Rabies Guide: How to Prevent and Keep You and Your Pets Safe

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Rabies Guide: How to Prevent and Keep You and Your Pets Safe

Post by Alpha Female » Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:59 pm

I have seen a lot of rabies talk lately, so I’d just like to explain what rabies is, how to prevent it, and how to keep your pets safe from rabies.

Key facts about Rabies:

-Rabies is widely distributed across the globe. More than 55 000 people die of rabies each year. About 95% of human deaths occur in Asia and Africa
-Most human deaths follow a bite from an infected dog. Between 30% to 60% of the victims of dog bites are children under the age of 15
-Wound cleansing and immunizations, done as soon as possible after suspect contact with an animal that has rabies, can prevent the onset of rabies in virtually 100% of exposures
-Once the signs and symptoms of rabies start to appear, there is no treatment and the disease is almost always fatal
-Globally, the most cost-effective strategy for preventing rabies in people is by eliminating rabies in dogs through animal vaccinations
- Reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish cannot contract rabies.

What is rabies?

Here is a definition of rabies:
Rabies is a zoonotic disease (a disease that is transmitted to humans from animals) that is caused by a virus. Rabies infects domestic and wild animals, and is spread to people through close contact with infected saliva (via bites or scratches). The disease is present on nearly every continent of the world but most human deaths occur in Asia and Africa (more than 95%). Once symptoms of the disease develop, rabies can be fatal. Rabies has been known to be transmitted from domestic animals such as dogs, cats, horses and rats, but also from wild animals such as foxes, jackals, deer, raccoons, skunks, bats, coyotes, wolves and opossums.

Symptoms of Rabies and Treatment

The first symptoms of rabies are flu-like, including a fever, headache and fatigue, and then progress to involve the respiratory, gastrointestinal and/or central nervous systems. In the critical stage, signs of hyperactivity (furious rabies) or paralysis (dumb rabies) dominate. In both furious and dumb rabies, some paralysis eventually progresses to complete paralysis, followed by coma and death in all cases, usually due to breathing failure.
Without intensive care, death occurs during the first seven days of illness.
If you think you or your pet have become a victim of a rabies bite, make sure to cleanse and immunize the wound as soon as possible after suspected contact with an animal. Most researchers suggest you go to a doctor immediately (a veterinarian for your pet). Recommended treatment to prevent rabies depends on the category of the contact:

•Category I: touching or feeding suspected animals; but skin is intact
•Category II: minor scratches without bleeding from contact, or licks on broken skin
•Category III: one or more bites, scratches, licks on broken skin, or other contact that breaks the skin; or exposure to bats

When humans are exposed to animals suspected to have rabies, attempts to identify, capture or humanely put down the animal involved should be undertaken immediately. Post-exposure treatment should start right away and only be stopped if the animal remains healthy after 10 days. Animals that are put down or have died should be tested for the virus as soon as possible, with results sent to responsible veterinary services and public health officials so that the situation in the area is well documented and possibly taken care of.


Signs and Symptoms of Rabies in Pets


Once infection occurs, the rabies virus grows in muscle tissue and may go undetected for several days or months. During this incubation (or latent) period, the animal appears healthy and shows no sign of infection.

Usually within 1 to 3 months, the virus migrates to the nerves near the site of the infection and spreads to the spinal cord and brain (i.e., the central nervous system). It usually takes from 12 to 180 days to spread through the peripheral nerves to the central nervous system. At this point, the disease progresses rapidly, and the animal begins to show the classic behavioral signs of rabies. The virus spreads to the saliva, tears, breast milk, and urine. The animal usually dies in 4 or 5 days.

Rabies causes typical symptoms. The infection progresses in a predictable manner, from the initial prodormal phase to the excitative, or furious, phase to the final paralytic phase.

The first sign usually is a change in behavior. Pet owners should be aware that behavioral changes can occur as a result of many conditions, from digestive disorders to poisoning.

Rabid animals usually stop eating and drinking, and may appear to want to be left alone. After the initial onset of symptoms, the animal may become vicious or begin to show signs of paralysis. Some rabid animals bite at the slightest provocation and others may be somnolent and difficult to arouse. Once the animal shows signs of paralysis, the disease progresses very quickly and the animal dies.
The early symptoms of rabies tend to be subtle, last 2 to 3 days, and include the following:

- Change in tone of the dog's bark
- Chewing at the bite site
- Fever
- Loss of appetite
- Subtle changes in behavior
Take your animal to a veterinarian quickly, once you see any signs occur.

Look for signs of fury in the animal. Identifying rabies in its furious phase is relatively easy. The animal may become extremely aggressive, lack fear, constantly growl, become disorientated and want to eat. Physical symptoms include seizures, dilated pupils and trembling. The furious phase lasts between two and four days.

Prevention

Care to prevent rabies includes cleaning and disinfecting a wound, or point of contact, and then administering anti-rabies immunizations as soon as possible. Anti-rabies vaccine is given for Category II and III exposures. Anti-rabies immunoglobin, or antibodies, should be given for Category III contact or to people with weaker immune systems.

Safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent rabies in animals and in humans before and after suspected exposure. Vaccination of domestic animals (mostly dogs) and wildlife (such as foxes, coyotes, wolves and raccoons) has led to reduced disease in several developed and developing countries. However, recent increases in human rabies deaths in South America and parts of Africa and Asia evidence that rabies is re-emerging as a serious public health issue.
The most cost-effective strategy for preventing rabies in people is by eliminating rabies in dogs through animal vaccinations. As shown in several countries - such as Japan and Malaysia - elimination of rabies in dogs can result in elimination of transmissions to people and other animals. Preventing human rabies through control of domestic dog rabies is a realistic goal for large parts of Africa and Asia, as well as the entire world.


Rabies can be stopped and controlled if your pet is vaccinated. Make sure you know the signs and symptoms of rabies, as it could be fatal to your and/or your pet. Know how to prevent it, and make sure you are aware of how high the rabies rate is around your community. Be careful, as attacks of animals with rabies on pets and humans are becoming more frequent. Hopefully this guide will help others know how to prevent it and keep yourself and your pets safe.

Source: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs099/en/
http://www.ehow.com/how_5616502_tell-an ... z0wOdpQp1b
Note: I have also added some facts I have learned from a researcher
If you have any suggestions for me to add to the guide, feel free to ask. Any suggestions or comments are welcome.
Last edited by Alpha Female on Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rabies Guide: How to Prevent and Keep You and Your Pets Safe

Post by Swift Night » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:04 pm

wow thanks for posting this it has help me a lot
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Re: Rabies Guide: How to Prevent and Keep You and Your Pets Safe

Post by Faite » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:06 pm

Thank you for posting this, Alpha Female. It was very informative and hopefully will help decrease the number of deaths and near deaths caused by rabies.
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Re: Rabies Guide: How to Prevent and Keep You and Your Pets Safe

Post by soloreclipse » Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:21 am

Thanks for posting this, Alpha Female.
One time there was a rabid raccoon in our old neighborhood! O.O
Why are you reading this? You just wasted 2 seconds of your life reading this!!!!

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Re: Rabies Guide: How to Prevent and Keep You and Your Pets Safe

Post by AlbinoWolf6 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:37 am

Thank you for sharing this info Alpha! I will remeber it if any of my pets or animals are acting strange^^
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Re: Rabies Guide: How to Prevent and Keep You and Your Pets Safe

Post by Asheek » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:54 pm

Awsome guide! I remember when I was little a farmer's dog went rabid after being bitten by a raccoon. It was quite scary (espicaly to a three year old kid lol)
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Re: Rabies Guide: How to Prevent and Keep You and Your Pets Safe

Post by Alpha Female » Thu Aug 12, 2010 6:49 am

Rabies is a big thing going around nowadays. Most people only think you can get it from a bite from the infected animal, when even if you touch it or it scratches you, you could possibly get rabies. Just make sure you know the signs and what an animal looks like when it has rabies. Not all animals will foam from the mouth, or have visible signs.
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Re: Rabies Guide: How to Prevent and Keep You and Your Pets Safe

Post by Jayness » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:33 pm

I've seen my neighbors cat go rabid before, after that I wouldn't let my dog out for a week, thats how scared I was, Thanks for the guide Alpha Female.
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Re: Rabies Guide: How to Prevent and Keep You and Your Pets Safe

Post by Masika » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:47 pm

Thanks a bunch for posting this useful contents, Alpha Female! I'm sure this will prove valuable to others, especially those who hardly know much about rabies. I like how the symptoms of it in this guide as well, at least this can show others what to look out for.
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Re: Rabies Guide: How to Prevent and Keep You and Your Pets Safe

Post by LunaLynn » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:18 pm

Thanks for posting this! It will help out alot. :mrgreen:

I could've gotten rabies once. Once a bat was in my room o.o and..blah blah blah long =story short, we brough it to this place and they checked it for rabies. If it did have rabies, they would've have to give me a rabies shot, but thankfully it didn't.

But poor bat. They had to kill it to test it for rabies, and it ended up not having it, so really, there was no point in killing it. :cry: It was cute too.
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Re: Rabies Guide: How to Prevent and Keep You and Your Pets Safe

Post by AWolfSpirit » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:21 pm

Thanks for posting this, Alpha Female! It's really helpful - I'll be sure to look out for things you posted!
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Re: Rabies Guide: How to Prevent and Keep You and Your Pets Safe

Post by Swift Night » Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:39 pm

This has been very useful for me , it helping me writing a story and more ^^
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Re: Rabies Guide: How to Prevent and Keep You and Your Pets Safe

Post by GizmoWolf » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:59 am

I've heard of rabies before, and it's not a good deasease to have if you or an animal happen to catch it.
Last time I've read up on it, it's very dangerous to have.

It's good to know more about this deaseas, and the prevention of getting it.
Great post Alpha Female, very informal. Thanks for posting it.
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Re: Rabies Guide: How to Prevent and Keep You and Your Pets Safe

Post by Lavawnder » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:46 pm

I read on a magazine once that a girl got rabies from a bat she tried to save at her church. She recovered, but it was a slow and long process - taking many years.
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