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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:
- Stage One: Prodromal phase This phase lasts for one to two days, and includes the following symptoms:
• Erratic behavior
• Mood changes
• Excessive salivating
• Pupil dilation
• Fly biting
• Solitary behavior
• Appetite loss
• Itching in wound
- 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
• Disorientation and seizures
• Loss of muscle coordination
- 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
• 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.