The puppy was adopted by a family in the north of Israel and somehow wandered to an army base after being treated for a serious bite.
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The puppy was then brought to a vet who wanted to give him back to his adoptive home. The puppy seemed okay, but then deteriorated during Rosh Hashana, showing signs of rabies. He was euthanized shortly after.
Rabies is a fatal disease, but there is an immunization if symptoms have not yet manifested. Anyone who came in contact with the puppy was forced to receive rabies immunization to prevent contacting it, but the soldier who brought the puppy in has not yet been located.
"This is a small puppy, which the soldier was probably carrying in his hands," said Dr. Haim Rothbart, a doctor for the Health Ministry in the Safed province.
"Maybe he came in contact with his saliva. Maybe his skin was wounded so he was exposed to the dangerous virus. We need to give him life-saving preventive care against the virus, which is lethal.
"The medicine is given in four shots to the forearm, and at times an additional shot to the area bitten or exposed is needed. As long as the soldier is feeling fine there is no problem to treat them, however if they begin to present symptoms, there is nothing we will be able to do for them. This soldier must arrive at their local (IDF) health clinic as soon as possible."
Symptoms of rabies include fever, headaches and fatigue. In a more advanced stage other symptoms appear including insomnia, confusion, paralysis, difficulty swallowing and fear of water. Death occurs days after symptoms appear. In 1996, an IDF soldier died of rabies after being bitten by an unidentified animal in his sleep.
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