Rabies in Dogs

Initial Symptons

  • Unprovoked abnormal aggression
    (biting two or more people/animals
    without provocation)
  • Abnormal behaviour
  • Restlessness
  • Incoordination and paralysis
  • Lethargy
  • Abnormal vocalization or a change in vocalization (hoarse barking and growling or inability to make a
  • Hyper salivation, excessive salivation or foaming at the edges of the mouth.

At Risk

Rabies causes the deaths of more than 50,000 humans and millions of animals worldwide.

The disease results in fatality.

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a fatal disease caused by infection with the rabies virus which may affect the brain and spinal cord.

The UK is rabies free.
However, sadly rabies is still present in many other countries of the world, including parts of Europe. Dogs travelling to and from any of these countries to the UK will require a pet passport, rabies vaccination, blood tests and boosters.


The incubation period for rabies in dogs, ranges from a few days to several months.

Death usually occurs within 10 days once symptoms start.


Vaccination – The rabies vaccine is classed as an immunising agent.

A deactivated strain of the virus is injected to encourage antibodies to be produced from the dog’s immune system.


How is it spread?

The rabies virus is mainly transmitted from the saliva of a rabid animal when it bites or scratches. 

Licks to wounds, grazes, broken skin, or to the lining of the mouth and nose, can also transmit the virus.


There is no accurate test to diagnose rabies in live animals.

The most accurate test requires brain tissue, which can only be performed after death.


Rabies is fatal. There is no reliable treatment once rabies develops only Palliative care.

Core Vaccinations

Non Core Vaccinations