What You Should Know About Rabies
Do you keep dogs as pets? Are you aware of what happens after your dog bites you or someone else? Do you just hear the word ”rabies” and do not know what it actually means and how deadly it is? Do you love animals, especially dogs, so much that you keep forgetting to be conscious of their actions on you? Do you know what injecting your dogs or your other pets against rabies is? If no, this article will provide you with all the necessary information you need about what rabies is, what causes rabies, the first aid to be given to a victim of animal scratches or bites, and how serious rabies treatment should be taken.
Why Do You Need to Read This Article?
You need to read it because rabies is a fast killer, and the article provides you with reasons you need to act fast in case of bites or scratches from rabid animals. You also need the article because reading it gives you a clue of what to do whenever you find yourself in such a sad situation.
What Exactly Is This Rabies I Have Been Talking About?
Rabies is an extremely deadly virus that spread to humans from the saliva of rabid (infected) animals. Rabid animals are animals that carry rabies; they serve as carriers of the virus. The saliva of these infected animals comes as either a result of bites, scratches, or an animal licking a human’s open wound. It affects the entire central nervous system of humans, causing the person to die. By the time the symptom of rabies begins to manifest, it is always almost impossible to save the person. This is how dangerous rabies could be! In every case of animal bites or scratches, every minute counts.
Animals That Can Transmit the Virus
Animals that have the likelihood of spreading rabies include;
Stray dogs that have been infected
Rabbits and many more mammals.
When these animals (domestic animals and pets) are not given anti-rabies injections, they get infected, and their bites and scratches can be very fatal to any human they come across. Also, it is quite possible that domesticated animals and pets can as well become rabid when they are bitten by other animals that are infected.
How to Identify Rabid (rabies-infected) Animals
Being carriers of the virus seems to be less harmful to these animals, unlike the extreme deadliness with humans. Upon how lovely and adorable animals can be, it is crucial to be cautious whenever you are around them. Also, recognizing animals that are infected is very important as it can help you further distance yourself from them. How then do you recognize rabid animals? How do you know when your adorable pet is rabid? What are the signs to look out for when dealing with animals? Is it possible to detect rabid animals by just staring or looking at them?
Well, medical research holds that you cannot tell if an animal is rabid by merely looking at it. The only way you can be very particular about an animal being rabid or a human being infected by rabies is by running laboratory tests. However, some medical research has provided clues that can help you reach the conclusion that a particular animal is rabid. What are these clues?
- Some of these rabid animals act mad. They act irrationally, very strange, and different from their normal-animal behavior. They become hostile and violent and always try to bite you or other animals at every opportunity.
- Also, some of these animals foam in their mouths. Having rabies increases the production of saliva in their mouth, thereby making them drool.
- The calmness that is so uncharacteristic of wild animals. Research says that most rabid animals become shy and timid. When a wild animal acts so gentle and calm, stay far away from them and domestic animals.
Effects of Rabid Animal Bites Or Scratches On Humans
Humans display the following behaviors when they are bitten by infected animals
- Erratic and irrational behavior
- They suffer from anxiety
- Swallowing problems
- Excess secretion of saliva in their mouths, also known as foaming in the mouth
- Lack of sleep
- Pain and itching around the area of bites
- Loss of appetite
- And when ignored, it leads to death
The manifestations of the signs of rabies in humans range from 2-8 weeks.
Can Rabies Be Cured?
Treatment and First Aid
- After the full manifestations of the symptoms of rabies, it is almost impossible to treat it. In fact, 1 in 100 cases gets cured after the symptoms manifest. This is probably why it is best to look for medical treatment immediately after the bite or scratch. Before getting to the hospital, some first aid measures have been identified, which can slow the effects down. How to treat rabid animal bites.
- Again, rush the victim to the hospital for urgent medical attention and care as death is almost unavoidable when the symptoms begin to appear.
- The next step to treating rabid animal bites is washing the wound with soap and water or iodine immediately after the bite.
- Post-exposure prophylaxis; this is the first treatment issued to anyone infected by a virus within the initial 72 hours after the bite. This treatment is only effective from 1 – 72 hours after the bite. To get this treatment, it is advisable to visit health care centers.
- If you love animals and pets, you should get a rabies vaccination if you encounter bites or scratches or if your pets lick your open wounds.
- Vaccinate your pets with anti-rabies. This act can help you keep a healthy pet and as well as protect you from incidents of rabies.
- Avoid going close to or feeding domestic animals you do not know. This means you should stay away from stray animals like cats and dogs.
- Avoid contact with wild animals; they might not only be carrying rabies but can also feed on you.
- Block every space or holes that house bat in your house.
- Confine your pets, prevent them from leaving your house’s surroundings as they can get bitten by stray rabid animals.
- Soap and water; These have proven effective in cleansing the surface of the wound. It has been identified to be the top and best first aid treatment. Wash the surface of the bite or scratch with soap and water. The soap could be mild or toilet soap or detergent.
- Iodine; Washing wounds with iodine can also be effective in issuing first aid treatment to rabid animals’ bites.
- Vitamin C; People bitten by rabid animals should be given vitamin C and vitamin C rich foods. This would help fight the infection. Fruits like guavas, red pepper, kiwi, fresh herbs, and oranges are the right suppliers of vitamin C to the body.
- Vitamin B; Vitamin B is known for its effectiveness in providing extra strength to the immune system by producing antibodies that help fight infections. Fruits like tomato, watermelon, and pineapple contain vitamin B and should be added to the diet of the victim of the bite.
- Walnut; Medically, it is believed that walnuts neutralize poisons from a rabid dog bite. Add walnuts also to the diet of the victim.
- Garlic; Garlic is known to contain antibiotics capable of improving the rabies infection condition. Make the victim chew some cloves of garlic and watch his/her condition improve.
- Lavender oil; Apply lavender oil to the surface of the wound. It would help speed up the healing process and also cure the after-effects of rabies.
Now That You Know;
It has become very suitable for you to know what causes rabies infection and animals that can transmit the disease. This article has also helped prevent you from being clueless about what to do in cases of rabid animals’ bites. It is challenging to discern rabid animals from animals that are not rabid, except a laboratory test confirms it. However, some characteristic uniformity has been noticed among rabid animals, though these characteristics are few, notwithstanding, they should not be ignored. Also, note that leaving the symptoms of rabies to manifest in humans means death in most cases. Visit the hospital immediately after you encounter a bite from and animal, be it rabid or not; it is better safe than sorry.