Rabies is the most threatening zoonotic disease. This disease is almost incurable. Prevalent globally, Dog is a reservoir. Since This disease is incurable, proper identification of the rabid dog is essential. Some signs are so vague that even vets miss recognizing. Nevertheless, Here are ten signs of rabies you are most likely to miss:
Common signs of rabies you never knew
- The dog may become off-feed and yet remain very active. He may show signs of nervousness or apprehension. This is the sign which happens in many other disease condition and the owner or veterinarian are most likely to miss. The animal will gag as if something is stuck in the throat.
- Your puppy or an adult dog may start chewing abnormal things all of a sudden, such as paper, wires, fences, stones, straws etc. This sign is also most likely to be missed as rabies.
- Some young pup seeks human companionship, but bites when petted. These pups become vicious after few hours.
- Rabid bobcats attack suddenly, biting and scratching viciously.
- The dog may become lame by the back leg. This may be accompanied by the paralytic lower jaw with salivation.
- The dog loses the ability to swallow food or water. The dog or pup appears very cute at this stage and wants owners to help him. The owners without suspecting anything examines mouth to see whether something is stuck and gets the disease.
- Unprovoked bite- The animal is highly irritable, even the slightest sound results in continuous barking and bite. This bite is so vicious that they use both their claws and tooth and don’t leave the bitten muscle easily. If you see any such bite, suspect rabies.This is exactly what happened to a handicapped person in writers town. there was a lame lady walking in steet, she was bitten by a rabid dog. her fault? she was walking by dragging her left leg, her gait was not like normal human. this caused disturbance in a rabid dog’s mind and bitten her.
Less common signs of Rabies you never knew
8. The eyes become red, the lower eyelid sag unnaturally to expose the lower white of the eye.
9. Difficulty in breathing. This happens due to paralysis of intercostal(rib) muscles.
10. Hiding in dark places.
The animal may show one or more signs of rabies as described above. These signs happen in other diseases also, therefore, it is better to observe the animal for 10 days. Taking care not to become too touchy in those 10 days.
There are much confusion about rabies, sometimes rabies symptoms are mimicked after vaccination, please read my article Rabies vaccination makes a dog ferocious.
Small animal veterinarian for last 20 years. works in self-owned pet clinic in Ranchi, India called Pluto Pet Clinic. Published several articles on pets and social media in various national and international pet magazines, blogs. Part of many international organisations including Nabuur, Mission Rabies, Asian Society of small animal dermatology, WSAVA.