How does rabies manifest in a dog - how to quickly identify a dangerous disease?

When you become the owner of a dog, along with the joyful chores of caring for it, complex problems can also appear. Some diseases can arise due to errors in nutrition, others due to insufficient care. But there are also diseases that occur unexpectedly. Let’s find out how rabies manifests itself in a dog.

How can a dog get rabies?

Today, rabies in domestic dogs is one of the most dangerous diseases for both animals and humans. An infected animal becomes dangerous to everyone around, and such a disease often ends in death. The rabies virus manifests itself in the body of a dog, affecting its central nervous system and brain. Death occurs due to oxygen starvation, leading to cardiac arrest.

The transmission of the rabies virus occurs from a sick organism to a healthy one through saliva or blood. Often this happens with the bite of a sick animal. However, this can happen even if you touch the coat of a sick dog with a hand that has even minor cracks or abrasions. The virus, getting into the blood, quickly manifests itself in the body, causing serious disturbances in its work. Since in ancient times it was believed that this was not a disease, but demon possession, this disease was also called rabies.

how can a dog get rabies

Stages of rabies in dogs

This disease in dogs takes the following forms:

  • violent;
  • atypical;
  • depressive;
  • remitting or relapsing;
  • abortive.

Often in dogs there is a violent form of rabies, which has three distinct stages:

  1. prodromal – the manifestation of rabies in dogs at this stage is imperceptible. In this case, the pet becomes inactive, does not respond to touch or voice, does not follow commands. During this period, rabies can be suspected only when the owner knows that his dog has been in contact with a sick animal.
  2. Manic – at this stage, the symptoms of rabies are more pronounced: the dog gnaws on inedible objects, can attack the owner and even children, bites, barking without warning, tries to break loose and run somewhere. At this stage, it is most dangerous for others.
  3. paralytic (depressive) – a sick dog during this period can no longer swallow, so he does not drink or eat. Paralysis of the limbs begins, and then all the internal organs, and the animal, unfortunately, dies.

Rabies in the atypical form has a sluggish course and sometimes lasts up to 6 months, in the depressive form it manifests itself very quickly, within 3-4 days. With remitting rabies, the disease has an undulating course, attacks can be repeated after a few weeks, and after 3-5 days. With the abortive form, the recovery of the dog occurs at the second stage of the disease, but this form of the disease is very rare.

stages of rabies in dogs

Incubation period for rabies in dogs

Since the incubation period for the causative agent of this disease can reach 3 months, it is possible to accurately determine whether a dog has rabies only by analyzing its saliva. But even this method can signal the presence of the disease only a few days before the first signs of rabies begin to appear. Therefore, it is so important to protect our pets from any possible contact with sick animals or carriers of the virus.

incubation period for rabies in dogs

How long does a dog with rabies live?

The incubation period of the prodromal stage lasts from 2 to 4 days, manic – 3-5 days, and paralytic – 2-3 days. After its completion, symptoms of the disease appear, which rapidly increase, and after a maximum of 11 days, rabies in a domestic dog ends with the death of the animal. As you can see, rabies in a dog manifests itself very rapidly, therefore, if your pet has signs of this formidable disease, you should not try to help him on your own. It is better to call a veterinarian who will decide what to do with a sick dog.

how long does a dog with rabies live

How to identify rabies in a dog?

To determine if your dog is sick, you should take a closer look at how it looks. As a rule, rabies in dogs is manifested by such external symptoms:

  • thinned look;
  • salivation from the mouth;
  • protruding tongue;
  • clouding of the cornea.

Rabies is often confused with other diseases. So, for example, distemper in dogs is also manifested by epileptic seizures, but this disease does not lead to paralysis of the muscles of the lower jaw. And the rhinitis and conjunctivitis inherent in distemper are absent in rabies. With pseudorabies (Aueszky’s disease), there is severe itching and scratching. Dogs with this disease are not aggressive towards people, but only towards animals and objects.

how to identify rabies in a dog

How long does it take for rabies to show up in dogs?

Susceptibility to this disease does not depend on the breed or sex of the dog. But it was found that young animals often get sick, because their nervous system is not yet sufficiently formed. The manifestation of rabies in dogs may begin later or earlier, depending on the amount of virus that has entered the body. It is very important to keep your pet away from wild or stray animals.

For those owners who want to know how rabies is manifested in a dog, it should be remembered that for the first time this disease manifests itself a few days after the pet’s contact with a sick animal, and after a few weeks, and in rare cases even after a year. The general condition of your pet is also important: a weakened dog is more susceptible to infection with the rabies virus.

how long does it take for rabies to show up in dogs

Early symptoms of rabies in dogs

At first, a sick dog does not respond to touch or voice, does not follow commands. Quite often, the opposite behavior of the animal is also manifested: the dog insistently demands communication, licks the hands of a person. If the behavior of a pet has changed dramatically, then the owner should be alert and carefully observe him. After 2-3 days, the first symptoms may appear: the dog barks hoarsely, catches air, while opening its mouth wide, salivation increases. Later, other signs and symptoms of rabies in dogs join.

early symptoms of rabies in dogs

How to test a dog for rabies?

If the owner suspects that his pet has contracted rabies, then it is urgent to call a veterinarian who will take all the necessary tests, place the dog in a special box for the required time and monitor its condition. If the test for rabies in dogs is positive, then the animal is euthanized.

how to test a dog for rabies

Rabies medication for dogs

Knowing how rabies manifests itself in a dog, one should very carefully observe its behavior and well-being. After all, this formidable disease has a 100% lethality, that is, it is impossible to cure a pet from rabies. No injections for dogs from rabies, unfortunately, will not help. You can use only symptomatic anticonvulsants, painkillers, hypnotics. If the animal shows a respiratory disorder, then it is possible to ventilate the lungs.

rabies medicine for dogs

Rabies vaccination for dogs

To protect your pet from rabies infection, the dog should be vaccinated against this formidable disease. At about the age of 6-9 months, the puppy is vaccinated. However, if you live in an area where rabies has been reported and your dog is free-ranging, it may be possible to get vaccinated earlier, even as early as three months of age.

Sometimes owners want to know how long the rabies vaccine lasts in dogs. For different vaccine manufacturers, this period can vary from 2 to 3 years, but in disadvantaged areas, veterinarians recommend revaccinating dogs every year. However, only healthy animals can be vaccinated. 7-10 days before vaccination, the dog must be dewormed. After the introduction of the vaccine, the dog becomes immune to rabies after 21 days.

rabies vaccination for dogs