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Rabies is a vicious disease, for which there is no cure, so it is imperative that rabbit dogs be up to date on their shots. Hunting with your dogs is a fun experience, but they are more likely to come across wild animals when on the hunt. Rabies not only poses a danger to dogs, but it is a disease that can be just as lethal to humans, so it is also important for hunters to be careful of wild animals when hunting.
What is rabies?
Rabies is a virus that attacks the nervous system, and eventually finds its way into the brain. Because it is a slow-moving virus, it can take months, sometimes years, for the virus to move from the central nervous system to the brain. Once the disease enters the brain, death can occur within 2 to 10 days after symptoms begin to show.
Can rabbits get rabies?
Rabies infection in rabbits is rare, although the virus can infect every warm-blooded mammal. A rabbit that gets rabies may have bitten by another animal. The animals that you\'ll have to worry contracting rabies from are other small animals like raccoons, possum, etc., but there are certain signs when it comes to spotting an irregular rabbit. You\'ll know when to keep your dog away from a rabbit when it exhibits signs of paralysis, excessive salivating, or a slack or open jaw. Treat rabbits as any other animal; if you notice them acting funny in anyway, it is best to keep your distance. Even though your dog may be current on its rabies shots, it is still best to keep your canine friend away from any animal that exhibits abnormal behavior.
Spotting Other Animals
Where there are rabbits, coyotes and foxes may not be far behind, so it is important to be vigilant in spotting lurking predators. It is not only important for your sake, but for your dog as well, since predators like coyotes are primary carriers of rabies.
The best way to prevent rabies infection is through vaccination, but there are other simple measures you can take. When your dog is not hunting, avoid contact with unfamiliar pets around the neighborhood, and try not to attract wild animals in your backyard. Small animals like raccoons and possum may try to get into your backyard if they detect open food sources like dog food. If your dog is an outside pet, keep all food and water close to the house, and make sure everything is freshly sealed. This will also prevent the likelihood of rodent infestation.
If Your Dog Is Bitten
If you find that your hunting dog has been bitten or scratched in anyway, it best to take them to a vet immediately. There are a variety of pet-based first aid kits, so that is something to have on hand when going on a hunting excursion. However, it is always best to treat the wound yourself, followed by a visit to the vet to be on the safe side.