While rabies in pets may seem like a problem of the past, it is a very real (and very scary) disease that remains a valid concern for all. Rabies does still exist in the United States, although we have done a good job of keeping it out of the pet population through effective vaccination protocols.
It is important for all pet owners to be educated about rabies in pets, so that they can understand the risks and take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their families, two- and four-legged alike.
Understanding the Virus
Understanding a disease is key to knowing how to protect ourselves and our pets. Rabies is a viral disease and can affect any mammal, including humans.
The rabies virus enters the body through a break in the skin contaminated with infected fluids, such as saliva, usually in the form of a bite. Once in the body, it stays dormant in the muscle tissue before invading nerves in the area. From there, it continues to spread through the nervous system, eventually making its way to the brain. This process may take several months.
When the rabies virus enters the brain, symptoms become apparent. Once these occur, the disease is almost always fatal. Rabies symptoms emerge in three phases: Continue…