When you think of rabies, one of the first things you may envision is a beastly canine foaming at the mouth – like Stephen King’s ‘Cujo,’ but other animals, including humans can also become infected with the virus associated with the condition. There are different stages, but precautions and home remedies for rabies can help treat the initial wounds before a doctor confirms the diagnosis.
Table of Contents
What is Rabies?
A virus is responsible for causing the rabies infection, which affects the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system) of mammals, including humans. If not treated before symptoms arise, the infection is nearly always deadly. Animals that become infected with rabies can spread the disease through their saliva or through contact with brain tissue. It is rare for people living in the United States or Canada to get rabies, as it is more common in developing nations .
Causes and Symptoms
Rabies is transmitted to other animals and humans through close contact with the saliva from infected animals, such as scratches, bites, licks on broken skin, and mucous membranes . The most common way that humans get rabies is when they are bitten by a rabid animal. Since dogs in the United States are required to get rabies vaccines, bats are typically the most guilty culprits that transmit rabies to humans.
In the U.S., other animals that have the most potential to pass on the rabies infection are raccoons, skunks, foxes and coyotes. Small mammals, such as squirrels, are typically not a threat for spreading the rabies infection to humans in the United States and Canada. There are times when the rabies virus can spread to pets, such as dogs, cats, and ferrets. However, staying indoors and getting vaccinations cuts down on the numbers of pets that contract the virus.
An animal showing the signs of a rabies infection may drool, foam at the mouth, or suffer paralysis. Pets with rabies do not act like themselves. For example, a rapid dog may act shy when he or she is normally friendly. Wild animals with rabies will show no fear for humans.
A human with rabies may experience a fever, cough or sore throat. As the virus progresses, symptoms become more serious and can include hallucinations, restlessness, and seizures. Falling into a coma and dying are inevitable for untreated cases of human rabies.
Rabies Home Remedies
A human infected with the rabies virus must receive treatment – an assortment of shots known as postexposure prophylaxis (or PEP). The medicine in the shots will assist the immune system in eliminating the disease when it is in the early stages. When you receive the PEP treatment before symptoms start to emerge, you can usually avoid an infection and have a better chance of making a full recovery. However, some people believe that you can ward off infection with the following home remedies for rabies until you have a chance to see a doctor:
a) Soap and Water:
One of the first things you should do when coming in contact with a suspected rabid animal is wash the scratch, bite, and open sore with soap and water. The next thing you should do is immediately call your doctor and local health department.
b) Vitamin C:
If you have an infection associated with rabies, taking a vitamin C supplement or eating foods high in the vitamin will help fight the infection. Food suggestions include guavas, red peppers, fresh herbs, kiwi, cauliflower, and oranges .
c) Vitamin B:
Taking vitamin B will help produce antibodies, which will help fight infection. While you can take a supplement, you can also consume foods high in vitamin B, including cabbage, tomatoes, raspberries, celery, tangerines, watermelon, pineapple, and spinach.
In some circles, walnut is believed to help neutralize the poison of a rabid dog bite. To follow this remedy, grind equal amounts of walnut, salt and onion. Some have added honey to this concoction. Dress the wound with this mixture until you can get to a doctor.
e) Chinese Herbs:
If you happen to have skullcap in your home, practitioners of Chinese medicine have used skullcap to treat rabies-related convulsions for centuries.
Gardeners who plant a variety of herbs in their yard will find plenty of herbal remedies for a wide range of medical concerns. If you make a compress out of lavender and apply to a wound, it is believed to help it heal faster.
The natural antibiotic properties may help treat the aftereffects of a rabid dog bite. Some people have taken a few cloves of garlic three times daily to assist in wound healing.
h) Cumin Seeds:
Some believe that cumin seeds possess the ability to counter the toxic effects of a bite from a rabid dog. Grind about two teaspoons of cumin seeds and 20 black peppercorns. Add the ingredients to water, and then apply the remedy to a dog bite wound.
i) Echinacea Tea:
A tea brewed with Echinacea may help speed up the wound healing process of an infected bite, as well as give a boost to the immune system.