Rabies is one of the deadliest diseases affecting the nervous system of a human. If rabies is not prevented, it can lead to death. The scariest thing about this illness is that it is commonly acquired by the bite of a man’s best friend—Dogs. And so read on for more information on how to fight and prevent the disease.
What is rabies?
Rabies is a fatal disease affecting the nervous system caused by a ribonucleic acid virus. It is typically acquired by a bite of a rabid animal that introduces the virus to the skin or mucous membrane. Animals such as dogs, cats, bats, raccoons,skunks, horses and cattle are carriers of the disease.
Most people know that rabies is acquired through a bite of a dog but in reality, rabies can be acquired via the saliva of a dog which carries the disease.
What are the signs and symptoms of rabies?
In humans the signs and symptoms are divided into 3 stages
- Invasive stage: sets in 2-6 weeks after the person has been bitten or scratched.
There’s a numbness and tingling sensation in the bitten area. The patient may also experience flu like symptoms such as fever, cough, flu and sore throat. Restlessness, sensitivity to light, and irritability is also apparent
- Excitement stage: in this stage, the person experiences difficulty of swallowing, hydrophobia (fear of water) and aerophobia (fear of air). The patient may also manifests a maniacal behavior, he/she may attempt to bite other people, climb walls and jump from buildings
- Paralytic stage: spasms of the muscle will occur, starting from head to toe. Death occurs within 24-72 hours because of exhaustion.
What is the treatment of Rabies?
The treatment of rabies differs between animals and humans. If your pet has been bitten by a rabid animal, you need to consider if your pet has received the needed vaccines for the disease and whether a booster shot is needed (a booster shot might be given in order to reactivate the vaccine that was given to your pet before). If in case, your pet hasn’t received any vaccinations, the next step, your veterinarian will do is to isolate your dog for 10 days to see if the symptoms of rabies would appear. If your pet has bitten someone whether it’s one of your family members or you, the first that you should do is to wash the area with a soap and warm water and go to the nearest hospital. Quick management is needed to prevent the disease from progressing. A series of shots will be given to a person as a medical management. Rabies treatment may include passive treatment with immunoglobulin and active immunization. It is the important for the immunizations to be carried out before the symptoms starts to appear because once the signs of rabies started to manifest, no treatment will ever be effective.
How to prevent the disease?
Domesticated animals such as dogs and cats should receive their shots to prevent them from becoming rabid animals. Wild animals should also be isolated from your domestic animals. Avoid leaving your pets unattended outside your home to prevent them from coming in contact with wild animals. You should also avoid making contact with any animals aside from your immunized pet because you’re not sure whether they have received the needed vaccines. Once the person has started manifesting the signs of rabies it is imperative to keep your distance from them as much as possible as transmission of the disease can also occur from human to human. You can also acquire rabies via an open wound that has been licked by the rabid animal.
Tips and comments:
Prevention is better than cure for rabies because once the signs of the disease appear, looking for the treatment is impossible. Death in humans or animals is inevitable in rabies. And no matter how harmless looking your furry friends are, it won’t hurt if you take extra precautions to take care of yourself and your pet.