Canine Rabies has been eliminated in the United Kingdom. No cases of the disease have been found in the UK since 1902 and the last reported case from animals being brought into the country was in 1946.
The very word "rabies" fills one with fear. Because I live in the UK, I have never seen a real live case of this disease, but I do know that it will turn a normally placid and gentle dog into a killer.
Most countries, though, still have to be careful of their dogs catching the disease, which is almost always fatal and can be spread between dogs and other species, including humans.
The disease is spread by the bite or saliva of an infected animal. Early symptoms include irritation of the affected area, fever, change in behaviour and dilated pupils. However symptoms will not begin to show for at least four weeks after infection. The second phase of the infection causes aggression, disorientation and sensivity to light.
The final phase is paralysis, respiratory failure, hydrophobia (fear of water) and death.
Rabies is a killer, both of animals and humans. Any mammal can contract the disease, but it is normally carried by wild animals such as bats, racoons and wolves.
If you do not live in one of the countries which have eliminated this disease, be sure that your puppy is vaccinated.