Rabies is a fatal infection and Labrador is the main source of transmission. It is important to take care of rabies prevention. But it is really an overreaction and unreasonable to avoid and fear your Labrador or even abandon your pet irresponsibly when you hear about rabies.

Labrador is a good friend of human beings. Compared to other animals, Labradors are more humane. Nowadays, many families keep Labrador to accompany their family. However, there are often many incidents in the news where Labradors hurt people. After being bitten by a Labrador, a person’s first reaction is, “Oh, no, I won’t get rabies, will I? So, does “being bitten by a Labrador” necessarily mean that you will get rabies? Is rabies only effective for Labrador? Let’s talk about it today.

Can I get rabies from a Labrador bite
Can I get rabies from a Labrador bite

The origin of rabiesRabies is caused by the rabies virus. This invisible creature has a huge appetite, including flying bats, foxes, and wolves running on the ground, and prefers “mammals”, almost all of which are its targets. Labradors are most closely related to us, with 95% of human rabies being caused by Labrador transmission. Unfortunately, they have become synonymous with rabies. When rabies occurs, the nervous system is destroyed and spasms occur. There seems to be a clinical manifestation of “fear of wind and water,” which is why rabies was also called “hydrophobia” in ancient times.

Can I get rabies from a Labrador bite?

First, let’s understand the pathogenesis of rabies. The rabies virus is highly neurotropic, replicating in the muscle tissue of the bite, then invading the external nervous system through motor nerve endings, migrating along nerve axons to the central nervous system, proliferating in the dorsal root ganglia, and then invading the spinal cord and the entire central nervous system. It proliferates in the CNS, leading to severe progressive encephalomyelitis. The virus continues to spread to the peripheral nerves and drains into the saliva, and eventually death often occurs due to respiratory and circulatory failure.

Can I get rabies from a Labrador bite?
Can I get rabies from a Labrador bite?

How can I tell if a pet is infected with rabies?There are usually abnormal moods and behaviors, such as irritability, salivation at the corners of the mouth, aggression, and biting at live animals. However, confirmation from a professional laboratory is needed to determine if rabies is indeed infected. The incubation period of rabies is the period from infection to the onset of disease without symptoms, mostly 1-3 months.

Being bitten and scratched by a rabies-infected Labrador is the most common form of infection. Infected animals can also transmit the virus by licking mucous membranes or unhealed wounds such as the mouth and eyes. The rabies virus is contained in the saliva secreted by the diseased animal. Once the integrity of our skin is compromised by scratching or biting, or if our wounds or mucous membranes are licked, the virus may pass through exposed peripheral nerves and reach the central nervous system, causing morbidity and mortality in humans.

In other words, this infection process can only occur when direct contact between damaged human skin and a Labrador carrying the rabies virus occurs when both conditions are met. Therefore, being bitten by a Labrador is not a sufficient necessary condition for developing rabies, and the risk of rabies exposure can only exist if there is contact with an animal suspected of being infected with rabies.

How can I tell if a pet is infected with rabies
How can I tell if a pet is infected with rabies

How to prevent rabies

First of all, if a Labrador bites you and your immune background is clear, you can use the “10-day observation method”. If the Labrador does not die within ten days, it does not have rabies and the Labrador owner is not at risk, so the vaccination can be stopped.

Second, even after a rabies exposure, as long as the “three steps”, timely medical care, and standardized immunization procedures, rabies can also be 100% prevented. Rinse the wound immediately. The virus on the wound can be removed with running water and the virus on the surface can be killed with soap. Inject rabies immunoglobulin. For bleeding wounds, the virus may have entered the interior of the wound. The virus within the wound can be removed by penetrating and injecting rabies immunoglobulin around the wound.

Vaccination. With timely, standardized vaccinations, our bodies produce antibodies specifically designed to destroy the virus, giving us a “get-out-of-jail-free” card. Rabies vaccination gives us a “get-out-of-jail-free” card. Although the death rate from rabies virus infection is 100%, the protection rate is also 100% when rabies is detected and treated post-exposure.

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