It All Depends On Which Of The Three Forms Of The Disease Occurs:
The first signs of rabies in cats are that they become lazy and lose their appetite and the animals begin to avoid human society.
Although the cat sometimes, on the contrary.
It can be very intrusive as it rubs the feet.
Change of the nervous system from its usual behavior.
In addition, they become very restless and shy, if they eat their usual food, in case of injury they cut up solid objects or swallow them for a long time.
In this case, there are signs of enteritis or gastritis. The cat may develop diarrhea, vomiting, and exhaustion in the body.
How Is It Spread
Normally, rabies is spread through a deep bite or scratch from an infected animal. In the United States, rabies is mostly found in wild animals like coyotes, raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes, but nearly all humans infected with the virus got it from pet dogs. The best way to avoid getting rabies is to have your pets vaccinated.
What Is The Prognosis For Rabies
If you get timely, appropriate wound care and rabies shots, you will be virtually 100% protected against rabies.
- To date, there have been no failures of this treatment in the United States.
- Failures overseas, however, have occurred despite seeking medical care after exposure because doctors either failed to give wound care, did not inject the immune globulin around the bite or wound site, or did not give the vaccine in the correct spot .
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How Do Rabies Infections Occur
To cause an infection, the rabies virus must enter the body and reach nerve cells. The virus can enter the body through broken skin. Droplets containing the virus can pass through mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, mouth, or intestine. Usually, transmission occurs when rabid animals, with the virus in their saliva, bite people. Farmers or veterinarians can become infected when they work with their hands in the mouths of rabid cows which often appear to be choking on food. Laboratory workers have also contracted rabies from cuts or sticks from contaminated needles, scalpels or other contaminated laboratory equipment.
In unusual situations, workers have contracted rabies by breathing air that carried high concentrations of the virus. This phenomenon has occurred in bat caves. It has also happened in the laboratory where improper procedures produced a mist or aerosol containing the virus. Contact with the blood, urine or manure of a rabid animal is not a risk factor for contracting rabies.
The virus can become inactive, but the rate at this occurs depends on moisture, sunlight and temperature. The rabies virus is not infectious if it has dried out or exposed to sunlight.
Integrated Bite Case Management
If possible, the veterinary services should be alerted, the biting animal identified, removed from the community and either quarantined for observation or submitted for immediate laboratory examination . PEP must be continued during the 10-day observation period or while awaiting laboratory results. Treatment may be discontinued if the animal is proven to be free of rabies. If a suspect animal cannot be captured and tested, then a full course of PEP should be completed. Joint contact tracing by veterinary and public health services is encouraged to identify additional suspected rabid animals and human bite victims, with the goal to apply preventive measures accordingly.
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Rabies In Humans And Animals
In the U.S. when we think of rabies, we think of danger danger to our health. And while rabies cases in the U.S. are rare, the devastating and aggressive nature of this disease means that we should all educate ourselves about prevention.
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The virus enters from the hosts saliva and attacks the victims central nervous system and brain.
Rabies Incubation Periods Can Vary
Although rabies incubation periods can range from days to years, the average is 3 to 8 weeks. This range is why it is important to promptly receive PEP but also why a person should still pursue PEP even if time has lapsed since the bite . In this case, if the incubation period is on the protracted end, the PEP may still work.
The incubation period is not the same as the 10-day observation period for a dog, cat or domestic ferret that has bitten a person. After an animal is exposed to rabies and the virus has spread to its salivary glands, the animal may be able to shed the rabies virus in its saliva this means that the animal is infectious. Shedding occurs in the last stages of the disease. Clinical signs also appear in these last stages, followed closely by death. Dogs, cats and domestic ferrets with rabies may shed the rabies virus three to six days before they show clinical signs of rabies and only live for a few days after the clinical signs appear. This is why it is so important to observe animals that have bitten or otherwise potentially exposed a person to rabies. If a dog, cat or domestic ferret is healthy 10 days after the incident, it can be concluded that the rabies virus could not have been in the animals saliva at the time of the incident and it could not have exposed the person to rabies. The animal still could possibly be incubating rabies, but it could not have been at the point of transmitting the virus in its saliva.
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Animals That Can Spread Rabies
Both wild and domesticated animals can spread the rabies virus. The following animals are the main sources of rabies infection in humans:
For most people, the risk of contracting rabies is relatively low. However, there are certain situations that may put you at a higher risk. These include:
- living in an area populated by bats
- living in a rural area where theres greater exposure to wild animals and little or no access to vaccines and preventive therapy
- traveling to developing countries
- frequent camping and exposure to wild animals
- being under the age of 15 years old
Although dogs are responsible for most rabies cases worldwide, bats are the cause of most rabies deaths in the United States.
Rabies Is Not As Rare As You Think
Rabies is a disease based in antiquity. Since it has been noted since ancient times and is relatively rare in humans in the US, it is oftentimes a forgotten disease not only by the general public but also as a differential in medical diagnoses. However, rabies is not as rare as most people think, and it remains a disease of public health significance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , it exists in every continent except Antarctica. Its difficult to assess the annual number of human rabies deaths worldwide due to under-reporting in developing countries however, it is estimated to be in the tens of thousands .
In the United States, there were 5,865 cases of laboratory-confirmed rabies cases in animals reported to the CDC in 2013. However, the number of cases in humans is low in the US, with an average of two to three a year, according to the CDC. The low number of cases compared with that in many developing countries is attributable to two key factors:
- Rabies biologicals are readily available for exposed individuals, and they are 100 percent effective if administered promptly and properly. An average of 40,000 people a year receive this prevention treatment, according to the CDC.
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What To Do If Youre Bitten Or Scratched
As frightening as the rabies disease is, early intervention can help dramatically improve your chances of stopping the virus. If youve been bitten, scratched, or even licked on broken skin by an animal you suspect may be rabid, take these steps immediately:
- Thoroughly wash the wound with soap and water or with an iodine solution. Experts recommend washing for at least 10 minutes.
- After youve washed the wound, seek medical attention immediately
- Talk with your doctor about administering a combination of vaccines and human rabies immune globulins
Avoid Contact With Wildlife
Cats must come into close contact with an infected animal in order to catch rabies, so keeping cats away from wildlife will significantly reduce their risk of catching these viruses. It will also avoid hazards such as traffic, or injuries from other local cats.
This can be done in several different ways:
Cats can live exclusively indoors, providing they are given everything they need within your house or flat. The International Society of Feline Medicine has created the Environmental Needs Guidelines to help you understand what your cat needs to get out of their space.
Indoor-only living will remove all contact with wild animals, and therefore radically reduce your cats risk of developing rabies. However, it is still possible that they could escape and come into contact with infected animals, so it is important to keep up with their vaccinations in line with your states laws.
Enclosed Outdoor Space
There are several different ways to give your cat access to an outdoor space while reducing the risk of them encountering wildlife.
Cat enclosures or catios are becoming increasingly popular. These are structures attached to the side of your house that are enclosed with mesh or wire on all sides to protect cats and prevent them from escaping. If you provide a cat flap, then your cat can have unrestricted access to a safe outdoor area.
Supervised Outdoor Activity
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The Virus Reaches The Brain
Late in the disease, after the virus has reached the brain and multiplied there to cause an inflammation of the brain, it moves from the brain to the salivary glands and saliva.
Also at this time, after the virus has multiplied in the brain, almost all animals begin to show the first signs of rabies. Most of these signs are obvious to even an untrained observer, but within a short period of time, usually within 3 to 5 days, the virus has caused enough damage to the brain that the animal begins to show unmistakable signs of rabies.
Extensive studies on dogs, cats, and ferrets show that the rabies virus can be excreted in the saliva of infected animals several days before illness is apparent. Such extensive studies have not been done for wildlife species, but it is known that wildlife species do excrete rabies virus in their saliva before the onset of signs of illness. The excretion of virus may be intermittent, and the relative amount of excreted virus may vary greatly over time, before and after the onset of clinical signs.
The reason there is so much variation in the time between exposure and the onset of the disease is that many factors come into play, including the site of the exposure, the type of rabies virus, and any immunity in the animal or person exposed.
Why Do Dogs Die After Humans Bite
Animals can only transmit rabies virus after it has reached the brain and started to spread outwards via nerves it gets into saliva by working its way down nerves from the brain to the salivary glands. Once an animal gets to that stage of disease, they die quickly.
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What Laboratory Tests Are Available For Rabies
Laboratory tests are available to detect the rabies virus as well as specific antibodies. The body produces antibodies to protect itself against the disease. Tests for rabies antibodies are occasionally ordered to determine if people have been successfully immunized against the disease.
Doctors usually do not test people to see if they have been infected with the rabies virus. Reliable test results are usually not obtained until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. Instead, doctors generally rely on tests of suspect animals to determine if a person has been exposed to the virus.
Federal government laboratories can perform several different tests on animals. The most important test involves examining the brain for the presence of the virus or for specific changes caused by the rabies virus. Because of this test, it is important to avoid damaging the brain when killing an animal suspected of having rabies.
The First Manifestations Of Rabies In Humans
After the incubation period is over, and the virus has already multiplied sufficiently in the body, you can notice the first manifestations of the disease. The following symptoms are characteristic of it:
- The patient is very worried about the wound. The bite site hurts, pulls, itches, and if a scar has already appeared, then it most often swells and becomes inflamed.
- Body temperature rises and keeps at the level of 37 degrees.
- Severe headache, general weakness, nausea, and even vomiting appear.
- If the wound is in the face, then hallucinations may occur.
- Depression, anxiety, and maybe even irritability appear.
But it is worth remembering that there are several stages of rabies, and the symptoms of each of them are very different.
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Are There Home Remedies For Rabies
When bitten by an animal, you should always care for the wound immediately by washing it out with soap, water, and some sort of commercial antiseptic iodine solution, if available. This will help kill the common bacteria that may be passed by the bite but also has been shown to decrease the likelihood of transmission of the rabies virus, should the animal be rabid.
What Is The Treatment For Rabies
There is no successful treatment for rabies once the disease has progressed to the point where signs appear. Medical treatment can sometimes extend life but the disease almost always eventually ends in death. It is very important to stop the disease from developing in people who may have been exposed to the rabies virus.
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Transmission And Incubation Period
Rabies is usually transmitted by a bite or scratch from an infected animal. An animal can also get rabies if the saliva of an infected animal comes into contact with:
- its eyes
- inside its nose and mouth
- an existing wound
Animals can also get rabies by eating the carcass of an infected animal.
Most infected animals can transmit the virus several days before symptoms appear. For example, domestic animals can transmit the virus through their saliva up to 10 days before symptoms appear. In some species such as bats, this period can exceed 14 days. This means an animal that looks healthy can still transmit rabies.
If a domestic animal is vaccinated against rabies preventively, the risk of transmission and concerns are reduced. To be protected and to protect those around it, the animal must receive the vaccine booster doses on the dates prescribed by the veterinarian. The rabies vaccine is very effective unless given to an animal already in the incubation period.
Always assume that a dead animal can still contain the virus and avoid handling it with bare hands.
The survival of the rabies virus depends on the duration of its exposure to open air and climatic conditions. It is quickly destroyed by heat, drought and sunlight but can survive in a frozen carcass.