How do I know if my dog has hydrophobia. What can I do if dog bites me?
The clinical symptoms of hydrophobia can delay for weeks or months. Incubation period depends on the place of the body where it is located. From a leg or a paw, the virus enters the peripheral nervous system, and goes to the central nervous system, originating clinical symptoms. At the beginning, the dog's barking could sound different, and there are changes in personality, the dog won't getaggressive immediately in all cases. Then follows a neck muscle paralysis, causing difficulties in swallowing, as well as a segregation of infectious saliva. Dogs do not show their great fear for water (hydrophobia), as humans affected by terminal phases of the disease. Instead of that, convulsions and coma usually precede death. To be infected with hydrophobia, it is not necessary suffering a bite previously, the virus expands also through saliva before the symptoms appear. This is in fact the most dangerous period for the owner. Any cut on your hand if contaminated with saliva, can give access to the virus into your body. If your are bitten by a dog, probably infected, wash the cut immediately using alcohol, or rinse under a running water, and use iodine to treat the wound. Once symptoms have appeared, probabilities of recovery are practically nil. Some wild animals, suffering of hydrophobia, may seem friendly, so they are very dangerous. If symptoms of the disease are most feared in carnivorous, hydrophobia is also fatal for herbivorous, like cows.
However, the major source of infection for humans are dog bites.