Rabies is in the news again. A rabies-infected horse was reported in Virginia last week. I posted a link to the story on the Facebook page, and this started a discussion about the two forms of rabies; "dumb" and "furious."
When people think of rabies, they most often picture the "furious" (as in Old Yeller) version. Frothing mouth, crazy behavior.
It is often the lesser-know "dumb" form that has a more hidden potential for human exposure to rabies. With "dumb" rabies, animals are subdued; wild animals even appearing tame. People may be more inclined to pet, feed, or care for wild animals who appear tame.
For domestic animals who appear depressed, as with the horse in the news story, other causes of illness may be suspected/treated first. There have been many human exposures to rabies via feral-now-tame cats, as well.
Learn more: Rabies Q & A
Readers Respond: Are your pets vaccinated regularly?
- Rabies vaccinations - 1 year or 3 year?
- Vaccinations - why is the same dose given to dogs and cats regardless of size?
Photo: Two Dogs chefjancris on Flickr