Canine rabies is a fatal, horrible disease which can be easily prevented through low-cost vaccination. During the first six weeks of a pup?s life, the mother dog issues antibodies against this disease through her milk. After that, the pup must continue to build those antibodies on his own. Preventive health care is the only way to guard against this dreadful, deadly disease. Rabies in canines is a virus that causes inflammation of the brain. Rabies is Latin for ?to rage,? which is consistent with the behavior of a rabid animal that is ready to destroy anything in its path. The first stage is drooling, which progresses to foaming at the mouth, then brain dysfunction causing erratic and dangerous behavior. The virus exists in the saliva of contaminated animals and can be transmitted when infected dogs come into contact with any mammal?s eyes, nose, mouth, or any open wound. Pets bitten by a confirmed rabid animal should be immediately euthanized because there is no treatment for animals once they are infected. When the animal is euthanized, a veterinarian can inspect the dog?s brain tissue for contamination. If rabies is not present, there is no need for the person in question to undergo medical treatment. If the owner of the suspected animal claims the dog has been vaccinated, and is not willing to euthanize the pet, the animal should be isolated for 6 months and vaccinated one month before being released. In this case, the bitten person should begin injection treatment immediately. Left untreated, rabies is fatal. If a rabid dog bites a person, that person should immediately wash the affected area with soap and water, quickly contact a physician and start preventive injections. In the past, people had to undergo a series of painful stomach injections, but that is no longer the case. Today?s vaccinations are not given in the stomach, are less painful, and there are only four injections, which are administered to the arm. Rabies is most often seen in the hot summer months and is more common in country areas where wild animals have easy contact with domestic pets. If your dog appears to have been in a fight, rabies is a very real concern and you should take your pet to the veterinarian for evaluation. Do not ever buy or adopt a dog that does not come with a certificate of rabies vaccination. Boxes of adorable puppies for adoption are breeding grounds for this disease. According to the Center for Disease Control, rabies kills 50,000 people and millions of animals every year. Protect your dog and your family by getting the proper sequence of vaccinations started early in your pet?s life.
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