What are the signs of rabies in animals?

Behavioral changes characterize the signs and symptoms of an animal that is infected with rabies. Symptoms at first, can be so subtle they are not recognized as signs of rabies infection, especially because the infected animal may look healthy. Behavioral changes such as the following are all signs you might observe in a sick animal:

  • Hind quarters paralysis
  • A marked change in voice
  • A staggering "drunken" gait 
  • Refusing to eat or drink

Wild animals may lose their fear of natural enemies or people and appear friendly. A normally friendly pet may become withdrawn and irritable. As the disease progresses, the animal may become aggressive, snapping at anything in its path, you may witness "frothing" at the mouth and convulsions which lead to death. This disease also mimics many other animal diseases such as the following and can only be diagnosed by a lab:

  • Canine distemper
  • Concussion
  • Feline parvo
  • Parasite infestation 
  • Poisoning
  • Trauma

Show All Answers

1. What are the signs of rabies in animals?
2. How do people become exposed to rabies?
3. How can I protect myself, my family and my pets from rabies?