Diseases / List of Viral Diseases / Disease description:

Rabies (with special reference to Waterfowl, Hedgehogs, the disease in the UK and notes on Bears and Lagomorphs):

INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL INFORMATION

CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS & PATHOLOGY

INVESTIGATION & DIAGNOSIS

TREATMENT & CONTROL

SUSCEPTIBILITY & TRANSMISSION

ENVIRONMENT & GEOGRAPHY

..

 

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General and References

Disease Summary

GENERAL
  • A severe, frequently fatal, viral polioencephalitis of warm-blooded animals. (B609.2.w2)
  • Acute viral central nervous system disease. (B58.1.w1)
  • Normally a disease of bats and carnivores. (B47)
  • Rarely recorded in birds: not considered natural reservoirs. Infection has been produced experimentally in geese and ducks and virus has been isolated from ducks.
  • In lagomorphs: rabies has been reported in both domestic and wild lagomorphs in the USA.

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Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Hydrophobia
  • Rage
  • Le rage
  • La rabia
  • Derriengue
  • Tollwut
  • Lyssa
  • Rabbia
  • Rabia
  • Raiva
  • Beshenstvo

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Disease Type

 Viral

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Infectious/Non-Infectious Agent associated with the Disease

Rabies virus - Rhabdoviridae, an RNA virus (B58.1.w1)
Pathophysiology
  • The virus enters the body through a wound or via the mucous membranes. (B609.2.w2)
  • Replication of the virus occurs in the myocytes and then the virus spreads to the neuromuscular junction and the neurotendinal spindles. (B609.2.w2)
  • The virus then travels via the intraaxonal fluid within the peripheral nerves to the central nervous system. It spreads throughout the CNS and then finally spreads centrifugally within the peripheral, sensory, and motor neurons. (B609.2.w2)

Infective "Taxa"

Non-infective agents

--

Physical agents

-- Indirect / Secondary

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References

Disease Author

Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5); Gracia Vila-Garcia DVM, MSc, MRCVS (V.w67)

Lagomorphs:
Nikki Fox BVSc MRCVS (V.w103)
Click image for main Reference Section

Referees

John Chitty BVetMed CertZooMed MRCVS (V.w65)

Major References / Reviews

Code and Title List

B12.55.w1,B13.32.w3, B16.19.w1, B47, B58.1.w1

In the UK:
J3
.147.w1, J3.139.w1, J3.154.1
D49

In hedgehogs:
J137.93.w1, J138.61.w1
B22.27.w3, B228.9.w9, B291.12.w12

In bears: 

B336.51.w51
D316
.4.w4
J1
.27.w9, J3.149.w5, J14.34.w1, J14.37.w3
N7
.48.w5, N20.12.w3

In lagomorphs:
B209.1.w1, B601.11.w11, B602.20.w20, B603.1.w1, B606.13.w13, B609.2.w2, J1.33.w19, J4.179.w6

Other References

Code and Title List

J199.22.w1

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Clinical Characteristics and Pathology

Detailed Clinical and Pathological Characteristics

Nervous signs, with two basic forms, rabid and paralytic. 
Clinical Characteristics MAMMALS

Prodromal stage: 

  • Seen in humans – unease, restlessness, apprehension, often with tingling at the site of the bite wound. (B47)
  • May also be noticed in pet animals if closely observed – affectionate individuals may avoid company, nervous animals may become affectionate. (B47)

Excitatory: “furious” form (e.g. in dogs and cats) Aggressive, dangerous, snap at imaginary objects, may try to bite other animals/humans. (B47)

  • Lasts 1-7 days.
  • Restlessness, nervousness, developing viciousness initially towards strangers, later also to e.g. the owner.
  • Often drools and this may be frothy due to heavy rapid mouth breathing.
  • May be altered voice due to partial paralysis of laryngeal musculature.
  • May swallow unusual objects including wood, stones, straw etc..
  • Little interest in food but may show spastic attempts to swallow.
  • May be unable to close eyes, therefore cornea becomes dry and dull.
  • May have staring, far-away look due to pupillary dilatation.

This stage terminates in muscular incoordination and convulsive seizures, sometimes fatal. (B47)

Paralytic or “dumb” form. (e.g. in dogs and cats)

  • Paresis or paralysis, preceding death. Usually lasts only 1-2 days.(B47)
  • Head and neck paralysis first, with mandibular and pharyngeal paralysis. (B47)
  • Ropy saliva drooling from mouth, may mimic signs of a foreign body stuck in the mouth/throat.(B47)
  • Later more generalised paralysis and death in 2-4 days. (B47)
IN HEDGEHOGS:
IN BATS:

In a Myotis daubentonii - Daubenton's bat in the UK:

  • Found during daytime, "grounded" and flapping its wings.
  • Poor general condition.
  • Reluctant to take water, would not feed itself.
  • Dehydrated, weak and lethargic, with occasional bursts of activity.
  • Uncharacteristic bouts of aggression, trying to bite anything.

(J3.155.w1)

IN BEARS:
  • In Ursus americanus - American black bear:

    • Unusual aggression, with an attack on an alpaca, eating it alive, followed by an unprovoked attack on a woman near her house. (N20.12.w3)

    • One bear was found out of the den early (April 1) and the landowner claimed that is appeared to be stalking him. (J14.37.w3)

    • One bear (April 25th) approached close to (within two metres) a woman while she was getting out of her car one night (about 2300 hrs) then, having been driven off by the woman's dogs, followed the dogs to their home. (J14.37.w3)

IN LAGOMORPHS:

Rabbits will usually develop the paralytic form of disease; the furious form is unusual in rabbits. (B602.20.w20)

Initial clinical signs are non specific including:

The disease may then progress to:

  • Mandibular and laryngeal paralysis with a dropped jaw. (B609.2.w2)
  • Inability to swallow (B609.2.w2)
  • Hypersalivation (B609.2.w2)
  • Blindness (B602.20.w20)
  • Posterior paresis. (B609.2.w2)
  • Paralysis of one or more limbs; 
    • Paralysis of the forelimbs has been reported in the rabbit. (B601.11.w11, B602.20.w20, B603.3.w3, B606.13.w13, J4.179.w6)
  • Coma and death (B601.11.w11)
Clinical pathology:
  • There are no characteristic biochemical or haematologic changes. (B609.2.w2)
BIRDS
  • May remain asymptomatic. Short aggressive period, may include jumping, crying, trying to flee, aggression to humans, epileptiform convulsions. Later (24 hours after), ataxia, weakness, falling. Progresses to flaccid paralysis, and by two weeks after first signs somnolence, apathy, compulsive movements and death
  • Spontaneous recovery may occur.

(B12.55.w1, B13.32.w3).

Incubation

  • Incubation period: variable. One week to one year depending on site of inoculation, dose, viral strain, host species.(B47)
MAMMALS

IN HEDGEHOGS:

  • Longer incubation period for experimental infection of Aetechinus algirus algirus (Atelerix algirus - Algerian hedgehog) with three different virus strains than is seen in guinea pigs or rabbits. (J137.93.w1)

IN LAGOMORPHS:

  • In one case in a domestic rabbit, listlessness and anorexia, followed by blindness and forelimb paralysis developed around one month after exposure. (J4.179.w6)
BIRDS Three weeks to eleven months in ducks (B13.32.w3).

Mortality / Morbidity

Fatality rate is high once clinical signs are seen. (B47)
  • A proportion of infected animals do not develop clinical disease but merely seroconvert. (B47)

Pathology

MAMMALS Gross post mortem examination:  
  • No gross pathological changes (B58.1.w1).

Histopathology: 

  • Central nervous system: Inflammatory lesions, similar to those seen with other viral infections.
  • Pons, medulla, brainstem and thalamus generally show the most changes.
  • Neuron degeneration (nuclear and cytoplasmic), neuronophagia, diffuse gliosis.
  • Blood vessels may show perivascular cuffing, also petechiation around vessels
  • Presence of Negri bodies (Cytoplasmic inclusions ) within neurons allows definitive diagnosis.

(B58.1.w1).

IN BEARS:
Histopathology:

  • In an Ursus maritimus - Polar bear: "Moderate to severe mononuclear inflammatory cell cuffing on the vessels and gliosis in the grey matter on the lumbar spinal cord". (J1.27.w9)

IN LAGOMORPHS:

  • Gross: 
    • Generally, gross changes are not seen despite dramatic neurological disease. (B609.2.w2)
  • Histopathology: 
    • Acute to chronic polioencephalitis. (B609.2.w2)
    • As the disease progresses, the non-suppurative inflammatory process in the central nervous system gradually increases in severity. (B609.2.w2)
    • Classic intracytoplasmic inclusions (Negri bodies) may be seen in the large neurons within the brain. (B609.2.w2)
BIRDS

(B12.55.w1, B13.32.w3).

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Human Health Considerations

Zoonosis
  • No recorded cases of human rabies from birds (B13.32.w3).
  • In the UK one case of rabies occurred in 2002 in a bat worker (unvaccinated) who had been bitten by a Myotis daubentonii - Daubenton's bat. (J117.71.w1)
  • Rabies is preventable by pre-exposure vaccination and by timely correct post-exposure treatment. (P52.2003.w1)
  • The risk of EBL infection in people handling bats in the UK is thought to be low. (W49.Oct03.w3) However individuals who are at risk of exposure to Lyssaviruses (including bat handlers in the UK) are highly recommended to get and maintain pre-exposure RABV vaccination. (P52.2003.w1, W49.Oct03.w3)
  • If bitten by a bat in the UK it is recommended that the bite be washed thoroughly with soap and water, followed by cleansing with an alcohol base or other disinfectant, with immediate medical advice being sought after this. (W66.Oct03.w1)
  • Vaccination against rabies is with a vaccine specific for classical rabies virus (RABV); it is thought that the vaccines also give protection against Lyssa viruses carried by bats in Europe (EBLV-1, EBLV2); no-one who has either been immunised against rabies pre-exposure or given proper post-exposure treatment, has died of EBL. (W49.Oct03.w3)

RISK FROM LAGOMORPHS

  • "lagomorphs have never been implicated as a source of a human case of rabies in the United States and are not considered natural reservoirs". (J1.33.w19)
  • "Although naturally occurring cases have been described...bites by rodents and lagomorphs almost never require PEP [postexposure prophylaxis] because these taxa are not significant in rabies epidemiology". (B209.1.w1)
  • "Rabies is reported relatively infrequently in rodents and lagomorphs, and contact with these animals rarely necessitates human postexposure treatment for rabies. However, since the possibility of rabies virus transmission to humans or domestic animals from these animals exists, testing of rodents and lagomorphs for rabies should be considered on a case-by-base basis (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1991; National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, 1994). Local health authorities should be consulted to help evaluate the circumstances leading to the contact and to assess the necessity for postexposure treatment." (J1.33.w19)
  • If rabies is diagnosed in a pet rabbit on post mortem examination, PEP may be indicated for in-contact humans, particularly if syringe feeding has occurred which would have lead to contact with the rabbit's saliva. (B601.11.w11)

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Susceptibility / Transmission

General information on Susceptibility / Transmission

Susceptibility:
  • All warm-blooded animals appear to be susceptible.(B58.1.w1)
  • Variation between species in susceptibility, e.g. foxes are more susceptible than are skunks, raccoons, opossums (B58.1.w1).

IN LAGOMORPHS

  • Species in this order are susceptible to the rabies virus. However, reports of rabies occurring in wild lagomorphs are low and this is thought to be due to their small size and the infrequency with which they would survive injuries sustained by contact with rabid carnivores. (J1.33.w19)
Transmission:
  • Virus persists as a salivary gland infection of carnivorous animals and is present in the saliva (B58.1.w1).
  • Usually transmitted by bites (B13.32.w3, B58.1.w1).
  • Species vary in the about of virus excreted per ml of saliva (B58.1.w1).
  • Transmission has also been recorded without biting, from exposure to a cave full of insectivorous bats (B58.1.w1).

IN LAGOMORPHS

  • Cases of rabies in pet rabbits have been described following raccoon or skunk bites. (B601.11.w11, J4.179.w6)

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Disease / Agent has been reported in either the wild or in captivity in:

GENERAL:
  • Wide variety of mammals including dogs, cats, foxes, skunks, coyotes, jackals, wolves, bats (vampire bat Desmodus rotundus murinus, yellow bat Dasypterus floridanus and various insectivorous bats), cattle. (B58.1.w1)

IN THE UK:

  • Bat lyssavirus 2 has been isolated from a Daubenton's bat (Myotis daubentonii - Daubenton's bat) in the UK. (J3.147.w1)
  • In the UK one case of rabies in a human occurred in 2002 in a bat worker (unvaccinated) who had been bitten by a Myotis daubentonii - Daubenton's bat; it is presumed that the bat was infected with rabies. (J117.71.w1)
  • Screening of 1882 bats of 23 species during a ten year survey (January 1986-December 1995) failed to detect rabies (J3.139.w1)
  • Of more than 150 bats of various species tested for rabies in 1999, none were found to be positive. (D49).
  • Antibodies to EBLV type 2 (EBLV-2) were found in approximately 8% of 96 Myotis daubentonii - Daubenton's bat collected from two sites where there was previous evidence suggesting that positive bats might be found (95% confidence interval 3-16%). Data from 183 Myotis daubentonii - Daubenton's bat sampled at other sites in England and Scotland found about 2% to be EBLV-2 antibody-positive (95% confidence interval 1-5%). No EBLV-2 antibody-positive individuals were found amongst small numbers of bats of other species tested over the same time period. No EBLV-specific RNA was detected in any oral swabs tested by RT-PCR. (J3.154.w1)
  • European bat lyssavirus type 2 (EBLV-2) was detected in an ill juvenile female Myotis daubentonii - Daubenton's bat found grounded during daylight hours in Staines, Surrey in 2004. (J3.155.w1, W27.29Sept04.R1)

IN WATERFOWL: 

  • Ducks, geese (B12.55.w1, B13.32.w3, B16.19.w1). 

IN HEDGEHOGS:

  • Rarely recorded, e.g. three confirmed cases in Erinaceus europaeus - West European Hedgehog in Northern Germany over a period of 15 years. (B22.27.w3)
  • More commonly wrongly suspected in hedgehogs seen "self-anointing", with copious production of frothy saliva. (B228.9.w9, B291.12.w12); or following biting in self-defence. (B22.27.w3, B291.12.w12)
  • No rabies-positive animals among 18 submitted for suspected rabies. (J138.61.w1)
  • One case of rabies reported in a hedgehog out of a total of 1,893 rabies cases reported in Europe October to December 1998. (J197.22.w1)
  • Three cases of rabies reported in hedgehogs [Erinaceus - (Genus)] out of a total of 1693 cases of rabies (1147 from wild animals) during the Third Quarter of 2001 in Europe. (J197.25.w1)
  • One case diagnosed in a "hedgehog" in the eight years 1986-1993 in Croatia (compared with 3454 cases in foxes, 86 in dogs, 80 in cats, 10 in deer, 21 in martens, 11 in badgers, 14 in cattle,36 in sheep, 11 in goats). (J199.22.w1)

IN BEARS:

IN LAGOMORPHS:

  • In the USA
    • In a study of the occurrence of rabies in lagomorphs in the United States, there were 17 cases of rabies in rabbits (11 in Oryctolagus cuniculus domesticus - Domestic European rabbits and 6 unknown) from 1985 to 1994. Infection was due to the predominant rabies virus variant found in terrestrial wildlife. During the period of 1971 to 1984 there were 7 cases of rabies in lagomorphs (4 in Oryctolagus cuniculus domesticus - Domestic European rabbits and 3 in Sylvilagus floridanus - Eastern Cottontail rabbits). (J1.33.w19)
    • Between 1971 and 1997, there were thirty cases of rabies in rabbits reported to the "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" (B602.20.w20, B609.2.w2) The majority of these cases occurred in privately owned domestic rabbits that were located in states that had enzootic or epizootic rabies of the raccoon variant. (B602.20.w20)
    • In one domestic rabbit in Minnesota in 1980, rabies developed after the pet rabbit fought a skunk. (J4.179.w6)

Further information on Host species has only been incorporated for species groups for which a full Wildpro "Health and Management" module has been completed (i.e. for which a comprehensive literature review has been undertaken).

Host Species List

WATERFOWL 
  • (Not specified)

MAMMALS

(List does not contain all other species groups affected by this infectious agent)

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Disease / Agent has been specifically reported in Free-ranging populations of:

GENERAL:
  • Wide variety of mammals including dogs, cats, foxes, skunks, raccoons, coyotes, jackals, wolves, bats. (B58.1.w1)

IN THE UK:

  • Bat lyssavirus 2 has been isolated from a Daubenton's bat (Myotis daubentonii - Daubenton's bat) in the UK (J3.147.w1)
  • In the UK one case of rabies in a human occurred in 2002 in a bat worker (unvaccinated) who had been bitten by a Myotis daubentonii - Daubenton's bat; it is presumed that the bat was infected with rabies  (J117.71.w1)
  • Screening of 1882 bats of 23 species during a ten year survey (January 1986-December 1995) failed to detect rabies (J3.139.w1)
  • Of more than 150 bats of various species tested for rabies in 1999, none were found to be positive (D49).
  • Antibodies to EBLV type 2 (EBLV-2) were found in approximately 8% of 96 Myotis daubentonii - Daubenton's bat collected from two sites where there was previous evidence suggesting that positive bats might be found (95% confidence interval 3-16%). Data from 183 Myotis daubentonii - Daubenton's bat sampled at other sites in England and Scotland found about 2% to be EBLV-2 antibody-positive (95% confidence interval 1-5%). No EBLV-2 antibody-positive individuals were found amongst small numbers of bats of other species tested over the same time period. No EBLV-specific RNA was detected in any oral swabs tested by RT-PCR. (J3.154.w1)
  • European bat lyssavirus type 2 (EBLV-2) was detected in an ill juvenile female Myotis daubentonii - Daubenton's bat found grounded during daylight hours in Staines, Surrey in 2004. (J3.155.w1, W27.29Sept04.R1)

IN HEDGEHOGS:

  • Reported rarely, e.g. three confirmed cases in Erinaceus europaeus - West European Hedgehog in Northern Germany over a period of 15 years. (B22.27.w3)
  • More commonly wrongly suspected in hedgehogs seen "self-anointing", with copious production of frothy saliva. (B228.9.w9); or following biting in self-defence. (B22.27.w3)
  • One case of rabies reported in a hedgehog out of a total of 1,893 rabies cases reported in Europe October to December 1998. (J197.22.w1)
  • Three cases of rabies reported in hedgehogs (Erinaceus - (Genus)) out of a total of 1693 cases of rabies (1147 from wild animals) during the Third Quarter of 2001 in Europe. (J197.25.w1)
  • One case diagnosed in a "hedgehog" in the eight years 1986-1993 in Croatia (compared with 3454 cases in foxes, 86 in dogs, 80 in cats, 10 in deer, 21 in martens, 11 in badgers, 14 in cattle,36 in sheep, 11 in goats). (J199.22.w1)

IN BEARS:

IN LAGOMORPHS:

  • During the period of 1971 to 1984 there were three cases of rabies in wild indigenous lagomorphs in the United States (all in Sylvilagus floridanus - Eastern Cottontail rabbits). However, there were no reports of rabies in wild, indigenous rabbits between 1985 and 1994. (J1.33.w19)

Further information on Host species has only been incorporated for species groups for which a full Wildpro "Health and Management" module has been completed (i.e. for which a comprehensive literature review has been undertaken).

Host Species List WATERFOWL
  • --

MAMMAL

(List does not contain all other species groups affected by this infectious agent)

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Environment/Geography

General Information on Environmental Factors/Events and Seasonality

Rabies (arctic fox strain) in two Ursus americanus - American black bear in Ontario was detected in April, soon after the bears emerged from winter hibernation, suggesting either innoculation before denning but very slow development of infection during hibernation, infection by a rabid fox entering the den and biting the hibernating bear, or infection after leaving the den (however this seems unlikely the time of probable emergence from the den to the appearance of clinical rabies (as indicated by unusual behaviour) was less than the recorded incubation period of 16-25 days for high dose inoculation. Of the five other cases reported in Ontario bears, one was in March and three others in May (the fifth was in November). The seasonality recorded suggests a possible link with hibernation in this species, such as onset of clinical disease being triggered by stress in the poor nutritional period following emergence from the den, or increased susceptibility at this time. (J14.37.w3)

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded

The UK is “rabies free” and has been free of classical rabies (RABV, Lyssavirus genotype 1) since 1902 (P52.2003.w1). However the possibility of rabies entering the country should never be forgotten. Among wildlife species, rabies is most likely to be encountered in bats (D49). 

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded in Free-ranging populations

  • In lagomorphs: the United States. (J1.33.w19)

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General Investigation / Diagnosis

General Information on Investigation / Diagnosis

  • Clinical signs are considered characteristic and may allow suspicion but are not pathognomonic. (B47, B58.1.w1)
  • Diagnosis normally requires histopathology:
    • Presence of Negri bodies (Cytoplasmic inclusions) within neurons allows definitive diagnosis. N.B. these are not present in all confirmed rabies cases.
    • Diagnosis may also be made using fluorescent rabies antibody test (immunofluorescence microscopy using fluorescein-tagged conjugates to test for the presence of rabies virus antigen in sections of brain tissue) and by mouse inoculation tests.

    (B47, B58.1.w1)

  • In the USA, the standard test is direct fluorescent-antibody (DFA) test of the brain and spinal cord; a weak positive DFA requires repeat testing and, if a second DFA is still equivocal, further testing, such as virus isolation or polymerase chain reaction (PCR). (N7.48.w5)

N.B. for diagnosis, the head of a suspect animals should be sent to a specialist laboratory (B47, B58.1.w1).

IN BEARS:

  • In an Ursus maritimus - Polar bear
    • Immunoperoxidase test was positive for the virus antigen in the lumbar spinal cord and Gasserian ganglion sections. (J1.27.w9)
    • Positive mouse inoculation test. (J1.27.w9)
    • Note: the fluorescent antibody test was negative. (J1.27.w9)
    • No Negri bodies were found in the spinal cord; no histological lesions were found in the brain. (J1.27.w9)
    • In an Ursus maritimus - Polar bear, the fluorescent antibody test was negative. (J1.27.w9)
WATERFOWL Histopathology. N.B. Negri bodies are not regularly found and encephalitis may not be apparent early in the clinical course of the disease. Send to specialist laboratory (B12.55.w1, B13.32.w3).
LAGOMORPHS "Lagomorphs should be evaluated when the behavior of the animal and the human or domestic animal contact suggest a risk of rabies infection". (J1.33.w19)
Direct Immunofluorescent Antibody Test
  • This is a rapid and sensitive test. 
  • Collect the sample: brain, head, or the entire body if it is a small rabbit. 
  • Chill the sample immediately
  • Submit to an appropriate laboratory for rabies diagnosis
  • Precautions: extreme care must be taken when collecting, handling and shipping the specimen. 

(B609.2.w2)

Related Techniques

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Similar Diseases (Differential Diagnosis)

A variety of other diseases including distemper [Canine Distemper], hepatitis, listeriosis [Listeriosis], tetanus, botulism [Avian Botulism] and some parasitic infections as well as some plant and chemical toxins may cause signs similar to those seen in rabid animals (B58.1.w1).

IN LAGOMORPHS:

  • Any neurological disease including
    • Otitis interna/media
    • Brain abscess
    • Brain tumour
    • Encephalitis
    • Aberrant parasitic migration
    • Lead poisoning
  • Head wound 
  • Tetanus
  • Choking
  • Lead poisoning

(B609.2.w2)

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Treatment and Control

Specific Medical Treatment

"Wild mammalian rabies suspects should be euthanized immediately because there is no recommended observation period as with domestic species." (B209.1.w1)
Related Techniques

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General Nursing and Surgical Techniques

Immediate washing of a bite wound and flushing with soap and water, detergent or water alone is recommended (B47, B58.1.w1).
Related Techniques

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Preventative Measures

Vaccination
  • Commonly used in domestic pets in endemic areas (B58.1.w1).
  • Inactivated vaccines injected intramuscularly appear to be safe and effective in various species (B58.1.w1).
  • Also used in humans at high risk of exposure.(B58.1.w1).
  • Oral vaccination has been used to control and even eliminate rabies from wild populations of e.g. foxes in some areas.

IN BEARS:

  • Vaccination is used to prevent rabies in bears. (B336.51.w51)

IN LAGOMORPHS:

  • In the USA, there is currently no approved vaccine for use in rabbits. (B601.11.w11, B602.20.w20) However, in areas where this disease is endemic, some veterinarians have vaccinated rabbits using a killed vaccine in accordance with the standard recommendations for cats and dogs. (B609.2.w2)
Prophylactic Treatment
  • Post-exposure prophylactic treatment with human-origin rabies immune globulin is used in humans bitten by a suspected rabid animal (B47, B58.1.w1).
Related Techniques

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Environmental and Population Control Measures

General Environment Changes, Cleaning and Disinfection IN LAGOMORPHS:
  • In pet rabbits (particularly in areas where rabies is enzootic or epizootic), exposure to the wildlife reservoir of disease should be limited by housing the rabbits indoors or housing outdoors but preventing any contact with wildlife. (B601.11.w11, B602.20.w20, B609.2.w2)

Disinfection of contaminated areas or utensils

  • Use a 1:32 dilution (four ounces per gallon) of a household bleach to thoroughly disinfect contaminated cages, food dishes etc. Household bleach at this dilution will quickly inactivate the virus. (B609.2.w2)
Population Control Measures Reduction in population density of wild animal populations, by a variety of lethal methods, has been used to control rabies, particularly when outbreaks have occurred in certain populations (B58.1.w1).
Isolation, Quarantine and Screening Quarantine has been used to prevent the entry of rabies into rabies-free countries such as UK, Australia and New Zealand.
Related Techniques

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