All the neighborhood kids love mah puppeh, Arnie.
They are out playing in the playground, see me and Arnie coming, and they come running over to give Arnie lovies and to get Arnie kissies.
And, seeing as my parents and most of my aunts and uncles are teachers, I make sure to use this opportunity to teach the kids something: “While its okay to run over to give Arnie lovies, they should always ask an owner whether it is okay to pet their puppy and to never, ever, EVER approach an animal when their owner is not around.”
I need to add “If you see a sick birdy or kitten or puppy, tell your parents so they can call a professional to come help it.”
Animals might be sweet-peas when they are fed, happy, and healthy, but that same animal when its sick might behave very differently. Sick/Hurt dog might bite you, whether it has rabies or not. A wild bat might bite you, whether its sick or not, whether it has rabies or not. Rabies isnt always as obvious as what we saw in ‘Old Yeller’. Now, if you *know* you have been exposed to rabies, there is a vaccine and a series of anti-rabies antibody shots that greatly increase your chance of survival (considering the chance of survival without treatment is 0-10%, its hard *not* to improve on that). But if you dont *know* you were exposed until you start showing symptoms of infection, then its too late.
But that might be changing (at least in the US). In 2004, physicians in Milwaukee developed a treatment protocol which managed to save a 15-year-old girl– Because people die from rabies because of their brain freaking out, the physicians tried to take her brain out of the equation. They put her into a coma. With her brain out of the way, the antivirals and her own immune system could eliminate the virus, and the physicians could turn her brain back on when the coast was clear. That totally worked, and that rabies infected teenager recently graduated from college.
While the Milwaukee protocol has been tried in other parts of the world, the places where people are more likely to be exposed to rabies dont have the same kind of medical technologies as we have in the US, so it has had varying degrees of success.
But in the US, it looks like this works, because physicians just saved another kid. It seems a little girl approached a strange cat and was bitten/scratched. She didnt think to do anything about it (*shrug* cats bite/scratch), however that injury managed to infect the little girl with rabies. Its heartbreaking to read how her grandmother described her symptoms:
Tests in early May revealed she had the disease after Precious’s grandmother took her to the doctor because of flu-like symptoms that grew so serious her grandmother said they began to resemble polio.
Her grandmothers comment made me wonder if there are any anti-vaxers who would rather go through what that poor little girl went through, rather than succumb to a few shots, if they were ever exposed to rabies…