Rabies in a cat. Prevention and treatment
Unfortunately, not a single pet is immune from such a terrible affliction as rabies. This viral disease, which is fatal, affects the central nervous system, as a result of which the animal begins to show wild aggression towards others, although this is not the only symptom of this disease.
As a rule, rabies is transmitted from foxes, hedgehogs, rodents, bats. But it should also be remembered that the carrier of this disease can be any warm-blooded animal. Can a cat get rabies? Of course. And it should be noted that rabies in cats - this is not uncommon. And in order to minimize the risk of its occurrence, it is necessary to make fluffy pet vaccinations. But more about that later. First, we will define what this dangerous illness is and what the reasons for its occurrence may be.
Source of infection
As already emphasized, cats are often rabies.
It is provoked by Rabis virus.This is a very viable microorganism: in dead animals it lives up to 3-4 weeks, and if it is frozen it can survive for up to 2 years. Heat treatment helps to destroy the infection - at 100 degrees Celsius, it dies. You can resist the virus and with the help of chemicals (five percent solution of formalin, phenol). They effectively neutralize it.
It should be noted that the incubation period of rabies in cats lasts at least two weeks, and the maximum - a few months.
Signs of illness
How to determine whether your pet is sick or not? How to recognize rabies in a cat? Well, there may be several symptoms. The most pronounced of them is an aggressive attitude towards others. In this case, the animal poses the greatest threat. There is quite a logical question: “Is it possible to get rabies from a cat?” Yes, yes, yes, and yes again. Moreover, the death for a person is not a myth, but a reality. That is why it is so important to take preventive measures to ensure that rabies does not eventually occur in a cat.
One way or another, but the pet’s violent behavior is not the only sign that an animal has attacked Rabis virus.Apathy, lethargy in movements, loss of appetite, constant meowing and the occurrence of seizures are still symptoms of the above disease.
How can rabies be transmitted to a person? A simple bite of an infected animal is enough. The virus easily enters the body through sores, micro-cuts on the skin.
Rabies in a cat can occur due to contact with a neighbor's animal on the street. She may become infected by a sick mouse eaten or by ingested contaminated saliva on open skin.
How is the disease
As a rule, at the initial stage of the disease, the animal behaves gently and calmly. At this point, it is quite difficult to determine rabies in a cat, because visually the first symptoms of the disease are not yet available. And they may not even appear for several months. You have already managed to forget about the gray mouse that your striped pet used to eat, but the animal became infected immediately after that, and there may be no symptoms at all for some time. The fact is that the speed of their appearance depends on a number of factors, for example on the method of infection, the amount of virus that entered the blood, and so on.
It is noteworthy that if the virus penetrated through a deep bite near the head, neck, or near the location of large blood vessels, then signs that the cat is sick will appear soon enough. In this case, rabies in a cat can have various manifestations. The disease can occur in a prodromal, manic and depressive form.
The first of the above variations of the disease in time lasts no more than three days. Any unusual manifestations during this period are not observed in the cat, although it becomes excessively affectionate with the owner, which is expressed in attempts to lick his hands or face. On the fourth day, the striped pet refuses to eat or begins to nibble on items unsuitable for food. At the same time, she has an emetic reflex and dysfunction of the digestive organs.
The next stage (manic), as a rule, lasts from three to five days.
And visually it is already noticeable that the animal is unwell, and if you don’t know anything about the symptoms of rabies, then on a non-professional level you can diagnose a completely different disease. The home predator begins to salivate profusely, the hair falls out, it searches for dark corners to hide from the light, and it also loses its appetite.Also, the pet may dim the cornea, and the gait becomes unstable. Over time, it loses the ability to perceive reality normally and ceases to recognize its owner. If, prior to the illness, most of the time the cat was within the walls of the apartment, then after the aggravation, she would begin to ask to go outside. If you set her free, she will try to run away, and will behave aggressively towards all living creatures that will meet in her way.
The final phase of the disease lasts several days. The animal is hampered by paralysis, it is plagued by spasms and cramps, and the limbs cease to function. All this ends with either a cessation of breathing or terrible exhaustion, and the animal dies. If rabies is paralytic in nature, then the disease proceeds fairly quickly. On the contrary, the atypical form of the disease, which occurs infrequently, can last more than one month and during the whole period of the disease the symptoms can either appear or disappear.
As for the kittens, they have the same symptoms as in adults, with the only difference that the disease they have is somewhat faster.
Your actions on suspicion of rabies
It should be understood that a cat with rabies poses a serious threat to others, including its owners. The situation is complicated by the fact that it is not always possible to identify the disease in its early stages. Even if outwardly the pet behaves, as usual, it does not mean that the animal is healthy and you are safe. At the slightest suspicion of the aforementioned ailment, it is necessary to isolate the striped predator and watch it for several days. And, of course, you should seek help from a veterinarian who will take the animal to the clinic for detailed examination. If the cat scratches or bites you, you should immediately thoroughly wash the damaged area with running water with soap and then go to the hospital.
Of course, the best defense against illness is prevention. Vaccination against rabies cat, quarantine - these are the main activities that are aimed at reducing the risk of spreading the above disease.
Even if the pet is in the apartment or house 24 hours a day, it needs to be vaccinated.This should be done from the age of three months once a year, and the animal should be prepared for this procedure in advance: it should be completely healthy. You can not vaccinate the cat, which should bring the issue or which feeds the kittens with milk. What is the rabies vaccine for cats today recommended by experts? It should be noted such drugs as "Quadriket", "Leukurefelin." A huge number of veterinarians believe that "Nobivak" for rabies cats is one of the best preventive measures in the fight against Rabis virus. And indeed it is.
It should be noted that even experts are not able to make an accurate diagnosis when it comes to rabies. Only the study of tissue structures of the brain allows you to determine the above disease, but such a study is carried out only after the death of a pet. Is veterinary medicine no longer able to offer anything? Well, specialists can also check the cerebrospinal fluid and saliva for the presence of a virus. However, this study will not be considered 100% reliable: a negative result is often recorded, although the animal subsequently dies from rabies.Only complete isolation of an infected pet can guarantee that the virus does not get to its owners.
When contacting an infected animal, it is necessary to follow certain rules of personal hygiene, namely: use gloves, sunglasses, wash hands and disinfect them thoroughly.
Much to our regret, it must be admitted that veterinary medicine is currently powerless against Rabis virus. No drugs that would destroy this virus have yet been invented. If the owners have the slightest suspicion of rabies in their pet, you should immediately contact a veterinarian who puts an infected animal to sleep.
The problem of rabies in cats should be approached very seriously and with full responsibility. Ignoring her is a big mistake. Think about it, every year in the world this disease exterminates millions of animals and over fifty thousand people. And in 99 cases out of 100, death is ascertained. That is why you should regularly vaccinate the animal, monitor its health and regularly visit the vet.