The classical course of canine rabies is divided into three phases:
I. Prodromal phase
II. Excitative (furious) phase
III. Paralytic phase (dumb rabies)
• Behavioural changes may occur.
• Aggressive and highly strung dogs may become friendlier than usual
and ordinarily friendly dogs may become shy and seek secluded areas
or become snappy and irritable.
• The temperature may rise slightly, the pupils may dilate and the
nictitating membrane may cover the eye.
• Excessive salivation may occur.
Excitative (furious) form:
(may last for 1 to 7 days)
• Animals are restless and irritable and have increased
responses to auditory and visual stimuli.
• Become excitable, hyperesthetic and bark or bite imaginary
• Roam aimlessly, becoming more irritable & vicious.
• They may attack others dogs, animals and man; or attacked
by other dogs and transmit the virus.
• Dogs may eat unusual objects (Pica) especially wood/mud.
• The caged dogs often try to bite or attack their enclosure
• Excessive Salivation and Foaming particularly at the angle
• Noise may invite attack. Such animals lose caution and fear
of people and other animals
•Sexual excitement in male, Estrus in female may
also be present.
Later stage (about 5 days) of Furious Rabies:
• Animal avoid human contact and hide in dark/ quiet
• Incoordination, swaying back & disorientation may be
• Change of voice because of pharyngeal paralysis.
• Occasionally affected animal may develop seizures.
• Finally, the animal may suffer a short paralytic stage and
The Paralytic or Dumb Rabies (1-10
Affected animals will develop;
• Incoordination, ataxia, abnormal gait and posture,
• Can’t walk in straight line (sway back syndromes)
• Hanging jaw and salivation
• Unable to eat or drink
• Squinting and dilatation of pupils (giving strange look)
• Abnormal voice (Hoarse sound like jackal in dogs) due to
• At the later stages, recumbency with torticollis, paraplegia,
followed then by coma and death within 4-10 (7) days
Furious rabies can be dangerous, attacking and pursuing
people and other animals.
• Lactation ceases abruptly in dairy cattle.
• The usual placid expression is replaced by one of alertness.
• The eyes and ears follow sounds and movement.
• A common clinical sign is a characteristic abnormal
bellowing, which may continue intermittently until shortly
Horses and Mules
oFrequent distress and extreme agitation
accompanied by rolling, may be interpreted as
evidence of colic.
oAs in other species, horses may bite or strike
viciously and, because of their size and strength,
become unmanageable in a few hours. People have
been killed outright by such animals.
oThese animals frequently have self-inflicted
•Historyof Rabid dog bite (or seeing of
Rabid dog around, couple of days to months
•Presence of Rabies signs/symptoms.
•Detection of Rabies Virus or Viral Antigen.
•Virus amplification .
Treatment (Post-exposure Prophylaxis)
A. Wound treatment
• Thorough & vigorous cleaning/washing of wound with
soap and warm water for at least 5 minute.
• Apply Alcohol (40-70%), Methylated Spirit, Ethanol,
Tincture of iodine, Povidone-iodine or Quaternary
Punctured wound can be washed and cleaned, using
blunt end needle and syringe (pressure cleaning), and
• Infiltration around the wound of Immunoglobulins
(Human source - in particular).
Treatment (Post exposure prophylaxis)
B. Parenteral use of Hyper-immune Anti-rabies Serum
C. Post-exposure anti-Rabies vaccination (Active
NB: Early the treatment - more chances are of evading
the disease. More is the delay in treatment - more
chances are of getting the disease.
For clients whose animal has up-to-date
•Should be revaccinated immediately,
• Kept under the owner’s control, and observed
for 45 days.
•If the animal under observation develops any
signs of illness, it should be euthanized.
For clients with animals OVERDUE for
booster rabies vaccinations
• Same as above.
For a client’s animal that has NEVER been
vaccinated against rabies
•Should be euthanized immediately
•There are no USDA-licensed biologics for
postexposure prophylaxis in previously
unvaccinated domestic animal.
• If the owner is unwilling to have the animal
euthanized, the animal should be placed in strict
quarantine for 4 (dogs and cats) or 6 (ferrets)
months and ( livestock) 6 month.