccinate your pets and never miss a vet appointment. Vaccines are important to prevent the rabies virus from spreading in your pet’s nervous system as soon as they get in contact with it. However, although rabies vaccines will definitely prevent your pet from getting infected with rabies it is still very important to stay away from stray animals which could carry the disease. Small animals like rabbits and guinea pigs can’t be vaccinated against rabies therefore it is best to keep them confined in their cages. Rabies is often transmitted through a bite, therefore it would be best to keep your pets at safe at home. Bats are also said to be the source of most rabies diseases so it would be best to stay away from them.
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