A rabid dog invariably passes on the disease by biting a healthy dog, the organism which causes rabies being present in the saliva, the urine and the tissues of the central nervous system of the affected animal.
Video of early stage of rabies in dog
The period before which a dog may show signs of being infected may vary from two to three weeks, though records exist of six months passing before the disease becomes apparent.
However, the average period is three weeks. For quite obvious reasons, it is essential that one’s dog be kept confined to house and premises, and not allowed to wander about.
There are two forms of rabies, “furious” and “dumb”. First indications of the infection are loss of appetite and a rise in temperature of about two to three degrees.
Very often the dog may be constantly licking itself in one spot, usually where it was bitten or inoculated. The dog then becomes sullen, restless and quarrelsome, and tends to want to hide in dark places, at the same time remaining affectionate.
It is generally believed that a rabid dog froths at the mouth. The mouth may certainly become, a little moist during the initial stages, but soon becomes dry and dark red in color.
The rabid dog is inclined to attack other dogs without warning. It will also wander about, and travel in a state of joy, but with head and tall down.
He will often refuse good food, but will gnaw and eat all sort of foreign substances. In point of fact, the dog will carry on in a most unusual manner.
As the disease advances, he becomes weak and paralysis takes over, after which he may linger up to six or seven days before death releases him.
The dog should, of course, be painlessly destroyed long before this final stage is reached.