How Do You Treat Rabies In Your Cat?

BY | January 24 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
How Do You Treat Rabies In Your Cat?

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Rabies is one of the oldest known diseases infecting both humans and animals. Although the diseases are mostly identified with dogs, it does not leave cats from its grip. Out of all viral infections that afflict cats, rabies is perhaps the deadliest as it affects the central nervous system of cats. The virus infects, replicates and survives within the animal's body until it finally reaches the brain, when symptoms start to show. The virus is transmitted through salivary contact, entering through open wounds, which means cats can get it by means of bite from another infected cat.

What are the symptoms of rabies in cats?

To treat rabies in cats, you should understand the typical symptoms of the disease. Symptoms of rabies in cats appear in stages recognized by different behaviors. The worse part is the contagiousness of the disease; it can spread easily from animal to animal or animal to humans. The following symptoms will help you identify the disease and take actions immediately:

  1. Stage One: Prodromal phase This phase lasts for one to two days, and includes the following symptoms:• Erratic behavior• Fever• Mood changes• Excessive salivating• Pupil dilation• Fly biting• Solitary behavior• Appetite loss• Itching in wound
  2. Stage two: Furious Phase Beginning on the second or third day, the second stage makes the cat more erratic than before. It may start eating inedible objects like sticks or stones. Other symptoms include the following:• Loitering around• Change in the sound of the cat's voice• Violent or aggressive behavior• Irritability• Disorientation and seizures• Loss of muscle coordination
  3. Stage 3: Paralytic Stage Also called the dumb face, this stage makes the cat unresponsive and depressed. Other symptoms include the following:• Protruding tongue and open mouth• Weakness• Foaming• Paralysis• Difficulty in breathing• Coma or death

Diagnosis of Rabies in Cats

If your cat has been bitten by an other cat that is suspected to carry the virus, but your cat does not show the typical symptoms of rabies, then it is quarantined for a period of 10 days and given anti-rabies injections. However, if your cat starts showing symptoms, then veterinarian assistance is needed for a faster treatment. The best way to tell if your cat is infected with the virus is by examining its brain. In severe cases, the cat is euthanized to prevent the disease from spreading to humans or other animals.

Vaccination for rabies

Vaccination of cats with rabies vaccines can prevent it from countering the disease. The vaccine is usually given when your cat is nearing three months of age. However, a regular vaccination schedule hereafter is needed to keep the disease at bay.

3 Common Symptoms of Cat Rabies

3 Heart-Breaking Signs of Rabies in Cats (Prevention Tips)

Can cats have rabies and can the disease get transmitted to humans? The answer to both those questions is a resounding yes. Rabies is a terrible viral disease that attacks the central nervous system and is close to 100 percent fatal once symptoms appear. According to the CDC, rabies in cats is on the rise, and cats are now more likely than dogs to be reported rabid in the United States.

Cats and Rabies (All it Takes is a Small Scratch)

The rabies virus progresses quickly, and if your cat is ever bitten or scratched by a wild animal or a dog or cat that you don't think has been vaccinated against rabies, you should seek veterinary attention immediately.

Stages of Cat Rabies Symptoms

The symptoms of rabies in cats can vary and they often take months to be apparent. Rabies symptoms in cats can be categorized into three stages, the prodromal, the furious, and the paralytic. Each stage is associated with unique sets of symptoms. Cats with rabies may go through one stage only or all three. In most cases, there will be a combination of physical and behavioral symptoms.

#1 Prodromal Symptoms

Prodromal is the first stage of rabies in cats. At this stage, the cat may exhibit changes in temperament. Active cats can become nervous, withdrawn, and lethargic. Cats with mellow demeanor may become agitated, aggressive, and vocal.

Symptoms: Change in demeanor, increased aggression, sudden unnatural shyness, or constant state of agitation.

#2 Furious Symptoms

Known as ‘furious stage’, this is the second stage of feline rabies. If a cat enters this stage symptoms it becomes highly irritable and dangerously aggressive. Cats in the furious stage of rabies are easily provoked and they often do not hesitate to attack. Some cats experience muscular spasms in throat and mouth muscles. This results in excessive drooling induced by difficulty in swallowing saliva. Some cats experience slack-jaw and face severe difficulty in breathing. As this form of rabies progresses, cats might experience disorientation and have seizures that result in death.

Symptoms:Unnaturally high aggressive state of mind and drooling.

#3 Paralytic Symptoms

Like its name suggests, paralytic stage of rabies is marked by a typical comatose state in cats. Some cats can bypass the furious stage and directly enter this stage. Most cats succumb to respiratory failure.

Symptoms:Paralysis culminating in death.

Rabies Prevention

Fortunately, this deadly disease is preventable. Cats should receive their first rabies vaccination at around three months of age and then regular boosters according to a schedule set by your veterinarian. The rabies vaccine is more than just a good idea as it’s mandated by most state laws. Take a look at this chart of rabies laws by state.

Two Rules of Rabies Prevention in Cats

  1. Never Miss a Vaccination Shot
  2. Keep Cats Indoors During Rabies Endemic
More on Cat Diseases

Thyroid Problems in Cats: The Likely Cause
Managing Treatment for Diabetic Cats
Cat Tumors and Cat Skin Disease - How to Detect Them and What You Can Do

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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