Symptoms of Rabies in Dogs

Source: Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Updated on July 16, 2015
Rabies

How Rabies Affects Dogs

The signs of rabies can begin on average anywhere from three weeks to five months after the infection date. However, signs can also appear within a few days after the infection or after more than five months. The most common signs of rabies in dogs are changes in behavior and attitude, which can include irritability and extreme aggressiveness, in addition to central nervous symptoms such as paralysis and lack of coordination. In the furious form of the disease dogs become extremely aggressive, in the paralytic form of the disease dogs experience paralysis of the throat and mouth which causes a notable increase in salivation and difficulty, or inability, to swallow.

Symptoms of Rabies in Dogs

Dumb Rabies

Owners may notice that their animal is depressed, and trying to hide in isolated places. Wild animals may lose their fear of humans, and appear unusually friendly. Wild animals that usually only come out at night may be out during the day. The animal may have paralysis. Areas most commonly affected are the face or neck, causing abnormal facial expressions or drooling, or the body, usually the hind legs.

Furious rabies

Animals may become very excited and aggressive. Periods of excitement usually alternate with periods of depression. The animal may attack objects or other animals. They may even bite or chew their own limbs.

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