There are two common types of rabies:
Dumb rabies: The animal may become shy or hide or be unusually approachable. This may be followed by sluggishness, confusion and depression.
Furious rabies: The animal may be excitable, irritable or become aggressive. At times it may seem confused and calm, then suddenly attack when approached. It may lose all caution for natural enemies.
Each form of rabies ends with paralysis, coma and death.
Other signs of rabies:
Daytime activity in animals normally active at night
Staggering, weakness and paralysis
A change in the sound in the animal's voice
Inability to eat or drink
Convulsions and frothing at the mouth
If you notice any signs of rabies in an animal, stay away from it and call Animal Control.
Questions and Answers About Rabies
What is rabies?
Rabies is a virus that attacks the nervous system. The virus lives in the saliva and brain tissue of infected animals. Rabies is fatal once it reaches the brain. Rabies can only infect warm-blooded animals.
How is rabies spread?
Rabies is mostly spread through animal bites from infected animals, but can also be spread in other ways. For example, rabies can be spread by scratches from an infected animal or when infected saliva or brain tissue comes in contact with open wounds, broken skin, mucous membranes (eyes, nopse, mouth, etc.).
What do I do if I am bitten by an animal?
Wash the wound thoroughly with warm, soapy water. Notify Animal Control immediately. Notify your physician or go to the nearest emergency room.
How do you find out if an animal that bit me is rabid?
If a dog or cat bit you and it is not showing any abnormal signs then it will go into quarantine for 10 days. If any abnormal signs are noted during the quarantine period, the animal would be destroyed and the brain tested for rabies. If a wild animal bites you, it has to be destroyed and the brain has to be tested for rabies.
For more information about rabies in North Carolina, click here.