General information on Rabies
Rabies is a virus which is present in the infected animal's saliva. Rabies can occur in almost all warm blooded animals. It is a fatal disease. The majority of cats with rabies are male and under 3 years old. The threat of rabies for cats in rural settings is higher because of their exposure to wildlife, such as skunks, raccoons, bats and foxes.
Symptoms of Rabies
In the beginning stages of Rabies, the symptoms can be almost undetectable, typically amounting to personality changes. Cats that are otherwise affectionate and loving, may become agitated and irritable. They may continually bite at the area where the virus entered their body. If a cat is usually less affectionate or is shy, it may suddenly become extremely affectionate. As Rabies progresses, the cat becomes reclusive, stares blankly and avoids light. The “furious” form of Rabies in cats is very dangerous. The cat's muscles twitch, there are tremors and staggering coupled with fierce convulsions. During this stage the cat may attack people without warning. In the “paralytic” form of Rabies, the swallowing muscles of infected cats become paralyzed. Drooling, coughing and pawing at the mouth are typical signs of this form of Rabies. The cat then collapses, losing control of the hind legs. Within a day or two the cat will die from respiratory arrest.
Treatments for Rabies
No treatment is available for cats with Rabies. Be absolutely sure that your cat is vaccinated appropriately under the supervision of your vet. If there is the slightest chance that a cat is infected with Rabies, and there has been any human contact, quarantine the cat immediately and seek out your physician., even if the animal has been vaccinated.
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