Rabies is a serious viral disease that affects the central nervous system leading to death. The disease gets spread through the bite of the infected animal. Mostly it affect the animals like raccoons, bats and domesticated animals like dogs, cats etc. If the affected animals bite human beings then the disease get transmitted to humans also.
Once the virus enters the body it gets settled in the muscle tissues. With in the muscle tissues the virus grows up to three to eight weeks with out causing any symptom. Hence it is difficult to detect this virus during this period. Then it migrates towards the nervous system and then the symptoms begin to appear.
Symptoms of Rabies
Initial Stage/ Prodromal phase
This phase usually last for 2 to 3 days and the symptoms will be mild and will be difficult to detect. The symptoms include loss of appetite, intermittent fever and lethargy. There may be very slight variations in the behavior as they want to be left alone and at times show irritability. They may show anxiety and nervousness. Many of the animals lick the point of bite frequently. Even at times their barking tone will change.
This phase will be for 2 to 4 days and some animals miss this phase and go straight to the final phase. During this phase the dog will have a tendency to attack any moving objects or animals and if they are caged they may chew the wire of their cage and break their teeth. They may eat anything at this stage even if it is an inedible item. They may have dilated pupil, erratic behavior, restlessness, roaming, seizures, and episodes of aggression. They may not have any fear of their natural enemies. Trembling and muscle in co-ordination may be there.
Final Phase/Paralytic Phase
This stage may last for 2 to 4 days and during this phase they may show dropping of the lower jaw, appearance of choking, paralysis of jaw, chewing muscle, throat, inability to swallow. This may lead to drooling or foaming of saliva. This paralysis then defuses to other body parts leading to a depression in the animal. Slowly the animal may enter in to coma and finally die.