Rabies Symptoms in Cats and Dogs

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Rabies is a very serious and fatal illness in cats and dogs and other mammals. This viral disease affects the brain and spinal cord. There are vaccines that prevent this disease, and the cost of the vaccine is usually minimal, especially compared to the cost of medical care if your pet contracts rabies. If your pet has been exposed to rabies, there are some signs and symptoms that you should watch for. If you notice the following issues with your pet, contact a veterinarian and seek treatment immediately. While there is no cure for rabies and 100% of cases are fatal, there are actions you can take to ease your pet's suffering if they come in contact with another animal that has rabies and contract this disease.

So what are some of the symptoms?

When your pet is afflicted with rabies, you generally won't see symptoms appear immediately. It can take weeks or even months to see signs of rabies exposure in your pet, since the virus can lie dormant in the pet's body for an undetermined amount of time before becoming active and beginning to do damage to your pet. There are many different signs and symptoms of rabies infection, and these can vary from pet to pet.

Some symptoms include but are not limited to;

  • Wild changes in behavior, such as fear, aggression
  • Confusion and restlessness or lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Other symptoms include;

  • Weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures

While rabies generally doesn't kill a pet immediately, some animals may even experience sudden death after exposure to rabies. There is no accurate test for rabies that is performed on live animals; this testing is done after death. There is no also cure for rabies, so it is imperative that pet owners have their pets vaccinated against this disease each year. Many cities and municipalities have passed ordinances making rabies vaccinations mandatory for all pets living within the confines of the city. Some pet owners believe that as long as their pet is an indoor-only pet, they don't need to be vaccinated for rabies, but this is incorrect. It only takes a second for your pet to slip out of your site and run out of your home without a leash on. Once outside, they can become infected with this disease that will end their life. Make sure your pet is vaccinated, whether they live indoors with you or enjoy the freedom of being outside.

Rabies can kill your pet and affect other pets and even people. It is estimated that more than 50,000 humans and millions of animals die from rabies infection each year. It is important to call your vet immediately if you notice any symptoms of rabies, so you can get your pet the proper treatment before it is too late. And be sure to keep up with your pet's routine rabies vaccinations; prevention is the key to keeping your pet safe from this deadly disease.