In last month’s article we dis – cussed how separation anxiety is presented in canines and felines. As promised in the forementioned article, in this month’s segment we will be discussing a general treatment plan that can be imple – mented if you feel that your furry companion may be experiencing separation anxiety.
Primarily, it is carried within wildlife, especially bats, and then can be transferred to your pet during an encounter, where bites or wounds take place and saliva enters the site of impact. Similarly, if an infected animal were to bite a human, it would give precedent for possible rabies infection spread.
The most common physical signs that your dog or cat may display is behaviour change and increased vocalization. This means that your pet may show excessive aggressiveness, hiding constantly, irritability and even extreme excitability. Your furry companion may show lameness in their gait. Depending on each animal, these signs could present themselves as very acute and quick to take place, or they could also take their time and progressively develop over a period. Classically, there are two main forms of this disease that are known to present within the patient. The first form is called the ‘Dumb Form’. In this, the patient mainly presents with salivating from the mouth excessively and may find it difficult to swallow in general. The second form is called the ‘Furious Form”. This form presents more behavioural issues of being very anxious and aggressive. These animals may also experience seizures and unfortunately, become paralysed in the process.
Typically, if any animal is suspected to have Rabies, the ideal and standard method of diagnosing includes testing the brain and sending it to a laboratory for confirmed analysis. However, there are many different protocols set in place for different case scenarios for certain animals or pets that have been potentially exposed. If your pet is unvaccinated and has seemed to encounter this disease, the options are plain and simple. Depending on if any symptoms are present and the condition of the animal, either legally it will be euthanized and a brain sample will be sent for testing, or your pet will be placed in a quarantine situation for four months. However, they will be given a rabies vaccination upon their entry into this quarantine period. If your pet is fully vaccinated with the Rabies vaccine and is up to date with its current one, then a booster rabies vaccination will be administered right away, and the owner will be responsible for keeping their pet in quarantine and strict observation for up to 45 days. Any pets that have taken the rabies vaccine before, however are now overdue for their current one during a situation like this, will need to show proof of such from their owners. Once proof of vaccination has been presented, the animal will receive a booster Rabies vaccination and again be kept under strict quarantine and observation by their owner for 45 days.
Protocols also extend towards animals who may be exposed and have bitten humans. If that dog or cat is overall very healthy, whether it has received a rabies vaccine prior or not, legally it will need to be quarantined for 10 days. The 10- day mark is important, as it is the average time in which aggressive signs of rabies in animals may present themselves. However, this healthy animal at the time will not receive any rabies vaccine. This incident will legally be reported to the local health department once any new symptoms, indicating Rabies, have taken place. If symptoms do arise, then euthanasia and a brain sample submission will be given. If the animal that bit the human is a stray or unwanted dog or cat, then immediate euthanasia and rabies testing will occur.
We highly recommend that it is very important to always keep track of your pet’s vaccination status and have them up to date on all their vaccines. Unfortunately, in situations like this, the biggest regret that most pet owners will experience is not being up to date on their pet’s rabies vaccination and thus having the animal suffer the consequences.