Does Your Dog Have Rabies?
Does your dog have rabies? Your dog was outside playing, it smelled an animal and ran off to find the animal. Unfortunately, your dog finds that animals, it's aggressive and bites your dog. Could your dog have rabies? This article will explain what you should do if your dog might have rabies.
Rabies is a virus that is most commonly transmitted through an infected animal's saliva when they bite. It can also be transmitted through scratches. This virus is fatal to most animals unless they have been vaccinated.
If you didn't see your dog get bitten, but you think it may have come into contact with a rabid animal or has symptoms of rabies, immediately take it to a veterinarian. It may have rabies or it could have some other condition that has similar symptoms such as aggressive behavior so take your dog to your veterinarian. Some veterinarians may be able to run blood tests to check for rabies. Most veterinarians will keep your dog quarantined for 10 days if it has been vaccinated for rabies.
Dogs that are fine after 10 days and never showed any signs of having rabies, will be able to go home. You probably don't want to lose your dog for 10 days and it can be scary for your dog, but don't avoid taking your dog to a vet because of that. Rabies can be transmitted to you, it's better to be safe than sorry.
If a dog has severe signs of rabies, your veterinarian may euthanize it. There really isn't anything they can do and they don't want the deadly virus to spread to other animals or people. If your dog was never vaccinated for rabies and it has been bitten by an infected animals, it's unfortunate, but your dog will die or you can chose to have it euthanize so it doesn't have to suffer.
Cases of rabies have to be reported to your local health department. If you know what type of animal transmitted rabies to your dog, you should also tell them. Animal control or other professionals will have to attempt to find and catch the rabid animal. Also, make sure all your neighbors are aware of the situation so they can protect themselves and their pets.
The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.