What is Rabies?Endemic to the Philippines, the rabies virus is an avoidable disease which is typically transmitted through the bite or saliva of a rabid animal. Although one might be familiar with dogs carrying rabies, it can also be found in mammals such as cats, bats, and other warm-blooded mammals, What makes rabies dangerous is the fact that once a person begin to show signs and symptoms of rabies, this typically always leads to death.
What are the symptoms of Rabies?The initial symptoms of rabies can be similar to the flu. If you’ve been bitten by stray dog or a dog you suspect might be rabid, consult your doctor immediately.
"Remember that rabies is a medical urgency but not an emergency. Decisions should not be delayed."During the later stages of the disease, signs and symptoms may include:
- Partial paralysis
- Difficulty swallowing
- Excessive salivation
- Fear brought on by attempts to drink fluids because of difficulty swallowing water
What are the symptoms of Rabid Dogs?The only way to get a definite answer if an animal has rabies is through laboratory testing. One can’t just look at an animal and assume that they carry the virus. Although sometimes, rabid animals may show physical symptoms such as aggressiveness and excessive drooling, but other rabies positive animals may also not show any symptoms mentioned. It’s always important to just leave animals alone. Always be wary around stray dogs.
- general sickness
- problems swallowing
- lots of drool or saliva
- an animal that bites at everything
- an animal that appears tamer than you would expect
- an animal that’s having trouble moving or may even be paralyzed
What are the risk factors?
Factors that can increase your risk of rabies include:
Petting or getting near wild animals.
Activities that are likely to put you in contact with wild animals that may have rabies.
Being near bats.
Wounds to the head or neck, which may help the rabies virus travel to your brain more quickly.
How can I prevent my pet from getting Rabies?
Consult with your veterinarian on a regular basis to ensure their rabies vaccination is up-to-date, whether it be for your dog or cat. Also keep direct supervision around your pets and keep them nearby. Don’t let your pets roam around outside the house to limit contact from rabid animals.
According to the Mayo Clinic,To reduce your risk of coming in contact with rabid animals:
- Vaccinate your pets. Cats, dogs and ferrets can be vaccinated against rabies. Ask your veterinarian how often your pets should be vaccinated.
- Keep your pets confined. Keep your pets inside and supervise them when outside. This will help keep your pets from coming in contact with wild animals.
- Protect small pets from predators. Keep rabbits and other small pets, such as guinea pigs, inside or in protected cages so that they are safe from wild animals. These small pets can't be vaccinated against rabies.
- Report stray animals to local authorities. Call your local animal control officials or other local law enforcement to report stray dogs and cats.
- Don't approach wild animals. Wild animals with rabies may seem unafraid of people. It's not normal for a wild animal to be friendly with people, so stay away from any animal that seems unafraid.
- Keep bats out of your home. Seal any cracks and gaps where bats can enter your home. If you know you have bats in your home, work with a local expert to find ways to keep bats out.
- Consider the rabies vaccine if you're traveling. If you're traveling to a country where rabies is common and you'll be there for an extended period of time, ask your doctor whether you should receive the rabies vaccine. This includes traveling to remote areas where medical care is difficult to find.