Case Report: Rabies in a Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica

Mirza Vaseem, Vibha Raghuram, (doi: 10.23953/cloud.ijavst.267)


An adult female Small Indian civet was rescued from a pile of rubble in broad daylight and brought to Pilikula Biological Park’s wildlife hospital at Mangalore, India. During initial examination, the animal showed no physical deformities or signs of trauma, but exhibited progressively worsening neurological signs like ataxia, sialorrhea, convulsions and a highly uncoordinated, wobbly gait. Benzodiazepines and antibiotics were administered to manage convulsions and prevent secondary infections respectively, but the animal succumbed four days following admission. Necropsy revealed no gross abnormalities in the organs, but histopathological examination revealed bronchopneumonia, congestion and oedema in the lungs. It also dismissed canine distemper as a differential owing to the lack of intra-cytoplasmic inclusion bodies in the urinary bladder epithelium. However, an impression smear of the brain returned positive for rabies when tested with Fluorescent Antibody Technique (FAT). This is the first report of rabies in a civet from south India. The major implications of this finding are the possibility of rabies transmission to the critically endangered Malabar large-spotted civet (Viverra civettina) and the impending risk of zoonosis.


Internal medicine; neurology; Viverridae; zoonosis

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