Kynophobia- Fear of rabies
The United Kingdom has an enviable reputation for not having recorded a case of rabies in several generations. Rabies is a condition that causes a great deal of fear and anxiety in most people. Kynophobia, also known as lyssophobia is a pathological fear and even terror of having rabies or of becoming mad. Sufferers may expresses a visible and irrational fear in the presence of any animal that they do not know, as the potential of an unknown animal may have rabies. One possible cause for this fear might have been the sufferer being bitten by a dog in the past and was subject to several injections for rabies a treatment known for being traumatic and painful. Some sufferers may have learned from their parents or friends the fear of dogs and other animals, which in some context is an appropriate response, but not as a generalistation.
Sufferers experience many of the same symptoms as other phobics, severe physical, psychological and emotional symptoms which cause a significant amount of discomfort.
In treating these clients, one must bear in mind that it is essential for the client to retain the respect for animals but respect needn’t represent fear. Learning to live appropriately with animals is necessary for a healthy life.