Is a rabid animal obvious in early stages of rabies? What do you look for? What about in humans?
Symptoms can be vague early on. Some of the first symptoms you would look for of a rabid dog would be: change in tone of the dog's bark, chewing at the bite site, fever, loss of appetite, other subtle changes in behavior. Any change in an animal’s behavior can be suggestive of rabies. These changes can include depression, hiding, partial paralysis (abnormal facial expressions, drooping head, sagging jaw, paralyzed hind limbs), episodes of extreme aggression and excitement, indiscriminate aggression, excessive drooling, and/or problems swallowing.
In humans, according to the CDC, the first symptoms of rabies may be very similar to those of the flu including general weakness or discomfort, fever, or headache. These symptoms may last for days.
There may be also discomfort or a prickling or itching sensation at the site of bite, progressing within days to symptoms of cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, confusion, agitation. As the disease progresses, the person may experience delirium, abnormal behavior, hallucinations, and insomnia.
The acute period of disease typically ends after 2 to 10 days. Once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal, and treatment is typically supportive.