The Pseudorabies in dogs
Pseudorabies is a fatal viral disease which is found in swines but can be easily transmitted to dogs, along with cattle, cats and other domestic mammals. Pseudorabies is also known as mad itch or Aujeszky’s disease. In dogs, this virus is also known as Suid Herpesvirus and can be a very fatal disease if that dog is in contact with a swine. Though this virus is not very common but it may be common in those dogs that live on farm land or ranches. Dogs with Suid Herpesvirus die almost immediately, even before the owner can check for any symptoms or guess whether something is wrong with their dog or not.
Pseudorabies is also known as ‘mad itch’ because of the intense itching it causes. This is one of the most extreme and visible symptoms of this viral disease and it can become very severe in canines and felines. Suid Herpesvirus can target any breed, gender and age of dog and you may find this disease common in the countryside where there are farms and ranches. Even the wild rabbits and raccoons may catch this virus on the farm and then spread it everywhere. Swine are the main carrier of Pseudorabies and a dog may get this disease if it is in contact with swine. A swine may shed this disease through its saliva, nasal discharge, urine and feces. If a dog sniffs, licks any of these excretion of the swine, it may catch it. Apart from that, a dog might even catch it through air because this virus can spread through sniffing the air as well. The virus may live for 7 hours in the air and may be present up till 2km of the swine. The virus can also survive on the grassland, water, feed for 2 to 4 days. A dog may also catch this virus by eating uncooked or under cooked swine meat, or by killing or attacking rats and raccoons on the farm.
Dogs with Pseudorabies usually don’t show symptoms and die almost immediately. However the symptom which a dog can show is severe itchiness. The dog will scratch and lick itself all day and night and will become very restless. The dog may breathe heavily and will pant a lot, there will be excess salivation, nasal discharge, the dog will high body temperature and will vomit as well. A dog with Suid Herpesvirus may also show weird neurological changes. Your dog will look somewhere else and will walk somewhere else, your dog will become lazy and will be lying excessively, won’t even respond when you will call it. Your dog will have depression, won’t move much, ataxia and lethargy. According to reports, cases of coma and seizures are also seen in dogs with Pseudorabies.
The treatment for Pseudorabies
If you notice any of these symptoms then it is important for you to take your dog to your vet immediately without delaying any further because this viral disease can be extremely fatal. Your vet can diagnose this by physical examination, symptoms, by asking a few questions from you and also by some blood tests which can tell the presence of Pseudorabies virus organisms. If sudden death occurs in your dog, your vet will do a post mortem through which the virus can be revealed by testing brain tissues.
There is no treatment or cure for the Pseudorabies and the scientist and vets are still on a search for curing it. However in order to prevent your dog from this infection or other animals at your home or farmland, giving them the regular vaccine is very important. Keep your environment clean, change water and feed on the daily basis. Set up traps and barriers to prevent rats, wild rabbits and raccoons from entering your territory.