How To Judge If A cat Has Rabies?
There are a few cases of rabies in cats every year. This is because some cats have not been vaccinated against rabies, or have had their vaccinations fail and then come into contact with rabid wild animals. If you come into contact with a cat that may have rabies, some symptoms of the disease can be found in it. When there is a potentially rabid cat around, be especially careful not to try to pick it up. You should contact animal control, a local wildlife organization, or call the police on a non-emergency number.
Found symptoms of rabies
Observe the early symptoms of rabies. The early stages of rabies last two to ten days. During this time, the cat will look sick, but there are no specific symptoms. Early non-specific symptoms of rabies include:
- Muscle pain
- Fear of cold
- Have a fever
- Not feeling well, showing a sickly appearance
- Photophobia, fear of bright lights
- Anorexia, or lack of interest in food
- Inability or refusal to swallow
Check the cat for signs of fighting or bites. If it is believed that the cat may have come into contact with a rabid animal, it should be checked for signs of fighting or bites. The rabies virus can live on a cat's skin or hair for up to two hours, so remember to wear gloves and long-sleeved clothing and pants before handling it. If an infected animal bites another animal, the virus can be transmitted to the healthy animal through its saliva. Once the disease enters the body, it travels through nerves to the spinal cord and brain. If any of the following occurs, you should take your cat to the doctor immediately:
- Bite mark
- Wound scab
- Wild hair with dried saliva
Be aware of the symptoms of "numb" or paralytic rabies. Paralytic rabies is the most common form of feline rabies, and a cat with paralytic rabies will appear lethargic, disoriented, and uncomfortable. In this form of rabies, the cat is not aggressive and rarely bites. Symptoms of paralytic rabies include:
- The muscles of the limbs, face, or other parts of the body are paralyzed and unable to move
- Lower jaw drops, showing a "dull" expression
- Too much saliva, forming a foam around the mouth
Be especially careful if the cat shows the manic symptoms of rabies. Cats with manic rabies often show aggression, behave erratically, and have foam around their mouths. Although most people think of these symptoms when they think of rabies, manic rabies in cats is less common than paralytic rabies. If you think your cat has manic rabies, contact animal control for help. A cat with manic rabies will attack a person, so don't try to catch it yourself. Symptoms of this type of rabies include:
- Excessive salivation, looks like foam around the mouth
- Fear of water, being near water or hearing water
- Aggressive, such as bared teeth, as if about to bite
- Not interested in food
- Biting or attacking
- Unusual behavior, like biting your own body
Treatment of rabid cats
If it is found that the cat may have rabies, animal control should be contacted. Don't try to catch a cat yourself. If the cat shows symptoms of infection, it is best to contact animal control. That way he can get to the doctor without getting hurt.
If the cat shows strange or aggressive behavior, animal control should also be contacted.
Take the cat to the vet. If your cat has been bitten by another cat or animal, put it in an air carrier and take it to a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will ask the cat about possible exposure to rabies, such as whether the yard smells of skunks, whether there are raccoons and rats nearby, and then examine the cat.
Keep in mind that there is currently no way to test live animals for rabies. We have to get a sample of the brain cells out for examination. To detect rabies, a small number of brain cells are collected and examined under a microscope to look for Necky bodies.
Ask for a follow-up rabies vaccine for the cat. If the cat has been vaccinated against rabies, follow-up shots should be given as soon as possible after it has been bitten. This helps its immune system fight off the virus. After that, they should continue to observe for 45 days to watch for symptoms of rabies. Observations can be made at home as long as contact between the cat and other animals or people outside can be limited.
Euthanasia may be required. If the cat has not been vaccinated against rabies and is confirmed to have been bitten by a rabid animal, the doctor will usually recommend euthanasia. This is because rabies is a serious threat to human health and cats are extremely likely to be infected.
If the owner refuses to euthanize the cat, it should be quarantined and observed for 6 months. Isolation must be done at an animal clinic at the owner's expense.
If the cat does not die during this time, the doctor will allow it to go home. You only need to get a rabies vaccine one month before you go home.
Prevent rabies in cats
Make sure your cat is vaccinated up to date. It is best to vaccinate cats against rabies, which is the most effective way to prevent rabies. Laws in many countries require rabies vaccines for pets.
Plan a vaccine schedule with your doctor to make sure it's effective. Some vaccines need to be given once a year, while others need to be given every two or three years.
Leave the cat at home. Another way to protect a cat is to keep it away from wild animals. Keeping cats at home is ideal to avoid contact with neighbors' cats, raccoons, or other animals that may carry rabies.
If the cat is used to going outside, then it should be done under the close supervision of the owner. Keep it away from unfamiliar animals.
Age was not associated with rabies infection in cats. Even kittens can get rabies.