As much as there are certain taboos that most dog owners would not want to talk about, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. That just means it wont be easy, but we probably need to. One such subject that is always tough to breach with dog lovers is rabies. While the very subject makes people very uncomfortable, there is also a great deal of misinformation out there, and we looked at this like a great opportunity to clear some of those up, whilst also informing our readers base.
First and foremost (though I don’t think this will make anyone feel better), rabies tends to be far more common in cats than dogs, even though the media represents it the other way around. In a 2010 study, it was seen that out of four hundred animals captured with rabies, 300+ of those were feline, and less than a hundred were dogs. So lose that fear that dogs seem to be rabies magnets.
It should also be known that the whole “bat bite” thing that started the Cujo panic of the late eighties was just a story device by Stephen King to scare people. Despite what you think, there are not hundreds of bats flying around looking to give your dog rabies. It should also be known that rabies vaccines are widely available. But it should also be known that these vaccines can sometimes come with side-effects of their own. Sometimes it can be something as small as some hair loss, or something as big as a skin lesion. Just be aware there are risks on both ends.
Also, and most importantly, dogs will not always turn violent, and will not always have a frothing mouth as a cue. Dogs that drool a lot normally will tend to froth, but if you have a dog that doesn’t drool, it wont be that obvious. Also, dogs tend to turn the opposite of how they regularly are. So yes, a peaceful dog can turn violent, but a normally loud and aggressive dog can turn quiet and lethargic. Remember, it is not one response to rabies. It is very dependent on animal and breed of dog.
Mainly what we are trying to say is, rabies is something to be aware of, but you needn’t walk around constantly terrified that your dog will get it. Your cat on the other hand…..
(Photo by Veejay Villafranca/Getty Images for WSPA)