Pseudorabies (Aujeszky’s Disease) in Cats

Pseudorabies in Cats

Pseudorabies is a highly fatal viral disease caused by a herpes virus. Also referred to as Aujeszky’s disease, this disease is usually associated with contact with swine (pigs) but can also be acquired by ingesting infected rats or eating contaminated, uncooked pork. For this reason, pseudorabies is more commonly seen in cats that live on farms.

What to Watch For

This disease progresses rapidly, and death usually occurs within 48 hours.

Diagnosis of Pseudorabies in Cats

Compatible clinical signs and recent exposure to pigs is highly suggestive of pseudorabies infection. Baseline tests to include a complete blood count (CBC), biochemical profile, and urinalysis are recommended in all patients, and are often within normal limits. Additional tests may include:

Treatment of Pseudorabies in Cats

There is no known effective treatment. Supportive care and prevention of self-injury is indicated. Death is the expected outcome.

Home Care and Prevention

There is mild potential for human infection. Take precautions when treating or handling infected cats. Cat-to-cat transmission is unusual.

Preventing pseudorabies is aimed at avoidance of contaminated swine. Also, avoiding ingestion of raw or contaminated pork and infected rats is highly recommended.