Definition of Rabies
Rabies is a viral disease that infects the brain and results in death.
Rabies can Infect
- Livestock and any other mammal
The rabies virus is carried in the saliva of an infected animal and can be transmitted when the animal bites or scratches another animal or person. The saliva from an infected animal coming in contact with any area such as an open wound or skin break can transmit the virus.
Animals that Carry Rabies
Skunks and bats are the most common wild animals found to have rabies, though any mammal can carry the virus. Livestock, like cattle and horses, may be vaccinated against rabies, but may have to be tested if suspected to be rabid.
Symptoms - Warning Signs
A dog or cat that is infected with rabies may transmit the disease for several days before symptoms appear. The earliest sign of rabies is a change in behavior. This change in behavior may be very subtle, so it is extremely important to wash and report all animal bites.
Two Behavior Types of Rabies
- Furious Rabies Behavior is aggressive and excitable. The animal can suddenly attack when approached.
- Dumb Rabies Unusually shy or approachable, sluggish, confused, and/or depressed.
Excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth, and paralysis.