Dogs may be man’s best friend, but they can also be very dangerous when they’ve been infected with rabies. Rabid dogs can be unpredictable and vicious, and their bite can be deadly. Understanding the seriousness of rabies, recognizing the signs, and knowing how to pursue treatment are critical to protecting you and your loved ones.
Rabies is caused by a virus spread through the saliva or brain/nervous system tissue. As a result, the majority of rabies cases in humans originate via the bite of an infected animal. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), dog bites contribute to approximately 99% of all human rabies transmissions.
Once a victim has been infected, the rabies virus attacks the central nervous system. If left untreated, rabies can cause both the brain and the spinal cord to become severely inflamed, leading to disorientation, disease in the brain, and death. The earliest symptoms of rabies in humans are fever, headache, a general sense of weakness, and some general discomfort. A tingling or burning sensation may be detected at the wound site. If the victim does not seek medical attention, more serious symptoms will appear. These may include anxiety, confusion, hallucinations, difficulty swallowing, sleeplessness, and partial paralysis, amongst other things. Ultimately, the disease can lead to death. It is very important to seek treatment right away because once a person begins to display symptoms of the disease, the chances of survival are extremely slim.
Recognizing a Rabid Dog
Although dogs are legally required to be vaccinated against rabies, there are still a high number of people who are exposed to rabies via dog bites. It’s critical, then, that you know how to recognize a rabid dog. In many instances, a dog that has been infected with rabies may foam at the mouth, have seizures, act confused or disoriented, make strange vocal noises, or display aggressive behavior. Unfortunately, though, you can’t always tell whether or not a dog has rabies just by looking at it. Because of this, it’s important to treat every dog bite seriously.
Dealing with a Rabid Dog
If you find yourself in the path of a dog that appears to be rabid, you should do everything in your power to avoid coming into contact with the animal. Never try to approach a dog that is acting strangely or seems aggressive. If the dog appears to be moving in your direction, try to put a solid object between yourself and the creature. Back away slowly, as a dog may chase you if you run, and a dog can outrun you. As soon as you are safe, call the authorities to report the animal and prevent it from biting anyone in the future.
What to Do If Bitten by a Rabid Dog
In the event that you or a loved one have been bitten by a rabid dog, you should wash the wound vigorously with soap, and then immediately seek out medical attention. You will likely need to undergo a series of vaccinations in order to prevent illness and/or death. Once you have received the proper medical care, it’s smart to call a personal injury attorney who can help you receive just compensation for your losses.
The experts at Mintz Law Firm take dog bites and exposure to the rabies virus very seriously. We have extensive experience in dealing with cases like these and we are prepared to help you fight your case after being wrongfully bitten, whether you have been exposed to rabies or not. Don’t wait to receive treatment or to reach out for help. Give us a call to learn more and get started on your case today.