Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes.
The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. The early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort. As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms.
Rabies is a deadly viral infection that is mainly spread by infected animals. It can be spread spread by infected saliva that enters the body through a bite or broken skin. The virus travels from the wound to the brain, where it causes swelling, or inflammation.
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It is frustrating when a healthy dog is relinquished or euthanized because of biting. How can I help prevent this problem?
Any dog is capable of biting, including family pets that are loved and pampered. We all know this, yet bites continue to be a significant cause of injury to our clients and their children—the most frequent victims of reported bites. Adults, of course, are bitten as well but numbers are not as clear because most dog bites are not reported to public health authorities. Most bites to children, which in large part are reported because of the need for medical attention, are by dogs they know.