Canine Diseases, Rabies, foaming at the mouth, circling, blindness, uncoordination, change of voice.

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Just the name of this virus strikes fear in the hearts of most people: It is almost 100 percent fatal, and people are also susceptible. Rabies natural hosts are wildlife, such as foxes, skunk, raccoons, and especially bats.

Dogs can become infected with rabies by being bitten by a rabid animal because the virus is shed from the infected animal's saliva. It can also be spread from saliva contamination of open wounds. Therefore, if your puppy comes home with an obvious wound and Saliva or blood is on its fur, put on protective gloves before handling him. The classic symptoms are neurological. The virus enters the body through the wound or bites and travels along nerves until it reaches the central nervous system, spinal cord, and brain. It then settles in the salivary glands.

Obvious signs are sudden behavioral changes, sudden aggression, paralysis of the jaw that leads to the classic "foaming at the mouth," circling, blindness, uncoordination, change of voice, and seizures.

Sadly, not even extensive supportive treatment can help with rabies. An infected dog will die. Therefore, prevention is by far the best way to handle rabies. Dogs that are current on their rabies vaccine are considered to be well protected, but if your dog has a known exposure to a rabid animal, your veterinarian will suggest a booster vaccine.