Rabies is a serious infection affecting the central nervous system, or the brain and spinal cord. It is crucial to understand the symptoms, transmission, and prevention of rabies to protect yourself and your pets.
Rabies is caused by a virus that is spread usually through bite wounds, scratches, or tissue from an infected animal, and is nearly always fatal if not treated at once. The infection can often be transmitted unknowingly, as bat bites and scratches are often miniscule. Household dogs can also contract the disease easily if bitten by another infected dog. Symptoms include fever, lethargy, seizures, ultimately leading to paralysis. This paralysis can include the muscles that control swallowing, causing a fear drinking water.
The best way to avoid rabies in people and animals is to avoid exposure to high-risk animals. Vaccination is also an important option, and household animals and farm animals should be vaccinated by a veterinarian. If you think that you, someone in your family, or your pet may have been exposed, wash the affected area for five minutes after exposure and then seek immediate medical attention.