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Symptoms and causes of rabies in dogs


Rabies is a deadly disease for which there is unfortunately no cure. Find out how to recognize the symptoms and what causes the disease here. Aggression and bitterness are typical symptoms of the first phase of rabies - Image: Shutterstock / Victoria Antanova

Rabies unfortunately still causes around 55,000 deaths worldwide every year - albeit not in Germany since 2008. However, you should be able to recognize the symptoms of the disease as quickly as possible in your dog - you can no longer save him, because the viral disease is always fatal. But if you quickly identify rabies, you can free your four-legged friend from his suffering as quickly as possible.

Symptoms of rabies

Even if Germany has been considered rabies-free for a number of years, it does no harm to keep your eyes open and to be able to recognize the characteristics of the course of the disease: when exactly the first symptoms appear varies. The incubation period can be between two and eight weeks. Changes in nature are usually the first signs of rabies. Dogs are often aggressive and snappy, many barking for no apparent reason. Paralysis and swallowing disorders occur in the later stages. Once the veterinarian has diagnosed rabies safely, the best solution is to put the four-legged friend to sleep unnecessarily.

Danish mastiff - the gentle giant

Causes: Transmission by viruses

The rabies is caused by a virus. The so-called Lyssavirus is largely transmitted by wild animals. Foxes, wolves, bats and other forest dwellers can infect dogs with it. Humans can contract the fatal disease simply by petting an infected animal.

Rabies is considered eradicated in Germany, but one should not underestimate the causes - that is, the transmission of the virus from wild animals. It is best to keep an eye on your dog while romping in the forest - vaccination is also a relatively safe protection against infection.