The Rabies is a viral infectious disease that affects all mammals and therefore cats can get it too. “Bats create an interesting dilemma because of their incisors and their teeth being so small,” Rohde says. Once initiated, rabies prophylaxis should not be interrupted or discontinued because of local or mild systemic adverse reactions to rabies vaccine. The spasms can increase in their intensity until a full-blown seizure occurs. Rabies is estimated to kill 50 000 humans per year, 1 although this is concentrated in developing countries with endemic canine rabies and often inadequate public education and health systems. But it’s possible for a person to contract rabies without realizing it, and this has happened more than once in the U.S. in the last couple of years. Once the symptoms have begun, the virus progresses rapidly. This symptom develops into a worse condition once the. In the U.S., there have been 23 rabies deaths accounted for between 2008 and 2017, per the CDC—and eight of those deaths were due to bites that occurred in other countries. Since rabies causes swelling or inflammation of the brain, hallucinations and agitation often occurs in the patient. Most cats do not like water, but a rabid cat almost always has hydrophobia—an extreme phobia of water. Within days of the virus reaching the central nervous system, a person or animal infected with rabies experiences seizures, anxiety, confusion, delirium, aggression, and hallucinations plus difficulty walking, breathing, and swallowing. What To Do and Not To Do As Soon As You Realize That You Have Been Bitten by A Venomous Spider? The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Your email address will not be published. I’d guess that, day to day, most people don’t really think about rabies in any serious way. 1. If your cat has been bitten by a cat or some other animal, place him in a carrier and bring him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. If they work with animals regularly, they will have to stay up to date on their vaccinations with guidance from a doctor. All the best health and wellness advice, tips, tricks, and intel, delivered to your inbox every day. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. (he’s only 3 so the first vaccine was a 1 year) I saw a new vet at my usual practice and she gave my cat the rabies vaccine into his foot. But again, once rabies infection has taken hold, it’s almost always deadly and vaccination will no longer help. This symptom develops into a worse condition once the cat bites another animal or a human. The incubation of rabies is, on average, between one and three months, but can be as little as a day and up to a year. Log in. [Even] if you’re not sure, and the window or a screen was open, someone might recommend that vaccine series,” he describes. As the victim may develop severe difficulty of swallowing their saliva, the sight of water might cause visible terror to them. During a typical bite, the virus gets introduced into the muscle, where it will reproduce and then enter the nerves, eventually leading to the brain, Rodney Rohde, Ph.D., professor of clinical laboratory science at Texas State University and author of a forthcoming book on rabies, tells SELF. Cats are defensive by nature, so they run from most wildlife. Woundcaresociety.org is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.ca. Why owning a cat could lead to blindness . This regimen involves a dose of rabies immune globulin, which gives some immediate protection, followed by a series of four rabies vaccines (administered in the arm, just like other vaccines) to allow the body to mount its own immune response. A rabid coyote that attacked a North Carolina man last April had been reportedly aggressive and ferocious, as was a stray cat that was thought to have rabies after it was aggressive and pounced on a 3-year-old girl last summer, also in North Carolina. As it progresses, other symptoms may present, such as hallucinations or partial paralysis, the Mayo Clinic explains. Elevated pain, itching, or tingling at the wound site. Rabies is also known as canine rabies, hydrophobia lyssa, and rabies virus infection. The person may also have fear of water. This is crucial, even if you’re not totally sure that you were dealing with a rabid animal. There’s no cure, so prevention is crucial. “Even if you knew you had been bitten by a bat and if you asked a physician or someone who was trying to find [the bite], it is really difficult to do so.” The skulls of some bats are smaller than the first knuckle of your fingers; an incisor may be as small as 2 millimeters in length, and the bite about the size of a needle prick. © 2020 Condé Nast. Applies to rabies vaccine, human diploid cell: intramuscular powder for injection. Rabies affects mammals and is generally transmitted via the bite or scratch of an animal carrying the virus. Dangers of Untreated Rabies Prevalence of Rabies. The combination of immune globulin and the vaccines will stop the growth of the virus in the body, preventing further disease development. For people bitten by a pet dog, cat, or ferret: If the animal appears healthy and can be observed for 10 days, the vaccine is not given unless the animal develops symptoms of rabies. The cat may experience seizures and lack of muscles coordination. The virus is present in the saliva of rabid cats, and people have developed rabies after being bitten by a rabid cat. In developing countries of Africa and Southeast Asia, stray dogs are the most likely to spread rabies to people.Once a person begins showing signs and symptoms of rabies, the disease is nearly always fatal. The rabies virus is usually transmitted through a bite.Animals most likely to transmit rabies in the United States include bats, coyotes, foxes, raccoons and skunks. It was the first rabies death in Utah since 1944. All rights reserved. How Often Do Cats Need to Get a Rabies Vaccine? Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Community cat caregivers, who are in constant contact with the cats and would be the first to suffer any ill effects, have shown no increased rate of disease. 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