Canine rabies: discover the symptoms and if there is a cure

The angry dog (also called Rabia) is an infectious disease caused by a virus that affects the central nervous system of the dog.

It manifests itself in the animal, but it can be transmitted to humans, therefore, it is characterized as a zoonosis.

The most common form of rabies transmission is through the bite of an infected animal. Scratches and licks on open or mucous wounds (such as mouth and eyes), can also transmit the disease.

The virus present in the animal’s saliva penetrates the organism and goes into the muscles and tissues. Then it multiplies, reaching the nearest nervous tissue.

Contact with the animal’s blood, urine or feces is not hazardous, as long as there are no sores on the skin of the animal or healthy person.

According to the Ministry of Health, rabies is a lethal disease in approximately 100% of cases and is considered a serious public health problem.


Phases of canine rabies

Rabies has some stages, from virus infection to its development in the animal’s body. Check out these phases below:

  • Incubation : period from the bite to the appearance of symptoms. At this stage, the animal seems to be well and does not show any symptoms, as the disease can take from 15 days to 2 months to manifest;
  • Prodrômica : it is already possible to observe changes in the dog’s behavior. He can become more nervous, scared, anxious, tired and even isolate himself. This phase can last from 2 to 10 days;
  • Furious and excited : this is the stage that characterizes the disease. The animal becomes more aggressive and irritable, and can salivate excessively, and may even bite and attack those responsible;
  • Paralytic : final stage of rabies, in which the dog is paralyzed, may present with spasms and even be in a state of coma, and may even end in death.

Symptoms: how to know if the dog is angry?

When symptoms of canine rabies are manifested, you need to be aware, as the dog can become aggressive and end up injuring himself and his owner. Therefore, in the presence of any symptoms, it is essential to consult a veterinarian, who will check if the animal is really infected with rabies.

If so, it is recommended that the animal be isolated from contact with the owners, as rabies is transmissible to humans.

Here are the main symptoms of canine rabies:

  • Fever;
  • Behavior changes, such as aggressiveness, irritability and apathy;
  • Vomiting;
  • Excessive salivation;
  • Aversion to light (photophobia) and water (hydrophobia);
  • Difficulty swallowing;
  • Involuntary muscle spasms and / or seizures;
  • Paralysis in general.

Is there a cure?

Canine rabies unfortunately has no cure. When symptoms appear, it is usually too late.

It is estimated that an infected dog, which is already showing symptoms, can die within 7 to 10 days.

The disease evolves rapidly and this time can vary from animal to animal, however, it does not usually exceed the estimate.

Therefore, the best treatment for canine rabies is prevention. In case of suspicion that your dog may have been attacked by an infected animal, it is advisable to take him to the veterinary service as soon as possible.

Although there is no cure, it is possible to prevent canine rabies through the rabies vaccine, which is the only form of prevention against the disease.

Canine rabies vaccine: what is the price?

According to the Ministry of Health, the rabies vaccine is applied annually in dogs and cats. It causes the animal to create an immune response against the virus.

If properly administered, the vaccine is 100% effective and the animal will be protected 14 days after its application.

The price of the application of the rabies vaccine, in small and medium-sized clinics, can vary between R $ 50 and R $ 80 reais. The recommendation is that it be applied by qualified professionals.

The governments of large cities and capitals, with the aim of eradicating canine rabies in Brazil, promote sporadic campaigns of free vaccination against rabies.

But be careful, the animal should not be vaccinated before 3 months of age or, if they are females, in the gestation phase.

It is very important to take care of your pet’s health, as rabies is a lethal disease, which can also be transmitted to humans.

Keep your pet’s vaccination card up-to-date with the main vaccines and in any suspicion of health problems, take it to a veterinarian.

Keep following the Healthy Minute to learn more about pet-related matters.