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What are the symptoms of Rabies after dog bite?

Rabies is a virus that affects the nerves and brain and causes serious disease. The virus is transmitted to humans through a bite or scratch from an infected animal.

If the bitten person is treated immediately, Rabies can be prevented. However, if there is a delay in treating the person, the person can develop rabies which is almost always fatal.

Even though the number of human cases of Rabies is extremely low in the United States if they are not treated before the symptoms start appearing it could become deadly.

As a disease Rabies has a mortality rate of 99.9% which is the highest for any disease on the earth. The key to avoiding getting rabies is to immediately start treatment if one believes they have been exposed to a rabid animal.

How is Rabies caused? How does it spread?

In most cases, Rabies is caused when a person is bitten or scratched by an infected animal. In the United States, many wild animals like coyotes, raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes are rabid.

However, nearly all human infections are caused by the virus they get from pet dogs. Therefore the best way to avoid the spread of rabies is to get the pets vaccinated for Rabies.

Also read: Why having pets is good for mental health

What are the symptoms of Rabies after a dog bite?

The first signs or symptoms of rabies appear generally after a few days to more than a year after the dog bite occurs.

It begins with a tingling, prickling, or itching feeling around the area of the bite. The victim may also suffer from flu-like symptoms like having a fever, headache, pain in the muscles, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, and tiredness.

After a few days of the initial symptoms, neurological symptoms start developing. Some of the common neurological symptoms are:

  • irritability or aggressiveness in nature
  • unwanted bodily movements or anxiety
  • confusion in mind
  • having weird or strange thoughts
  • having hallucinations
  • spasms in the muscle 
  • seizures (convulsions)
  • paralysis partial or complete
  • high sensitivity towards bright lights, sounds or touch

In some cases, persons suffering from rabies may produce a lot of saliva and because of muscle spasms in their throat, they may find it difficult to swallow. This “foaming at the mouth” effect is associated with rabies infection. 

What are the medical actions after a dog bite? Is rabies curable?

If you’ve been a dog bite victim, tend to the injury immediately to reduce the risk of any infection. Try to study the wound to determine the severity of the bite. If you are in a position to administer first aid on your own do it immediately. If you are hurt and not able to tend to yourself take immediate medical treatment.

After you have been administered first aid or have been taken to a safe distance away from the dog, try to find out if the dog that bit you had been vaccinated against rabies or not.

Get in touch with the owner or try to find out from the people around about the dog and its history. It is important to determine if you have been bitten by a dog that may be rabid or not.

If you have been bitten by a dog and fear being exposed to the rabies virus, there are a series of injections that can be taken to prevent the infection from setting in.

Rabies immunoglobulin helps create an immediate dose of rabies antibodies which helps fight the infection, preventing the virus from getting a foothold. Next, get a rabies vaccine to avoid getting the disease. The rabies vaccine involves taking a series of five shots over a period of 14 days.

Animal control can help find the dog that bit you and get it tested for rabies. If the tests confirm the dog is not rabid, you can avoid the series of rabies shots.

Getting a rabies vaccination is the safest way to prevent the infection. The doctors treating you will wash the wound with soap and water, detergent, or iodine for at least 15 minutes.


California Dog Bite Law

The United States witnesses around 4.7 million dog bite cases each year. Out of which nearly 800,000 dog bites require medical care and attention.

If you are a victim of a dog bite accident, you can recover damages for your injuries and losses.

After you have been bitten by a dog and have received the required medical care, it is advisable to get in touch immediately with an experienced California dog bite lawyer. 

As per the California dog bite law, California is a “strict liability” state with regards to dog bites and attacks.  Strict liability means California does not follow the “one bite rule” or disputed liability. 

If you or your family member has been a victim of a dog bite, contact our team of experienced lawyers at Khashan Law Firm.

Over the last several years, we have been successfully representing and winning dog bite cases for our clients. The emotional trauma and stress experienced by the victim can last for a lifetime. With our vast knowledge and experience, we ensure that our clients receive fair compensation for their damages.


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