Rabies in cats: symptoms, causes, course, prognosis
Probably everyone has heard of such a dangerous disease as rabies. Many also know that dogs can get sick with this disease. However, we also have another type of pet, which is increasingly becoming infected with this infection. We are talking about cats - in recent years, cases of infection with their virus. These animals were quite susceptible to him. They have more freedom than dogs and, "walking by themselves," are infected from wild animals: foxes, bats, raccoons, jackals, skunks. In addition, for cats, vaccinations against this disease are not so mandatory, unlike dogs. Consider what kind of disease - rabies in cats. Its symptoms, by the way, differ slightly depending on the type of its course. But more about this below.
What causes the disease?
This is an RNA-containing virus belonging to the Rhabdoviridae family. The pathogen affects the nervous system of humans and other warm-blooded animals, it multiplies in nerve cells.From the place of penetration into the body, it moves into the brain and spinal cord along the nerve fibers. A sick animal releases it with saliva, since it is spread throughout the body, including in the salivary glands, in the stage of active reproduction of the virus. In the body of another animal, he gets through the damaged skin and mucous membranes (with a bite, through abrasions). The latent period is usually about two weeks, but it may take several months.
How rabies is manifested in cats
As already mentioned, the symptoms will depend on the type of the disease. There are three forms of the disease: aggressive, paralytic (silent) and atypical.
Rabies in cats: symptoms with an aggressive form
This option is the most frequent. The pet's behavior changes, it becomes unusually gloomy or, conversely, unnecessarily affectionate. The animal is restless, frightened by sounds, light. It loses its appetite, but it shows interest in inedible things, trying to eat them. Itching may occur, the cat itches, bites itself, it has increased salivation. The behavior is changeable: aggression is replaced by oppression and vice versa. A pet can attack people and other animals for no reason.A cat cannot swallow water: attention, this is a very important and characteristic symptom! After some time, paralysis begins: the facial muscles, larynx, eye muscles, limbs, especially the back. The animal dies in 3-10 days due to paralysis of the respiratory muscles and the heart.
Rabies in cats: symptoms in a silent course
The animal is very affectionate, it can be intrusive. Or it hides, non-aggressive, apathetic. Observed early paralysis of the muscles, strong salivation. This form of the disease lasts two to five days.
Atypical course of rabies
There is also an atypical form in which rabies can proceed in cats. The symptoms in this case are unusual, which makes diagnosis very difficult. The cat may have depression, diarrhea or constipation, vomiting, exhaustion. Sometimes there is tremor in the muscles of the whole body. This version of the disease can last quite a long time.
Rabies in kittens
It should be mentioned that, in general, the signs, course and outcome of the disease are similar to those in adult pets. However, the duration of the disease is small, babies usually live only a few days.
Since the disease is transmitted to humans and is deadly, timely diagnosis is very important.It is carried out according to the clinic and the results of a post-mortem histological examination of the brain. One can cure rabies in humans only by administering a special rabies serum. The sooner after infection it is done, the greater the chance of recovery. Sick cats, like dogs, are not treated, they are subjected to euthanasia. There is prevention: for this vaccine. They are administered to the kitten at three months and the vaccination is repeated every year.