Understanding Rabies in Missouri Dog Bite Cases
Rabies is a virus that attacks the brain tissue in mammals, including dogs and humans. It is most often transmitted when one animal bites another animal or a person.
About 90 percent of the 8,000 or so rabies cases reported in the U.S. every year involve wild animals, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Missouri sees approximately 50 total rabies cases per year. The rate of rabies in domestic dogs has decreased in recent years because of the widespread use of effective vaccines. Aggressive quarantining and examination of potentially rabid animals and improved rabies treatments for exposed humans have also helped lower the human death rate from the disease.
Rabies in dogs typically takes one of two forms. The first is “silent” rabies, which is generally not transmitted to humans. Silent rabies is marked by slow movements and a slack jaw, often accompanied by drooling. The slack jaw is caused by paralysis, which makes it impossible for the dog to bite.
The second form of rabies in dogs is “violent” rabies, which accounts for nearly all dog bite rabies cases. Dogs with violent rabies become extremely restless and will often do anything to break out of fencing or other restraints. Once free, they may roam for miles, attacking anything in their path. Dogs with violent rabies will bite, often fiercely, causing heavy damage as well as transmitting the disease.
Even if the dog is healthy, a dog bite can cause a human being severe pain, scarring, nerve damage, and psychological trauma. In the most severe cases, dog bites are fatal. If you or a child you care for has been bitten by a dog, a skilled Missouri dog bite injury attorney at Page Law can help. Call us today at (314) 322-8515 for a free, confidential consultation.