Cat rabies: everything you need to know about this virus

Cat Rabies: Everything You Need To Know About This Virus

Rabies is one of the most feared diseases in felines, because in addition to being fatal, it is transmissible to humans. Even if it remains rare in France, it should not be underestimated, because the risks continue to exist.

Rabies: Definition And Mode Of Transmission

An infectious disease, rabies is caused by a neurotropic rabies virus that causes nervous system disorders. The rabies virus grows in neurons in the brain through several nerve pathways from the area that was bitten. The brain becomes the center of the multiplication of the virus which will then spread towards the peripheral nervous system before reaching other areas such as the heart muscles, the skin, the eye and especially the salivary glands.

It is also through saliva that the virus is transmitted during bites. In cats, the incubation of the virus lasts between 15 and 30 days. It really all depends on the bite area. If it is close to the head, the incubation will be shorter. Note that the virus cannot cross the skin unless it has a wound or lesion. At the time of bites, therefore, the wound becomes a favorable ground for the transmission of rabies through saliva.

Symptoms In Cats

In cats, the disease manifests itself in two ways, namely on the one hand, furious rabies and on the other hand, dumb rabies. The furious form is the least common. It seems that it only affects one in five cats. It is manifested by difficulties of movement, excessive drooling and in the most serious cases, the feline is affected by paralysis. Generally, if the latter is playful and affectionate, he can develop a form of aggression and becomes sensitive to stimulation and noise. Death occurs after 4 to 5 days.

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Dumb rabies is the most common. In addition to drooling a lot, the animal is suffering from paralysis of the jaw and muscles.

Other symptoms that may appear for both forms of rabies include difficulty swallowing, loss of appetite, and severe agitation.

Health Surveillance, An Obligation

In France, the law requires that if a cat bites another animal or a man, it must immediately be placed under sanitary supervision by a veterinarian, whether or not it has been vaccinated. During this monitoring, the practitioner checks his state of health for at least 15 days. Once the quarantine is complete, a certificate proving that the animal is free from rabies is issued.

The Vaccine, The Best Prevention Solution

The solution to avoid rabies is to proceed with the vaccination which is normally done in the third month. The latter is mandatory for all people who plan to travel with their pet. It is necessary to obtain the passport of the cat in question. One year after the first vaccination, a booster must be carried out.

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