Rabies or rabies in the dog
Rabies is a serious virus infection of the brain with an always fatal outcome once the symptoms become visible. It is a zoonosis, which means that the disease can be transmitted from animals to humans. The disease occurs worldwide. However, the Netherlands has been free of rabies for years. The cases that are known in the Netherlands in the past 20 years have incurred the infection elsewhere. Bats in the Netherlands can possibly. are infected.
The infection is transmitted via saliva. It is therefore almost always a bite of an infected animal. Infected bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes are usually the culprit. Rabies infected with rabies are not always recognizable. It is suspicious if an animal is aggressive and restless, or if an animal that normally lives in the wild is abnormally tame.
The incubation time (time from infection to symptoms) varies enormously: 1 week to 8 months. Also the symptoms are not immediately clear. Common symptoms are behavioral changes, aggression, salivation, difficulty swallowing and paralysis symptoms starting at the hindquarters. Once the symptoms occur, the course is very progressive and usually follows death within 7 days.
Diagnosis usually only becomes definitive after research on brain tissue of the deceased animal. The past of a bite in an unvaccinated animal together with the progressive neurological symptoms usually gives a strong suspicion.
Treatment of this disease is unfortunately not possible. However, people and animals can treat if they have just been bitten by an infected animal. Actually this is also prevention, since the person does not have any rabies at that moment.
You can protect your dog or cat against the rabies virus by having your animal vaccinated. After vaccination a dog is completely protected against rabies or rabies. In the Netherlands this is not mandatory and also not immediately necessary because it is virtually non-existent. As soon as you cross the border with your pet, you are obliged to vaccinate your dog or cat 21 days in advance. The vaccine we use is valid for 3 years within the EU.