Rabies is a disease that affects mammals. Generally, it is spread through a bite from an infected animal. The rabies virus affects the central nervous system of an infected mammal. Prolonged illness from the disease can result in paralysis, brain damage, and death. The disease is commonly spread amongst wild animals such as raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes. Wild animals with rabies may bite humans or domesticated pets and spread the disease to them. This article will look at how the disease affects a host, and what to do if you think you have been exposed to rabies.
Symptoms of Rabies
Rabies has an incubation period before signs and symptoms of the disease develop. This incubation period can vary based on the location of the bite, the affected species, and more. Early symptoms may include confusion, disorientation, abnormal behavior, and difficulty walking. Fevers, vomiting, and anorexia are also possible symptoms. As the disease develops further, the infected animal may experience extreme fatigue, aggression, difficulty breathing, or foam at the mouth. Days after, the animal will experience paralysis, cerebral dysfunction, cranial nerve dysfunction, ataxia, seizures, self-mutilation, and death.
Identifying Rabies in Animals
A rabid animal may or may not be showing signs of rabies at the time of the bite. Common identifying signs may include mouth foam, aggression, and lethargy. For nocturnal animals such as raccoons and bats, being active in the daytime can be a sign of rabies.
If Bitten By A Wild Animal
If you or a pet are bitten by a wild mammal, wash the wound with mild soap and warm water and seek medical attention as soon as possible. It is important to seek treatment in the event that the animal carried rabies or other infectious diseases. If your pet is bitten by a wild mammal, bring them to a vet as soon as possible. Make sure that your pet is up to date on all of its shots. Pets should not be left outside unattended.