India bears a substantial burden of rabies cases, with 36% of global rabies deaths occurring in the country. Annually, rabies leads to 18,000-20,000 fatalities, and alarmingly, 30-60% of these cases affect children under 15 years of age, frequently going unobserved and unreported. In India, rabies symptoms in dogs is the primary cause, responsible for approximately 97% of human rabies cases, followed by cats (2%), jackals, mongooses, and other animals (1%). This disease is endemic across the nation, and raising awareness of rabies symptoms in dogs is crucial for public health.


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What is Rabies?

Rabies, primarily a disease affecting animals, is caused by the rabies virus. Humans can contract this virus through bites from infected animals. Notably, the virus resides in the saliva of these animals, facilitating transmission to humans during bites. Furthermore, there is a risk of infection through contact with infected saliva in the eyes, mouth, or open wounds, making awareness of rabies dog symptoms is essential.

Which animals spread rabies? 

Rabies is a disease that can be transmitted to humans primarily through the bites of dogs, monkeys, and cats. In most cases, this disease is contracted by humans through dog bites. Animals carrying the rabies virus are referred to as rabid animals. Recognizing rabies dog symptoms is crucial for preventing its humans due to dog bites. Animals spreading the Rabies virus are called Rabid animals.

Can you catch rabies from another person? 

No, rabies doesn't spread from one person to another. The virus mainly transmits through bites from infected animals. However, it can also be transmitted if an infected animal's saliva, comes into contact with a person's eyes, nose, mouth, or an open wound like a scratch or scrape.


Rabies in a dog SYMPTOMS

Rabies symptoms in a dog can vary, but it's crucial for pet owners to be aware of the signs. Rabies symptoms in a dog typically progress through several stages.


  • Prodromal Stage (1-3 Days): During this initial stage, Rabies symptoms in a dog may include changes in behavior. A dog might become more anxious, agitated, or apprehensive. Some dogs may exhibit fever, loss of appetite, and may lick or bite at the site of the rabies exposure (often a wound or bite).
  • Furious Stage: In this stage, which can last for a few days, Rabies symptoms in a dog may include highly aggressive and excitable behavior. They may become hypersensitive to stimuli, may bark excessively, and might have trouble swallowing. Hydrophobia, or fear of water, is often associated with this stage, although it's not always present.
  • Paralytic Stage: This stage typically follows the furious stage, although some rabies dog symptoms may progress directly to this stage. It involves paralysis of the muscles, starting at the throat and neck area and spreading throughout the body. Rabies symptoms in dogs during this stage include excessive drooling, difficulty breathing, and eventual coma.

It's essential for pet owners to recognize these Rabies symptoms in dogs. Rabies is nearly always fatal once clinical symptoms appear. If you suspect a dog has been exposed to rabies or is showing any of these Rabies symptoms in a dog, it is essential to contact a veterinarian immediately.


Read more about- Is Rabies Really As Fatal As We Think?


How does rabies spread? 

Rabies infection is primarily spread through the bite of an animal infected with rabies, and this is often accompanied by rabies in dog symptoms. In most cases, this disease occurs in humans due to dog bites or scratches (more than 90 percent of cases).

  • Transmission through Bites: Rabies is primarily transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. When an infected animal bites, the virus in its saliva enters the body through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Non-Bite Exposures: While bites are the most common source of transmission, it is also possible, though rare, to contract rabies from non-bite exposures. These exposures may include scratches, abrasions, or open wounds that come into contact with saliva or potentially infectious material from a rabid animal.
  • Non-Risk Contact: Not all types of contact with rabid animals pose a risk for infection. Activities such as petting a rabid animal or coming into contact with the blood, urine, or feces of a rabid animal are not associated with a risk of rabies transmission and are not considered exposures of concern.
  • Uncommon Modes of Transmission: Apart from bites and scratches, other modes of rabies transmission are uncommon, with limited instances of rabies symptoms in dog. Inhalation of aerosolized rabies virus is one such potential non-bite route, but it is a rare occurrence mainly encountered by laboratory workers. Additionally, cases of rabies transmission through corneal and solid organ transplants have been documented, but they too are extremely rare incidents.


What are the main symptoms of Rabies disease? 

Symptoms of rabies disease often start to show after an animal bite, but they may not appear for several days to many years, and these symptoms can be seen as rabies symptoms in dog.


  • Symptoms Onset:  Symptoms typically begin after an animal bite but may take days to many years to manifest.
  • Unique Sign: One distinctive symptom of rabies is a tingling sensation in the muscles around the site of the bite.
  • Viral Progression: The virus responsible for rabies travels to the brain through the nerves, leading to symptoms like pain, fatigue, fever, muscle stiffness, and irritability, including rabies symptoms in dog.
  • Additional Symptoms: As the disease advances, individuals, including dogs, may experience weakness, paralysis, increased saliva and tears, sensitivity to light and sound, and difficulties with speech.
  • Advanced Stage: In later stages of the disease, symptoms can worsen and may include double vision, problems with mouth muscles, foaming at the mouth, and excessive saliva production, which can also be seen in dogs exhibiting rabies symptoms.



When to Consult a Doctor?

Immediate medical attention is essential if you've been bitten by any animal or have had contact with an animal suspected of carrying rabies. Together with your physician, you can assess the seriousness of the incident and determine if rabies prevention treatment is necessary. Even if you're uncertain about being bitten, seeking medical help is crucial. 

How Rabies is Diagnosed?

When doctors are not sure if someone has been bitten by a rabid animal, they first rule out other possible causes. Medical tests may not confirm rabies early on. It could take time for antibodies to show up in lab tests. Doctors might try to find the virus in a person's saliva or skin, but this usually happens too late for effective treatment.
So, people often start preventive treatment right away, even before getting a confirmed diagnosis. If someone shows signs of viral encephalitis after an animal bite, doctors treat them as if they might have rabies.
If you've been bitten or scratched by an animal, especially a wild one or a pet that might have rabies, don't wait for symptoms. See your doctor right away. They'll check your wound and ask questions to decide if you need rabies treatment. They might also test you for signs of rabies.

Your doctor may ask:


  • How you got hurt.
  • What kind of animal bit or scratched you
  • If they can test or watch the animal.

If the animal might have rabies, it will be observed for signs or tested, but unfortunately, it has to be put to sleep (euthanized) for testing.

Tests for rabies could include:


  • Saliva test: You spit into a tube, and it's sent to a lab to check for rabies signs.
  • Skin biopsy: A small piece of skin is taken from the back of your neck and sent to a lab for rabies signs.
  • Cerebrospinal fluid test (lumbar puncture): Fluid is taken from your lower back with a needle and checked for rabies in a lab.
  • Blood tests: Blood is drawn from your arm and sent to a lab to look for rabies signs.
  • MRI: You'll have pictures of your brain taken in a machine to help figure out what's causing your symptoms.

What is the treatment for rabies? 

There is no cure for rabies once the infection takes hold, and it may include rabies symptoms in a dog. Although some have managed to survive, the disease usually results in death. If you think you have been exposed to rabies, you should get a series of rabies vaccines to prevent the disease from becoming fatal.

What treatments Are Used for Suspected Rabies Exposure?

 If you've been bitten or scratched by a wild animal, there are medications available to prevent rabies infection (post-exposure prophylaxis/PEP). Typically, these medications are a combination of:

  • Rabies vaccine: Your healthcare provider will administer four shots over a 14-day period. If you were already vaccinated before exposure, you'll only require two shots. The rabies vaccine instructs your body to combat the rabies virus before it reaches your brain.
  • Human rabies immune globulin (HRIG): Your provider will give you HRIG shots around the wound. HRIG provides you with antibodies (substances that combat infections) that work to neutralize the virus near the wound until your body can take over. If you've been vaccinated before the exposure, you won't need HRIG.

Potential Side Effects of Rabies Treatment: 

Rabies vaccines may cause mild side effects, including:


  • Discomfort, itching, or swelling at the injection site.
  • Nausea.
  • Headaches.
  • Muscle discomfort.
  • Dizziness.

If you experience severe side effects, reach out to your healthcare provider.


Your prompt response can make a significant difference. To schedule a consultation with a General Physician Hospital in Noida, call us now at +91 9667064100.

What precautions should be taken by those who have pets or dogs at home? 

To raise any animal, the most important thing is its food and the environment given to it, so that your pet does not make anyone its victim. The first and most important thing after adopting any animal is vaccination, so that there is no serious problem if your pet bites accidentally or intentionally while playing with a member of the house or a person coming from outside. If the vaccination of the animal is done on time, then you can be almost safe from diseases like rabies. 

What to do if a dog bites?

Whenever a dog bites, that place should be thoroughly washed with detergent soap like Rin or Surf Excel soap. If the wound is very deep then first wash this area with soap and then apply Betadine ointment. Due to this, the effect of rabies virus decreases slightly. But it is necessary to clean it thoroughly. 

Along with this, rabies vaccine, antibodies, and tetanus injection should be given in case of dog bite. 


When to get the Injection?


  • Rabies vaccine course typically consists of 4-5 doses, usually needed after a dog bite.
  • The first dose should be taken within 24 hours of the bite.
  • Subsequent doses are administered on the third day, seventh day, 14th day, and 28th day.
  • Immunoglobulin should be administered to the bitten area within 48 hours.
  • Timely injections are crucial to avoid potential complications.

Doctors say that after a dog bite, first aid should be taken immediately. If there is no wound on the bitten area, wash the area with warm water and soap. You can also apply antibacterial lotion as a precaution. If there is a wound after the bite, then after washing that area, apply some antiseptic and immediately go to the hospital for a rabies injection.

What should not be done if a dog bites? 

Keep in mind that after a dog bite, a bandage should not be tied to the wound. Avoid applying oil, turmeric, or any household item to the wound. After washing the wound, contact a doctor immediately. So that the doctor can treat it based on its severity. 

Remember that ending the spread of rabies is a collaborative effort that requires the involvement of individuals, communities, governments, and organizations. By taking these steps and promoting rabies awareness, you can contribute to a safer and healthier environment for both humans and animals.

What is Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PREP)?

If you're more likely to get rabies, it's a good idea to get vaccinated before any potential exposure. Your local health authority will provide guidance on this, and it's called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PREP). This involves two shots. How often you'll need booster shots depends on how likely you are to be exposed.
You're usually at higher risk for rabies if you:

  • Work closely with animals, both wild and domestic (like vets, vet techs, wildlife experts, and animal control personnel).
  • Spend time around bats or explore caves or in the mining industry 
  • Work in a lab where you handle the rabies virus.
  • Travel to areas where rabies is common in dogs.


What is the Rabies Injection Price in India?

The rabies injection price can vary depending on where you receive treatment and your location, but it's a small cost compared to the potential consequences of not seeking immediate medical care. In private hospitals and clinics, you may have to pay anywhere between ₹350-₹400 for a single dose, so the cost of 5 doses will approximately be around ₹1,700-₹2,000. Remember, timely vaccination after exposure can prevent the onset of rabies symptoms and save lives, making it a small price to pay for your health and safety. If you have any concerns about the rabies injection price or where to get vaccinated, consult your local healthcare provider or clinic for guidance.


If you are looking for best hospital in Noida, Visit Felix Hospital or Call +(91)9667064100.


A note from Felix Hospital:

Rabies is a highly fatal disease, but prompt treatment can prevent it. If you've been bitten by an animal or suspect exposure to rabies, don't delay. Reach out to your healthcare provider immediately for assistance. Your quick action can make all the difference. To book a General Physician Doctor consultation, call right now at +91 9667064100.

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