Q:

How can you identify rabid animals?

A:

Quick Answer

Rabid animals behave abnormally, and since rabies cannot be confirmed without laboratory tests, strange behavior is often the only way to identify potential rabies exposure. Rabies causes animals to foam at the mouth or drool excessively. This is a common way to identify an animal that may be infected. Other signs of rabies include chewing at old wounds, trouble eating or swallowing and difficulty walking.

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Full Answer

Abnormal behavior is the first clue of a rabid animal. Nocturnal animals may be seen during the day. Wild animals may act tame and allow humans to get much closer to them than normal. Domestic animals may seem aggressive or mean.

A definitive rabies diagnosis requires samples to be sent to a lab for testing. Brain tissue is required, so the animal must be euthanized prior to testing. Two samples are needed, preferably one from the brain stem and one from the cerebellum. The samples are analyzed for the rabies virus.

Another way to identify rabies in animals is to rule out the disease. This prevents the unnecessary euthanizing of an uninfected animal. A quarantine period of 10 days is usually sufficient to rule out rabies. If symptoms appear or worsen during that time, lab testing of the animal's brain is required.

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Related Questions

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    What pathogen causes rabies?

    A:

    Rabies is caused by a virus known as the rabies virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this virus belongs to a family of viruses known as the Rhabdoviridae family.

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    How long does the rabies vaccination last?

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    According to Fun Times Guide, rabies vaccinations are considered good or up to date for one to three years, depending on the type of vaccination administered to the animal.

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    What are some rabies symptoms in dogs?

    A:

    Rabies symptoms in dogs include a loss of appetite, a change in normal behavior, consistent aggressive behavior such as barking, growling or attempting to bite or attack other animals, people or objects, foaming at the mouth or choking, the mouth hanging open or paralysis of the jaw and throat muscles. There are three phases of the illness: the prodromal, furious and paralytic phases.

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    What are some dog rabies vaccination side effects?

    A:

    According to VetInfo, a possible side effect of the rabies vaccine is anaphylaxsis, although this happens very rarely. An allergic reaction or cancer located at the injection site is another potential side effect. Behavioral side effects include sudden aggression, anxiety and destructive or compulsive behavior. Other side effects are seizures, muscle weakness, digestive issues and epilepsy.

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