Rabies in a labrador retriever

Rabies has been present in Labrador Retriever for as long as we can remember. It is a viral disease affecting warm-blooded animals that can be transmitted to humans. So if unfortunately you are bitten by a Labrador Retriever or any breed of dog, then there is a possibility of having rabies. The virus is derived from the saliva of an infected animal and then transmitted through close contact with saliva of infected animals, such as bites, scratches, licks on broken skin and mucous membranes.

Rabies is extremely fatal to animals and human alike once neurological symptoms have developed. It primarily attacks the nervous system causing encephalitis or inflammation of the brain. The first symptom of rabies includes a change in behavior, say for example from friendly to aggressive or if your Labrador Retriever became fearless being a cautious dog prior to the development of infection. Animals with rabies will also show more biting and chewing. They will start biting at people and other animals. They will also chew woods, stones and even buildings. Other symptoms of canine rabies include fever, dilation of pupils, drooling with foaming at the mouth, difficulty of swallowing and change in the bark or sound of the animal. These signs develop usually less than ten days after the onset of virus’ Once signs develop, especially to non-vaccinated humans, there is no treatment for this disease. Symptoms may later lead to paralysis of any part of the body, coma and even death.

When exposed or bitten by an animal, whether infected with rabies or not, wash and flush the wound or spot thoroughly with soap and water, detergent or plain water. Then consult your vet to test and observe your dog for 14 days for signs of rabies.

Rabies can threaten your dog’s life as much as yours. So maybe now you understand why it is very important to administer anti-rabies vaccination to your Labrador Retriever. Vaccinate your pet according to local health rules and regulations or check out with your vet for advice on how often and how much should be given to your dog. Some areas require annual vaccination while some allow a three-year vaccine. Proper vaccination and quarantine period is also a requirement when transporting animals between countries. Check out the place of your destination as well as the airline company for rules and regulations in transporting animals.

Every dog owner should know that it is their responsibility to ensure that their dog is well protected and vaccinated to prevent rabies and to prevent their dog’s possible death.