My cat has rabies, update page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-02-2006, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I just figured out this morning that my cat has rabies. A couple days ago he was throwing up, but sometimes he does that when he eats grass, so we didn't think much of it. Then yesterdaywhen I came home from work he couldn't walk well. His legs were shaking. I let him outside where he has been ever since... isolating in a corner. This morning he is drooling/foaming from his mouth.
My big worry is my 6 mo baby. Oedi is pretty much an indoor cat, although he goes out once in a while. I know that there can be an incubation period before symptoms, so I am worried DS may have been exposed to cat salliva somehow.
Any advice?
Thanks, Ronna
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Old 06-02-2006, 10:34 AM
 
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Put that cat in a box and take it to the veterinarian immediately!!! It needs to be euthanized and tested. And then talk to your physician. Rabies is not something to take chances with.

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Old 06-02-2006, 10:35 AM
 
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You may have to call Animal Control as well.
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Old 06-02-2006, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I talked to our vet this morning. They told me to call animal control. No answer there yet. : I'm so worried. I don't want to get the rabies vax. Would there be alternatives?
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Old 06-02-2006, 10:45 AM
 
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Call a homeopath! (for your baby)
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Old 06-02-2006, 10:48 AM
 
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Old 06-02-2006, 10:49 AM
 
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The cat would have to be killed,and then its brain tissue tested.Animal control would want to know if it IS rabies so they can capture animals in the area and put rabies vax bait out.

Emed on human treatment:http://www.emedicine.com/EMERG/topic493.htm

Looks like 5 doses of rabies immune globulin if you go that route.

rabies symptoms in cat:http://www.peteducation.com/article....&articleid=346

Sorry for your cat regardless of what he has.Could also be pesticide poisoning.People are putting out a lot of stuff for bugs that pets eat up.
Hope you and the babe will be OK.
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Old 06-02-2006, 10:55 AM
 
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I would say that foaming at the mouth is a clear sign of rabies.
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Old 06-02-2006, 10:58 AM
 
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I have absolutely no idea what you should do. But I wouldn't mess around with rabies if there is any chance you think your child has been exposed.

Does rabies need to get into the bloodstream? Or can it be transmitted via salavia on skin? I would find that out ASAP and double check and get second opinions.

ASAP.
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Old 06-02-2006, 11:12 AM
 
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I had a cat pass from kidney failure (likely due to some unknown poisoning) and he foamed at the mouth.

So sorry to hear about your kitty; hoping that it's not rabies...
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Old 06-02-2006, 12:29 PM
 
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I'm so sorry to hear that. I really hope it's not rabies.
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Old 06-02-2006, 01:12 PM
 
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From the CDC regarding non-bite exposure:

1. Q: How do people get rabies?
A: People usually get get rabies from the bite of a rabid animal. It is also possible, but quite rare, that people may get rabies if infectious material from a rabid animal, such as saliva, gets directly into their eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound.

2. Q: Can I get rabies in any way other than an animal bite?
A: Non-bite exposures to rabies are very rare. Scratches, abrasions, open wounds, or mucous membranes contaminated with saliva or other potentially infectious material (such as brain tissue) from a rabid animal constitute non-bite exposures. Occasionally reports of non-bite exposure are such that postexposure prophylaxis is given.

Inhalation of aerosolized rabies virus is also a potential non-bite route of exposure, but other than laboratory workers, most people are unlikely to encounter an aerosol of rabies virus.

Other contact, such as petting a rabid animal or contact with the blood, urine or feces (e.g., guano) of a rabid animal, does not constitute an exposure and is not an indication for prophylaxis.
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Old 06-02-2006, 01:19 PM
 
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continued . . . from the CDC:

Rabies diagnosis in humans
Several tests are necessary to diagnose rabies ante-mortem (before death) in humans; no single test is sufficient. Tests are performed on samples of saliva, serum, spinal fluid, and skin biopsies of hair follicles at the nape of the neck. Saliva can be tested by virus isolation or reverse transcription followed by polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Serum and spinal fluid are tested for antibodies to rabies virus. Skin biopsy specimens are examined for rabies antigen in the cutaneous nerves at the base of hair follicles.


****************

Even though there was no human bite involved, this may interest because it talks about quarantine and incubation:

3. Q: What happens if a neighborhood dog or cat bites me?
A: You should seek medical evaluation for any animal bite. However, rabies is uncommon in dogs, cats, and ferrets in the United States. Very few bites by these animals carry a risk of rabies. If the cat (or dog or ferret) appeared healthy at the time you were bitten, it can be confined by its owner for 10 days and observed. No anti-rabies prophylaxis is needed. No person in the United States has ever contracted rabies from a dog, cat or ferret held in quarantine for 10 days.

If a dog, cat, or ferret appeared ill at the time it bit you or becomes ill during the 10 day quarantine, it should be evaluated by a veterinarian for signs of rabies and you should seek medical advice about the need for anti-rabies prophylaxis.

The quarantine period is a precaution against the remote possibility that an animal may appear healthy, but actually be sick with rabies. To understand this statement, you have to understand a few things about the pathogenesis of rabies (the way the rabies virus affects the animal it infects). From numerous studies conducted on rabid dogs, cats, and ferrets, we know that rabies virus inoculated into a muscle travels from the site of the inoculation to the brain by moving within nerves. The animal does not appear ill during this time, which is called the incubation period and which may last for weeks to months. A bite by the animal during the incubation period does not carry a risk of rabies because the virus is not in saliva. Only late in the disease, after the virus has reached the brain and multiplied there to cause an encephalitis (or inflammation of the brain), does the virus move 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. As an added precaution, the quarantine period is lengthened to 10 days.
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Old 06-02-2006, 01:35 PM
 
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Excessive drooling (which can look like foam) can also be a result of a poison. It is spring, lots of foolish people are putting out all kinds of pesticides and vermicides. It could be that and your cat could be dying already of it. Whatever it is, you should put the cat into a carrier (while you are wearing gloves and long sleeves, etc) and prepare for going to animal control or your vet.

Your vet has no business telling you to call animal control when they are supposed to be trained to handle this sort of thing. At least, all the vets I've had reason to talk with about this were trained to take care of these kind of situations.
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Old 06-02-2006, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you guys so much.

LongIsland I really appreciate all that info... it calmed me down some.

Animal control is on their way out here.

I doubt it is poison because we live out in the trees surrounded by woods. No neighbors anywhere in sight and we haven't used any type of chemicals anywhere.

He is an indoor cat and rarely goes out... just for short times during the day. We have another cat too. He doesn't exhibit any symptoms, but I don't want to risk having a rabid animal around.

They mentioned on the phone that I would get fined if he was not up to date on his shots! Better find those records, I guess.... I hope he is up to date. I know the other cat is.
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Old 06-02-2006, 02:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suprgrl
They mentioned on the phone that I would get fined if he was not up to date on his shots! Better find those records, I guess.... I hope he is up to date. I know the other cat is.
If you can't find your cat's shot record, your vet at least should have it on file.
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Old 06-02-2006, 02:21 PM
 
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I also had a cat foam at the mouth due to kidney and liver failure. He didn't eat any poison, he just got old and his kidneys and livers both failed, which somehow caused foaming at the mouth. Oh, and he also lost the ability to walk and was acting very strange, just like your cat. Rabies usually makes animals aggressive, doesn't it? Has your cat been aggressive at all? Has he been bitten by any other animals?
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Old 06-02-2006, 04:07 PM
 
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I also had a cat who was poisoned and had a similar death. He could have eaten a poisonous plant, had a run-in with a snake or spider or other poisonous bug, or maybe your car is leaking a bit of antifreeze? It may be best to have him euthanised regardless.
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Old 06-02-2006, 04:14 PM
 
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I have to agree with the above posters...

Just because the cat is foaming at the mouth doesn't mean it has contracted rabies. And just because you don't live near neighbors doesn't mean the cat couldn't have gotten into something poisonous.

Renal failure, poison, gastrointestinal problems... can all cause foaming at the mouth. You should have taken him into the vet before calling animal control to rule out the above, because now animal control will immediately euthanise the cat to do a brain biopsy.

I would hate to assume one of my animals has rabies, have it euthanised, and then find out it didn't and was put to death for no reason.

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Old 06-02-2006, 04:27 PM
 
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It actually sounds like feline distemper to me. We had three cats die of it (one contracted it from a vet's office. It starts out with vomiting, then they get lethargic, and can't really move at all. The original cat held on for a couple of day, another one never showed any signs and was found dead under the table. A kitten died within hours.

Generally it is one of the kitten shots they get, but I have never let them vaccinate my animal for anything other than rabies which is why they got it. HOWEVER, just like the doctors office the vet's office spreads germs and disease and I am sure my cats would have been fine taking their chances in the wild.

(I am so mad at the vet, she had never heard of it so she let the animals that were there overnight for surgery share food dishes and litter boxes. : )
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Old 06-02-2006, 05:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sohj
Excessive drooling (which can look like foam) can also be a result of a poison. It is spring, lots of foolish people are putting out all kinds of pesticides and vermicides. It could be that and your cat could be dying already of it. Whatever it is, you should put the cat into a carrier (while you are wearing gloves and long sleeves, etc) and prepare for going to animal control or your vet.

Your vet has no business telling you to call animal control when they are supposed to be trained to handle this sort of thing. At least, all the vets I've had reason to talk with about this were trained to take care of these kind of situations.
Thanks for this post, sohj. I learned a lot that I didn' know.
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Old 06-02-2006, 05:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aniT
It actually sounds like feline distemper to me. We had three cats die of it (one contracted it from a vet's office. It starts out with vomiting, then they get lethargic, and can't really move at all. The original cat held on for a couple of day, another one never showed any signs and was found dead under the table. A kitten died within hours.

Generally it is one of the kitten shots they get, but I have never let them vaccinate my animal for anything other than rabies which is why they got it. HOWEVER, just like the doctors office the vet's office spreads germs and disease and I am sure my cats would have been fine taking their chances in the wild.

(I am so mad at the vet, she had never heard of it so she let the animals that were there overnight for surgery share food dishes and litter boxes. : )
Oh wow. See I had no idea. This is such a great forum for information.

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Old 06-02-2006, 05:05 PM
 
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Please keep us posted...hope everything is ok!
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Old 06-02-2006, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, it looks like it could be a variety of things. I read some about feline distemper and I agree that could be it. Why couldn't my vet have been more help in trying to figure it out before dismissing it as rabies and telling me to call Animal Control? :

Well, Animal Control just came to get him. They are going to watch him for the weekend. If he does not exhibit signs of rabies to them or die, then they will give him back. Our other cat is still here. Hopefully he will be okay.

Thank you all so much!
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Old 06-02-2006, 05:09 PM
 
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Vets typically get rabies vaccines,so they should not have issue with tending to a pet that MIGHT have rabies. Hopefully they will check the blood before pushing for killing the poor thing unless ofcourse there is no possiblity of recovery. That stinks about the animal control threat of a fine.
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Old 06-02-2006, 05:13 PM
 
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I had a cat die of FIP that had similar symptoms. If the cat has been vaccinated I am thinking rabies is a very remote possibility. Also, my uncle is a vet and he once told me that rabies in animals like cats and anything smaller is extra rare because the type of fight/exposure to a wild animal that would spread the rabies would most likely kill the cat. He said dogs with rabies are much more likely, although still very rare.

Has the cat been in any fights recently?

I am so sorry about your kitty.

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Old 06-02-2006, 05:14 PM
 
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Are they even going to treat him medically for anything or just leave him in a pen to die? That freaking sucks. I would call your vet and demand that he see him. Either the vet goes to him or there has to be some way that animal control would let him go to the vet. That's just ridiculous.

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Old 06-02-2006, 05:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryn
Are they even going to treat him medically for anything or just leave him in a pen to die? That freaking sucks. I would call your vet and demand that he see him. Either the vet goes to him or there has to be some way that animal control would let him go to the vet. That's just ridiculous.
If it's feline distemper there is nothing a vet can do. It is fatal. I don't think there is anything they can do for rabies either. They can only put the animal to sleep or let it ride it out.
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Old 06-02-2006, 05:28 PM
 
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I have nothing to add other that I'm really sorry to hear about your kitty. My cat once got into some whiskey and he foamed terribly at the mouth. The foaming doesn't always mean rabies, but it does need to get checked out as soon as possible.

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Old 06-02-2006, 05:41 PM
 
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When I lived in the bahamas, my cat had a severe case of fleas. (thanks to the neighbor's kid letting their flea bag dog into our apt. while she was house sitting):
We bought some flea stuff and the cat licked herself, then started foaming quite badly.

I'm so sorry about you cat. I have to agree, your vet deserves an earfull. At the very least, he should have talked to you about the other things it could be, based on symtoms.
Please update when you can.
HUGS!
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