Great dane health : the rabies

A dangerous disease

The rabies is a viral disease caused by a virus of the Rhabidoviridae family and of Lyssavirus type. It can infect all mammals and it's on all the continents.

The virulent substance is in the saliva, so the main way of infection is the bite of a rabid animal. But the rabies can be given by scratches or licking. The handling of dead animals can be infecting, because the virus keeps its virulence on the carcass during some hours. The virus is fragile out so it become inactive after some hours maximum. The virus can't cross a healthy skin ( no cut, no scratch).

The rabies is a dangerous dicease because always deadly after the first signs seen. It reaches the nervous system and it and causes a encephalitis or a myelitis.

The extrem theoric limit of the virulence of the saliva is 14 days before the appearance of the symptoms on the animal. In 80% of the cases, the virus is present in the organism only some hours to three days before the appearance of the first symptoms and an infected animal can begin to produce the virus up to 15 days before the first clinical symptoms. The virus is present at that time in all the secretions of the animal, in its saliva of course but also in its faeces.


For the dog, two kind of rabies are possible :


No treatment exists. It's a 100% incurable and deadly disease when the first symptoms are seen.

However, it's possible to prevent of the desease but only before the appearance of the first symptoms. As proved by Louis Pasteur in 1885, it's only possible to act during the incubation period by giving a curative vaccination.

The only way to act is so the prevention, from which the interest to vaccinate regularly the dogs.

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