Rabies - A Serious Dog Disease
Rabies is a disease that occurs in mostly all warm blooded animals. However, dogs, bats, foxes, raccoons, and other meat eaters are the majority of victims of this dog disease. Humans are also at risk in acquiring this type of dog disease.
This type of dog disease can be contracted only from an already afflicted dog or other animals. In order for this dog disease to develop, the saliva of the rabid dog has to get into the bloodstream of the victim by means of an open wound, mucus membrane, or a bite.
The time between the exposure and the development of symptoms or what is called the incubation period varies for this type of dog disease. The incubation period is between two to three weeks but can sometimes take as long as several months.
Since the rabies virus takes its journey to the brain along nerve networks, the farther the location of infection from the brain, the longer the process is for the incubation period of this dog disease. After the dog disease virus gets to the brain of its victim, it then travels along the nerves to the salivary glands where it starts to multiply.
Signs of this type of dog disease is due to what is called encephalitis, or the inflammation of the brain. The most common early sign of this dog disease may be as simple as an observable and not quite explainable change in the dog's behavior. If you have a fairly quiet and friendly dog, this dog disease may make him into an aggressive and irritable dog. A shy and quiet dog may suddenly become overly affectionate. Another sign of this dog disease is when your dog develops a slight fever along with vomiting and diarrhea.
As the dog disease advances, the dog is affected by showing an aggressive and furious behavior. He may also become paralytic, and a rabid dog may show signs of one and sometimes both behaviors.
The aggressive and furious behavior that is associated with the dog disease rabies is what is often called the mad dog behavior. The dog tends to act in a vicious and violent manner and would bite anything in his path. Sooner or later, he will go through sporadic convulsions that eventually increase in duration and frequency. Paralysis will soon follow and then lead to an inevitable death.
In the case of the paralytic form of this type of dog disease, the muscles of the head become paralyzed and results in the mouth dropping open and the tongue hanging out. The dog will not be able to swallow and is hysterically thirsty. He will often drool and paws at his mouth due to paralysis. In the advanced stages of this dog disease, paralysis takes over the dog's entire body.