December 29, 2015 | Erin | 10 Comments Rabies All dog owners want their dogs to be in the best health possible and a discussion about health should include vaccinations. Just as with humans, there are risks with any measures taken to prevent illness are a very important aspect of what is safe for your pet. One of the most common vaccines that your dog is required to have is the Rabies vaccination. This is a virus that is normally transmitted through a bite and is spread to humans through infected saliva. Once a person show signs of being infected with rabies, it is almost always fatal. Rabies has been reported in every state in the United States except Hawaii and everywhere throughout the world except Australia and Antarctica. Yearly, more than 50,000 people and millions of animals die from the rabies virus. Human symptoms of Rabies Headache Vomiting Anxiety and Agitation Confusion Hyperactivity Difficulty Swallowing Excessive Thirst Hallucinations Insomnia Paralysis It is recommended that your seek medical care immediately if you are bitten, or possibly bitten, by any animal. Any mammal can transmit the rabies virus and the ones most likely to pass the virus to people include: Cats Dogs Cows Ferrets Horses Goats Bats Coyotes Monkeys Skunks Woodchucks Canine symptoms of Rabies Initial Extreme behavior changes including restlessness, apprehension or aggression – friendly dogs become irritable or excitable dogs become docile Quick to bite or attack other animals, humans or inanimate objects Constant licking. biting or chewing at the site where they were bitten Possible fever Progressive Extreme sensitivity to touch, light and sound May hide in dark places Paralysis of the throat and jaw muscles, which can cause foaming of the mouth Paralysis of the hind legs that can cause disorientation and incoordination Seizures Sudden death The virus can be present in your dog anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks before symptoms are noticed, but transmission can occur as early as 10 before the appearance of symptoms. There is no treatment for Rabies and the only accurate test to determine a true case of Rabies is through brain tissue. Because of the threat to public health, animals that are suspected of having Rabies are generally euthanized. Vaccination as Prevention All immunizations should gently stimulate your dog’s immune system to create protection from diseases. While you should always discuss concerns about possible side effects with your veterinarian, know that the benefits outweigh risks when considering the countless lives that vaccines have saved. The Rabies vaccine is not a live virus, but can lead to a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis which can lead to shock and respiratory or cardiac failure. If it does occur, it will do so within minutes and up to 24 hours of the injection. Symptoms of Anaphylaxis Vomiting Diarrhea Seizures Shock Coma Pale gums Weak pulse Facial swelling Long-Term Side Effects Cancer at the injection site Seizures Epilepsy Chronic digestive issues Muscles weakness Autoimmune diseases that can effect organs Behavioral issues can also be a side effect. Sudden aggressive behavior, destructive or compulsive behavior or separation anxiety should be reported to your veterinarian. While you cannot predict if your dog will react to the Rabies vaccine, it is wise to be prepared. If your dog has ever had any adverse reaction to a medication or a vaccine, make sure your vet knows this. Keep track of all medical records for your dog and never allow your dog to receive any other vaccine in combination with the Rabies injection. Awareness of possible adverse reactions, along with good communication with your veterinarian, go a long way to ensuring what is safe for your pet regarding the Rabies vaccine.