For a long time, dogs have been considered man’s best friend. Dogs are companions that give unconditional love and attention. These are qualities that we reward with love, care, and protection. Most dog owners provide care to their dogs as if he or she was their own child so it can be a difficult time when a dog gets sick. One virus that is uncommon but important to know is Pseudorabies, because it is invariably fatal.
As a pet owner, knowing about the Pseudorabies virus will leave you more prepared when it comes to taking the necessary actions if it occurs.
The Pseudorabies virus, also known as the “mad itch” virus, is a rare virus that dogs and cats can contract. Dogs who live on a farm and who come in contact with swine are more likely to become infected. Other than coming in contact with these animals, dogs can also get the virus from eating contaminated, raw meat or by ingesting an infected rat.
Unfortunately, many times there are no symptoms of the Pseurodabies virus, but if the symptoms do occur, the most common one is excessive itching. This is why the Pseudorabies virus is also called the “mad itch” virus.
When your dog becomes infected with the Pseudorabies virus, there are two forms and courses that the virus can take. If your dog has the classic form, then the virus lasts between 24 and 36 hours during which the infection is fatal in almost every case. In the atypical form of Pseudorabies, the virus lasts for more than 36 hours and is also fatal in almost every case.
When handling or treating a dog with the “mad itch” virus, there is a probability that the virus can be attracted by humans, even though this too is rare. This is why when you or anyone else who is handling your dog, needs to be careful and wear protective gear. Protective gear such as gloves can go a long way to ensure there is no skin to skin contact.
It may be difficult to prevent the “mad itch” virus because if you live on a farm, then your dog is around swine all the time. The best thing you can do is be mindful of your dogs and ensure they stay away from the swine. This could include building a larger, more secure area for the swine so the dogs cannot go near them or putting the swine away from the house and any other area that you know your dogs go to.
Another way to keep your dog safe from the Pseudorabies virus is to not give them uncooked pork. Your dog should always be on a healthy diet with foods that help them, not harm them.
As previously mentioned above, there are rarely signs and symptoms that can be associated with the Pseudorabies virus. The major sign is excessive itching.
In addition to excessive itching, your dog may also exhibit some or all of the following: fever, vomiting, rapid and labored breathing, and excessive salivation. These are just a few of the physical symptoms to be aware of, but your dog can also experience neurological behavior changes. Some of these symptoms include depression, reluctance to move, lethargy, self-mutilation from scratching, and convulsions.
One of the specifications of Pseudorabies that was mentioned above is the amount of time the virus can last and cause potential and sudden death. So the moment you notice anything wrong or strange about the way your dog is behaving, it is time to bring your companion into your trusted vet at Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital & Emergency.
We are easily accessible from the areas of Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, and areas nearby Ventura County. When you bring your dog in, we will perform a thorough examination, all the while eliminating other possible viruses to get down to the main one that has infected your dog.
We love animals just as much as you do which is why we are available to you seven days a week. Please do not hesitate to bring your companion to us to ensure they receive the best possible care and treatment. Contact us today with any questions or to make an appointment