Cat Rabies

Cat Rabies

The word rabies evokes fear, and rightly so. A viral disease that attacks the brain, rabies is seen in many warm-blooded animals, especially skunks, raccoons, foxes, bats, coyotes, dogs, and cats. It is infectious to humans.

One of the signs of the disease is a change of behavior: there may be restlessness, aggressiveness, or extreme shyness. Wild animals may seem tame. Infected animals’ pupils are dilated as well.

In the furious stage, the animal will bite at anything in its way. Loud noises or bright lights can stimulate biting attacks. The animal also becomes uncoordinated. In this stage, the animal may die during convulsions or it may go on to the dumb stage.

In the dumb stage, the paralysis of the throat causes voice changes, salivation, and an inability to eat or drink. The lower jaw will be paralyzed and unable to close, and the tongue and lower jaw will hang loose. Generalized paralysis, coma, and death follow.

The virus is spread by the bite of an animal through which the virus-laden saliva enters the wound. Airborne transmission in caves inhabited by bats has been reported. (Just a word here about bats they are shy and helpful creatures. At dusk, many types of bats can be seen catching mosquitoes. Most bats are good citizens of our spaceship earth leading quiet lives, doing their job and not getting sick with rabies.)

Stages of Cat Rabies

The following are the symptoms of rabies that your pet cat would show up during during the various stages of the viral infection.

Prodromal Phase: The prodromal phase in cats extends for a day or two. In this stage a complete nervous disruption takes place. You would notice a significant change in the personality of the cat. Emotional characteristics like apprehension, nervousness, solitude, and high fever would be noted. Generally, it is noticed that the pets that are aggressive and ferocious would become docile and shy while the meek and friendly pets would become irritable.

Furious stage: The cats are prone to develop the stage quite rapidly. They become highly irritable and ferocious. They would turn out to be vicious for their owners as well and even tend to bite. They would feel restless and roam around aggressively. Sometimes due to sudden seizures the pet might die in this phase itself.

Paralytic Phase: The paralytic phase is also known as the dumb phase. This phase happens usually after the symptoms of the initial stages appear. The nervous system and the throat or the respiratory system of the pet would be affected. The pet cat would excessively salivate as it would find difficulty in swallowing. Due to the paralysis of the diaphragm and the facial jaws, the animal would have dropped jaw and suffer from highly labored breathing. The pet would gradually become very weak and would eventually die due to respiratory failure.

Vaccination is probably the best possible way to fight against the incidence of rabies. Despite the vaccination of the dogs being mandatory almost half of the dogs are not vaccinated. The incidence of cat rabies is also growing day by day as only 10% of cats are vaccinated.

See more: Cat Puncture Scratch

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