Cute, cuddly, fluffy and quite possibly your best friend, unless we’re talking about large or aggressive breeds of dogs, or dogs that have been bred to fight, we don’t usually associate dogs with being dangerous to humans. And the vast majority aren’t dangerous ‘ the closest you might come to danger is being licked to death!
But dogs are carriers of rabies, a dangerous disease that causes upsetting symptoms in humans. These symptoms range from a high temperature and a headache to hallucinations, frothing at the mouth, muscle spasms and aggressive behaviour. (If you’re thinking of scary films with werewolves in them, then so are we!). Rabies isn’t found in dogs in the UK, thanks to our robust animal quarantine measures. However, it is found in some bats in the UK.
Overseas, particularly in countries in Asia, Africa, Central America and South America, rabies is found mainly in dogs, but also in cats, foxes, racoons, bats and jackals. Rabies is transmitted from animal to human via biting or scratching, or by tending to an infected animal.
So as tempting as it might be to pet or stroke a stray dog, give a cuddle to a cat that happens to wander past you on the street or tend to a sick animal whilst travelling to these areas of the world, unless you want to turn into a werewolf, it’s probably best to think twice before doing so.