-- Cat Rabies --
The word rabies is something that strikes fear into the hearts of many people, especially pet owners, and this is because most people are well aware that this disease is deadly and can have horrific effects on the victim.
Rabies in cats is something that no pet owner ever wants to think about, and thankfully it is something that is rare these days.
With all of the vaccinations that cats now have it is possible to protect them against diseases such as rabies, but it is important to know what the symptoms are in case something does happen. You should bear in mind that if a cat gets bitten by a rabid animal it may not experience any symptoms at all, and could in fact just be a life long carrier. On the other hand, the cat could display some or all of the symptoms of this deadly virus.
How your cat could get rabies
Rabies is a disease that will attack the central nervous system, and it eventually spreads to the brain, after which symptoms can develop very quickly. The disease attacks the saliva glands after this point. It is often spread through animal bites, with common carriers including bats, foxes, raccoons, and skunks.
Recognising the symptoms of cat rabies
- It is vital that you are able to recognise the symptoms of the different stages of cat rabies, although you should also remember that a cat may not necessarily go through all of the stages. However, it is also important to remember that this disease is usually fatal, but recognising the symptoms early could give your cat a fighting change through ensuring that it is vaccinated and quarantined as early as possible. There are three stages that can affect your cat if it contracts rabies, and these are outlined below:
- The Prodormal phase (stage one): This stage of cat rabies lasts one or two days. Symptoms include erratic behaviour, drooling, fever, biting objects, itching where bitten, roaring, wanting to be alone, dilated pupils, changes in temperament, snapping at objects that are not there. With regards to temperament changes these can be from bad to good or vice versa (e.g. a bad tempered cat may suddenly become loving, or a loving cat may suddenly become aloof)
- The Furious phase (stage two): Usually starting on day two or three, the second stage of the disease in cats, known as the Furious stage, is where the behaviour of the cat becomes more erratic. During this stage of the disease symptoms can include changes in vocal tone, attempts to eat inedible objects, aimless wandering, aggression, self biting, disorientation, growling, seizures, trembling, lack of coordination, and irritability.
- The Paralytic phase (stage three): Also known as the Dumb phase, this is the final stage of the disease, and will usually result in coma or death of the animal. Some of the symptoms that will present themselves during this stage include foaming at the mouth, lack of response, depression, open mouth with tongue protruding, weakness, breathing difficulties, choking, respiratory failure, paralysis, coma, and death.
Avoiding rabies in cats
Of course, no cat lover wants their precious pet to go through such a horrific disease, and the thing to remember is that prevention is better than cure. It is possible to get your cat vaccinated against rabies as well as a variety of other diseases, and all responsible pet owners need to ensure that they get their cats to the vets and get them vaccinated every year so that the animal is protected against such horrific diseases.
Your cat will not be happy about being bundled into a cat carrier and whisked off to the vets. Nor will the cat appreciate being jabbed in the neck with a needle once he gets to the vets.
However, when you think about the possible alternative you will realise that this is something that the cat would thank you for if he could.
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