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When your child gets bitten or injured by an animal, be cool and promise your child that you will assist him or her. After an animal bite has occurred, your child’s healthcare professional will select the appropriate therapy for him or her. The following may be included in your treatment. Small bites from a domestic pet that is inoculated and in excellent health are treated as follows:
- For at least 5 minutes, wash the wound with soap and water from a faucet that is running at high pressure. Avoid scrubbing since this may cause the tissue to bruise. Apply an antibiotic lotion or ointment to the affected area. Keep an eye out for indications of illness. Fever, increasing redness or discomfort, swelling or fluid spilling, as well as red streaks from the bite, are some of the symptoms. If any of these symptoms develop, contact your child’s healthcare professional immediately.
For deeper bites or puncture wounds caused by any animal, or for any bite caused by an unknown species, consult your doctor.
- The bite or scrape should be applied pressure with a clean bandage or cloth to halt the bleeding
- Otherwise, let it alone. For at least 5 minutes, wash the wound with soap and water from a faucet that is running at high pressure. Avoid scrubbing since this may cause the tissue to bruise. Dry the wound thoroughly and apply a sterile dressing on it. Closing the incision with tape or butterfly bandages is not recommended. This has the potential to trap dangerous microorganisms in the wound. Call your child’s healthcare practitioner for assistance in reporting the attack and determining whether additional treatment is necessary. The treatment may involve antibiotics, a tetanus booster, a rabies vaccination, or a stitched-up wound to close the wound. For bites on the face or bites that result in deeper puncture wounds of the skin, this is extremely crucial to remember. It is critical to inform your child’s healthcare practitioner of any cat bites, particularly those that occur around the hands and wrists. These injuries are well-known for frequently resulting in infection
- If at all feasible, track down the animal that caused the injury. Some animals must be trapped, confined, and continuously monitored for the presence of rabies. Never attempt to capture the animal on your own. If the animal cannot be located or is a high-risk species (such as a raccoon, a skunk, or a bat), or if the animal attack was unprovoked, your kid may require a course of rabies vaccinations.
If your kid exhibits any flu-like symptoms following an animal bite, contact your child’s healthcare practitioner. Fever, headache, sick feeling, loss of appetite, and enlarged glands are some of the symptoms that might occur.
Cat Bites May Lead to Infections: Treatment and When to Get Help
Even though cats are soft and cuddly, they can bite or scratch if they are startled or startled by something. While a cat bites, it may not seem like a huge concern at first — after all, it might be charming when they’re playing — but certain cat bites can cause serious health complications. Cats contain a wide variety of germs in their mouths that are capable of causing illnesses in wounds from bites. Despite the fact that house cats are frequently inoculated against the most dangerous diseases, such as rabies, stray cats are not routinely vaccinated and can transmit a variety of diseases.
- Cat bites in youngsters result in illness in almost half of all cases, according to a 2018 scientific review.
- Cat bites that have been infected can become not only painful, but also red or discolored, as well as swollen and inflamed.
- These infections have the potential to be deadly in rare instances.
- Cats’ teeth are sharp and pointed, just like their claws.
- The puncture hole can soon close up, allowing germs from the cat’s mouth to become trapped beneath your skin.
- Cellulitis is a kind of skin illness that can develop fast following a bite.
Despite the fact that cats are lovable and gentle, they may bite or scratch if they become frightened. It may not seem like a huge problem when a cat bites — after all, it might be charming when they’re playing — but some cat bites can be quite dangerous to your health. Several bacteria exist in the mouths of cats that can cause illnesses in bite wounds if they come into contact with them. However, although house cats are routinely vaccinated against the most dangerous diseases, such as rabies, stray cats are not, and they can transmit a variety of diseases.
- Cat bites in youngsters result in illness in almost half of all cases, according to a 2018 scientific review..
- It is possible for cat bites to get infected, resulting in not only discomfort, but also redness or discoloration, as well as swelling and swelling.
- These infections are seldom deadly, although they do occur.
- Unlike humans, cats have sharp and pointed teeth.
- The puncture hole can soon close up, allowing germs from the cat’s mouth to become trapped beneath the skin.
In order for bacteria to flourish, the heated and dark interior layers of your skin must be kept warm and moist. Cellulitis is a kind of skin illness that can develop very fast after a bite has been sustained. Following a cat bite, the following are some of the infectious disorders that may develop:
Cat scratch disease
Scratching illness (also known as cat scratch fever) is an ailment caused by the bacteriaBartonella henselae that affects cats and other animals. CSD is spread when a cat with the virus does any of the following: The following animals are at the greatest danger of transmitting the disease to humans:
- Kittens under one year of age
- Cats that hunt
- Stray cats
- Cats who are afflicted with fleas
It’s vital to understand that CSD is most commonly found in children and adolescents. People with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of having a more serious illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cats, like many other animals, are capable of transmitting rabies. It is incredibly unusual to contract this virus, which is nearly always lethal if left untreated. Approximately 1 to 3 cases of hepatitis C are reported in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The vast majority of household cats have previously been inoculated against rabies. If you are aware that the cat that has bitten you has received a rabies vaccination, the likelihood of contracting rabies is low.
When rabies signs appear, the disease is almost always deadly.
Depending on the severity of the bite, it may be essential to trap the animal so that it may be examined.
Instead, contact the local animal control office for assistance.
Cats, like many other mammals, are capable of transmitting the rabies virus to other animals. It is incredibly unusual to come across this virus, which is nearly always lethal if left untreated. Approximately 1 to 3 instances are reported in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). RABIES vaccination is already mandatory for the majority of household cats. The likelihood of contracting rabies is low if the cat that bit you has had the rabies vaccination.
Rabies is usually lethal once the signs are evident.
Depending on the severity of the bite, it may be essential to trap the animal so that it may be evaluated.
Make a phone call to the local animal control agency instead.
- Inflammation, swelling, and warmth are all symptoms of a bite wound. A lump or blister may appear where the bite site is located.
The following are more significant signs of a cat bite infection:
- Swollen lymph nodes, feverorchills, night sweats, exhaustion, muscular weakness, and inability to use your hand (if your hand has been bitten) are all symptoms of a bitten hand. If your hand has been bitten, call 911 immediately.
If you begin to suffer any of the more serious symptoms listed above, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible as well.
In the absence of prompt treatment, an infection caused by a cat bite might progress to more serious problems. These are some examples:
- Infection in the bones, osteomyelitis
- And death are all possible outcomes from brain sickness (encephalopathy).
When a cat bites you, it is possible that an infection can develop in within a few hours. However, certain diseases, such as cat-scratch illness, can take 10 days or longer to manifest themselves with symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the incubation period for rabies (the amount of time between exposure and the manifestation of symptoms) can range from weeks to months. A doctor or nurse will clean the area carefully, remove any dead tissue, and use antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
Additionally, your doctor may order an X-ray to assess damage to joints or bones, as well as to check for any shards of the cat’s teeth that may have broken off during the cat fight.
Antibiotics for cat bites
Antibiotics will almost certainly be prescribed by a doctor to combat the infection. Some bites need the administration of antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) line, but others can be treated with oral medicine alone.
if you haven’t had a tetanus vaccination in the recent 5 years, your doctor may recommend a booster shot for you.
Surgery or stitches
A doctor will determine whether or not the wound requires stitches or surgery in order to heal correctly. Cat bites are associated with a number of potential dangers in addition to illness. These are some examples:
If the cat bite is severe enough, it might cause tendon injury (s). The tendon and ligament structures of the hand are very fragile. Tendons can rupture and necessitate surgical intervention.
According to a case study published in 2016, cat bites can cause nerve damage in rare instances. Not only can it cause pain, but it can also cause numbness and paresthesia.
It has been reported in a case report from 2016 that cat bites can cause nerve damage in rare circumstances. Other than pain, numbness and paresthesia are other common symptoms.
There is also the possibility that a cat’s teeth will fall off during a bite and that the cat would require dental extraction. Animal bites and scratches that just scrape the surface of your skin, as well as scratches that do not break your skin, have a low risk of developing an infection. Although you should continue to clean the wound area with soap and water, it is unlikely that you will be need to take any more action. Puncture wounds caused by a cat bite are more susceptible to infection.
Using soap and water, properly clean the cut and wrap it in an adhesive bandage to keep it from bleeding.
If the cat is not displaying indications of rabies, PEP is not usually required; nonetheless, the cat should be observed for at least 10 days to be sure it is not infected. If a cat bite breaches your skin, you should get medical assistance if any of the following conditions occur:
- Your body starts showing signs of infection, such as fever and chills
- Pus or fluid pouring from the incision
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- Or any other significant indications of infection. The wound is not going to stop bleeding. When a cat bites you, the wound appears deep or large
- When the cat that bit you appears aggressive or acts strangely
- When the cat that bit you is unvaccinated against rabies or you are unsure if the cat is vaccinated against rabies
- And when the cat that bit you appears aggressive or acts strangely In the previous five years, you have not had an atetanus shot
- You are suffering from a weaker immune system.
When a cat bites you, you have a significant chance of infection, which can be severe. Follow these measures if you want to take care of your wound at home:
- Wash the bite wounds carefully with soap and water after they have healed. Antibiotic ointment should be used. Wrap the wound with a sterile bandage.
If any of the following symptoms appear, get medical assistance immediately:
- Inflammation, discomfort, redness or coloring, swelling, as well as more serious signs of an infection, such as fever or muscular weakness, are all possible.
You should take your pet cat to the veterinarian at least once a year to ensure that they are up-to-date on their vaccinations. As a result, you should teach your children how to properly handle cats and monitor their behavior to ensure they aren’t doing anything that may harm or scare a cat inadvertently. Keep your distance from stray or wild cats. When dealing with an injured or stray cat, it is best to use thick protective gloves.
Cat Bite Injuries to Humans
When a cat bites, its sharp canine teeth readily penetrate the skin, producing little but deep lesions in the skin that are difficult to treat. These punctures quickly close up, trapping bacteria from the cat’s mouth behind the skin of the bite victim, where they can quickly grow if not treated immediately. Cat scratches cause a similar form of injury: the incredibly sharp, curved nails pierce deep into the skin, basically introducing germs into the puncture site and causing it to bleed. In certain cases, the bacteria can spread to the surrounding tissues, resulting in a condition known as cellulitis, which is dependent on the location and depth of the incision.
Are cat bites dangerous?
Cat bites may be extremely deadly to both other animals and people alike. All cats contain a huge amount of germs in their mouths, which are capable of causing tissue infections in bite wounds if they are bitten. One of the most prevalent is a highly harmful bacteria known as Pasteurella multocida, which is extremely contagious. An infected cat bite wound will be red, swollen, and painful, and the infection can spread through the surrounding tissues, resulting in a condition known as cellulitis, or through the bloodstream, resulting in a condition known as septicemia.
Infected individuals may have fever and flu-like symptoms, and in rare cases, they may succumb to their illness if correct medical care is not sought.
What immediate action should I take if bitten by a cat?
The wound should be cleaned under running water as soon as it is discovered. Keep the wounds clean, and avoid using harsh disinfectants or other chemicals on them because this can cause tissue damage and delay wound healing. Cleaning the wound with a moderate salt solution, created by combining 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of table salt in 2 cups (500 mL) of water, is an option you may want to consider. Applying direct pressure to the wound with an absorbent dressing or bandage might help to stop the bleeding.
The majority of cat bite wounds are tiny punctures that allow dangerous microorganisms to enter the skin and multiply. If left untreated, a major infection can develop within twenty-four to forty-eight hours, putting the patient’s life in danger.
Do I really need to see a doctor?
Yes. It is recommended that you consult a doctor as soon as possible in order to ensure that the injury is adequately addressed. Antibiotics will almost certainly be prescribed by your doctor in order to lessen the likelihood of infection developing at the location of the bite or elsewhere in the body. Some wounds may require suturing (stitching), but others will be left open to heal on their own. It may also be necessary to provide a tetanus booster. A rabies prophylactic therapy may also be recommended depending on the severity of the bite and the circumstances surrounding the incident.
What will happen to the cat in this case?
Depending on your state’s laws, your doctor may be obligated to submit a report to the local department of health. If the cat’s rabies vaccination status is known and current, the cat will often be placed under a brief quarantine, which can last anywhere between 10 and 14 days in most cases. If the cat’s rabies vaccine has expired, the quarantine may be extended for a longer period of time.
What You Should Do for a Cat Bite or Scratch
Cats are cherished and revered by people of many civilizations across the world. Animal therapy is a technique that uses these lovely, fluffy critters to give emotional support to their owners while also helping to enhance their emotions. Cleveland Clinic is a not-for-profit academic medical facility located in Cleveland, Ohio. Advertising on our website contributes to the success of our mission. We do not recommend or promote any items or services that are not provided by the Cleveland Clinic.
Occasionally, their razor-sharp teeth and nails will penetrate deep into the body, puncturing tissues, ligaments, and tendons.
When one of these cats bites or scratches you, the time begins to run down.
Infections cats can pass along
Cats are capable of introducing pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacteriosis, and Pasteurella into your body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Staphylococcus aureusis a bacteria that is widely found on the skin of humans and animals and is transferred between humans and animals through physical contact (CDC). Keep in mind that cats don’t always display indications of this infection, so it may be difficult to identify if your cat has it just by looking at him.
- In the event that you develop thecampylobacter infection, you may have symptoms like as stomach pains, high fever, nausea, and diarrhea.
- Felines infected with Bartonella henselaebacteria either from flea bites, blood transfusion or battling with other infected cats get this infection.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises people to be cautious when approaching strange cats, even if they appear to be friendly.
Who can resist the beautiful meows of an unusual cat? This will assist you in reducing your chances of developing an illness. Always remember to wash your hands after petting or playing with a cat, as well as after cleaning their litter box, to avoid spreading disease.
What to do if a cat bites you
First and foremost, you want to try to wash out as much germs as possible from the wound before irrigating it with water. After that, gently wash the wound with mild soap and water to remove any remaining dirt. Slow the bleeding using a clean towel, and if you have access to it, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment. After that, cover the wound with a sterile bandage. Maintain the bandage on the wound until you can visit a doctor. The bandage should be changed multiple times a day after you’ve seen your doctor, according to him.
How a doctor treats a cat wound
“The majority of the time, cat wounds are left exposed to heal,” adds Dr. Sayles. “This makes it easy for you to clean the wound and minimizes the chance of infection.” Your doctor will most likely do the following procedures:
- Cleanse the wound once again and apply antibiotic ointment as needed. If you suspect an infection, you should consider prescribing antibiotics such as Augmentin. If your tetanus vaccination is out of date, your doctor will administer a booster dose. Determine whether or not sutures are required for the wound.
Always remember that if you are catbited, you must act swiftly to avoid more injury. In order to reduce the risk of infection, contact your doctor as soon as possible after being ill.
Steps to Treat Cat Bites and Scratches for Preventing Infection
Given how frequently humans interact with cats, it should come as no surprise that cat bites are among the most prevalent types of injuries, particularly among youngsters. The first step in treating a cat should always be to ensure the safety of everyone involved, including the cat. Once that has been established, there are a few basic procedures to follow in order to treat the wound and determine whether it is necessary to see a doctor. Photo courtesy of Rengim Mutevellioglu / Getty Images
How to Treat a Cat Bite
When dealing with a cat bite, it’s important to have some basic first aid knowledge. You should also take measures while dealing with a cat that appears to be scared or unwell, for obvious reasons. When confronted with a cat bite incident, take the following basic steps:
- Separate the cat from the person who has been hurt. If the cat’s owner is there, they are in the best position to securely manage the animal, according to the experts. It is not recommended to begin therapy until there is a reasonable likelihood that the cat will not attack again. In the event that you are treating the wounded party, use conventional procedures wherever feasible to keep yourself and the injured person safe. Cleaning your hands and donning protective gloves (particularly if there is extensive bleeding) are all important steps to take. Blood loss can be controlled by providing direct pressure to the area, wrapping the wound with a clean cloth or gauze, and pressing hard until the bleeding stops. If the bleeding is occurring on an arm or leg, raise the limb above the level of the heart. Even if the cloth begins to bleed through, do not discard it. Instead, lay another towel on top of the first and continue to apply pressure. Alternatively, if direct pressure cannot be maintained for a lengthy period of time, a pressure dressing can be used. (Pressure dressings are not the same as an atourniquet, which is only used for serious lacerations and is seldom suggested for minor injuries.) As soon as the bleeding has been brought under control, clean the wound with soap and warm water. Any ordinary soap will suffice. Completely rinse the area with water to eliminate any remaining particles. Apply a clean, dry bandage to the wound to keep it from becoming infected. While it’s possible to apply antibiotic ointment to the bite before wrapping it with gauze, this is rarely essential.
If the cat is a stray or appears to be in poor health, contact your local animal protection agency. If the cat appears to be terrified or disturbed, do not attempt to control it; you may wind up harming yourself and/or the cat in the process.
When to See the Doctor
Regardless of how bad you believe the bite to be, you should always seek medical attention after a cat bite injury, regardless of whether the wound requires stitches or not. Cat bites are particularly dangerous since they are frequently deep and carry a risk of infection. Even if there is no infection, they have the potential to create scarring if the wound is not properly cared for (especially those on the face). Cat bites may appear to be benign enough, but they have the ability to spread illnesses to humans and other animals.
Infections that can be spread by cat bites and/or scratches, for example, include the following:
- Campylobacter, Pasteurella multocida, and Rabies are some of the bacteria that can cause illness.
Pasteurella multocidais of particular concern since it has the ability to spread from the bite site to surrounding tissues, resulting in a severe illness known as cellulitis, which can be fatal. The infection may progress to the point that it enters the bloodstream, resulting in blood poisoning (septicemia). After a bite, rabies can produce severe symptoms such as lockjaw and hydrophobia, which can last for up to 90 days. Rabies is virtually exclusively transmitted by animal bites.
When these signs and symptoms arise, the chance of mortality increases dramatically. Despite the fact that rabies is extremely rare in the United States, it remains a risk in regions where wild animals are present (which can transmit rabies to humans and pets alike)
Other than applying antibiotics to limit the risk of infection and administering stitches as needed, other treatments for a cat bite may include a tetanus shot in addition to wound dressing and stitching. Following a cat bite, it is uncommon for a rabies injection to be administered. Instead, the pet may be isolated for ten days while being closely monitored for indications of rabies. In the United States, no one has ever contracted rabies from a dog or cat that has been kept in quarantine for more than 10 days.
A Word From Verywell
In certain regions of the United States, doctors who treat patients who have been bitten by an animal are required to make a report with the local department of health. This includes cat bites, among other things. If the cat’s rabies vaccination status is current, it may be subjected to a short quarantine of 10 to 14 days, depending on the circumstances. If the rabies vaccine has expired, the quarantine may be extended for a longer period of time. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Thank you for taking the time to join up.
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- The American Academy of Family Physicians is a professional organization that represents family physicians. Bites from cats and dogs. Berry, D., Seitz, Z., and Payne, E. (April 2017). The use of sophisticated bleeding control techniques in sports training: a shift in the prehospital care team’s mental process—part 1: tourniquets is discussed. Sport and Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation Journal.2014 Sep
- 9(3):142-51. doi:10.4085/0903142
- Cleveland Clinic. What to do if your cat has bitten or scratched your leg. The most recent update was made on October 9, 2020. Wilson, B.A., and Ho, M. Toxicology of Pasteurella multocida, from zoonosis to cellular microbiology, in one volume. CMR (Clinical Microbiology Review) published an article in July 2013 with the doi:10.1128/CMR.00024-13. Roebling AD, Johnson D, Blanton JD, et al. Cat rabies prevention and management in the framework of trap-neuter-vaccinate-release (TPNVR) programs. Zoonoses and Public Health 2014
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Zoonoses and Public Health 2014
- 61(4):290-6. Rabies in humans is a contagious disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an update on April 6, 2020. Rabies is a disease that affects domestic animals. The most recent update was made on July 5, 2017.
Cat bite: Safety, first aid, and seeking help
The American Academy of Family Physicians is a professional organization for family physicians. The bites of a cat and a dog Berry D, Seitz Z, and Payne E published an article in April 2017 titled Prehospital treatment has shifted as a result of the use of sophisticated bleeding control methods in sports training. Part 1 of this article discusses tourniquets. AJTEJ, Athletic Train Educ J, 2014 Sep;9(3):142-51; Cleveland Clinic. doi:10.4085/0903142. Following a cat bite or scratch, you should perform the following: This page was last updated on September 9, 2020.
Roebling AD, Johnson D, Blanton JD, and others Katzen rabies prevention and control in the framework of trap-neuter-vaccinate-release (TPNVR) programs Cdc-pdf: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Zoonoses and Public Health, 2014;61(4):290-6, doi:10.1111/zph.12070, Zoonoses and Public Health, 2014.
Domestic animals are susceptible to rabies.
- Nerve damage
- Damage to tendons, particularly in the hands
- A broken fragment of the cat’s tooth might get lodged in the wound
- A broken fragment of the cat’s tooth could become lodged in the wound. a scar on the skin where the bite occurred
Cat teeth are thin and pointed, comparable in appearance to a hypodermic needle, and are capable of readily piercing soft flesh. The deeper the puncture hole caused by a cat bite is, the greater the chance that germs will be trapped in the deeper tissue when the surface of the cut heals.
Puncture wounds are also more difficult to clean than other types of wounds. This has the potential to culminate in an invasive infection. A range of different bacteria have been discovered in cat bites, and these germs have the potential to cause illness. They are as follows:
Approximately 70 percent to 90 percent of cats are infected with Pasteurella multocida, according to Cornell University. The majority of cat bites are not serious enough to require medical care, but between 50 percent to 80 percent do. After being bitten, a person may have pain, edema, and inflammation around the wound for 24–48 hours after being bitten. According to an older research published in 2013, P. multocida can commonly cause cellulitis and abscesses. In rare instances, the bacteria can spread throughout the body, resulting in sepsis (blood poisoning).
It may also result in pneumonia, bronchopneumonia, or a respiratory infection in patients who already have a lung disease from smoking.
Cat scratch disease
This develops as a result of a bacterium known as Bartonella henselae. Flea bites, blood transfusions, and battles with other sick cats are all ways for a cat to get infected with the disease. A Bartonella henslainfection affects around 40% of all cats in the world. In the event that a cat scratches or bites another person, or licks an open wound on another person, the germs can be transmitted to that person. If you have scratches or bites, it may take 3–14 days before you see any indications of illness.
Antibiotics may be prescribed to patients who are experiencing severe or chronic symptoms.
Signs in cats
The majority of infected cats do not exhibit any signs of illness. Some people, on the other hand, may develop a fever that lasts for 2–3 days. Vomiting, red eyes, fatigue, a loss of appetite, and enlarged lymph nodes are some of the more severe signs and symptoms. Unless the cat becomes unwell, it is usually not necessary to treat him or her. It is preferable to let the cat’s body deal with the illness on its own rather than intervening.
Signs in people
A person may have symptoms 1–3 weeks after catching the infection, including fever and swollen, painful lymph nodes, which are indicative of the illness. Eye infection and muscular soreness are two less prevalent symptoms of this condition.
Rabies is a neurologic illness that is conveyed by the bites of animals that have been infected with the virus. Because of widespread vaccination efforts for domesticated animals, rabies is extremely rare in the United States. Wild animals, on the other hand, continue to carry the virus. Despite the fact that most domesticated cats have had a rabies vaccine, a bite from an unprotected pet or stray cat has the potential to spread the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if a person is bitten by a cat that appeared healthy at the time of the bite and the owner can be identified, the owner should confine the cat for 10 days and monitor it for signs of illness.
No one in the United States has ever acquired rabies from a cat that had been confined in this manner, according to the CDC.
A person should get medical advice about whether or not they require anti-rabies prophylaxis if the cat seemed sick at the time of the bite or becomes sick during a 10-day quarantine after being bitten by a cat.
Signs in cats
In addition to increasing paralysis, a cat infected with rabies will exhibit unexpected changes in his or her behavior. The animal may also grow agitated and pant, and it may attack other animals or humans. Animals infected with rabies will die within a few days after the onset of symptoms.
Signs in people
Rabies symptoms can occur anywhere from a few days to several months after catching the illness. When symptoms first develop, it is usually too late to seek medical attention. After being bitten by any animal, a person should wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and consult with a healthcare practitioner about the next actions to take.
This is an infection that arises as a result of a fungal infection. It is most commonly disseminated from the environment through an open wound on the skin, according to the CDC. Cat bites, on the other hand, have the potential to transmit the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of cases involve only the skin and are not life threatening. Antifungal medications such as itraconazole are the most commonly prescribed therapy. This drug will be taken for 3–6 months by the patient.
If the fungus has spread to the lungs, surgical intervention may be necessary.
Signs in cats
Cats who are sick may not show any indications of sickness. They may develop tiny, draining wounds that grow into elevated lumps as a result of the trauma.
Signs in people
Symptoms of fungal growth on the skin include a little red, pink, or purple lump that can emerge 1–12 weeks after contact to the fungus. The bulge will ultimately expand in size and take on the appearance of an open sore or an ulcer. It is possible that more bumps will emerge around the original. A person who has the fungus in his or her lungs would most likely feel coughing, chest discomfort, fever, and shortness of breath. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests cleaning any bite or scrape with warm, running water and soap.
If the pet is healthy and inoculated, a human need not worry about the bite.
They should do the following:
- Cleanse the wound for 5 minutes with soap and water, being careful not to scrape because this might cause bruising. Prepare a sterile dressing and apply it to the wound to keep it clean. Make an appointment with a healthcare specialist to determine whether or not they require extra treatment.
It is vital to highlight that the use of tape or butterfly bandages should be avoided since they may cause hazardous bacteria to become trapped in the wound. A cat bite that develops infected might cause symptoms such as the ones listed below.
- Pain, swelling, and inflammation surrounding the incision
- Redness or coloring of the skin around the area
- Pusor fluid pouring from the wound
According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, evidence that an infection is worsening or spreading include the following symptoms:
- The following symptoms: fever
- Streaks leading away from the bite
- Swollen glands
- Lethargy or exhaustion
- Nocturnal sweats
If a person suspects that they have an illness that is spreading, they should seek medical attention immediately.
Treatment will vary depending on the location of the bite and whether or not the cat has been vaccinated against rabies. According to the World Health Organization, therapy for cat bites frequently consists of the following steps:
- Early medical intervention, such as cleansing the wound and administering preventive antibiotics to avoid infection are recommended. If the animal is suspected of having rabies, post-exposure rabies therapy should be administered. If a person’s tetanus vaccination status is insufficient, the vaccine must be administered.
If the bite was inflicted by a stray cat, the victim should immediately wash the wound with soap and water for 5 minutes before contacting a medical professional. A stray cat might be infected with rabies, necessitating the administration of rabies postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent infection. The medication is intended to prevent a person from becoming rabies after being exposed to a virus that may have caused it. People who are bitten by a domestic cat may not be required to seek medical attention straight away in this situation.
The next day, a person should keep an eye out for signs of infection and call a medical professional if the region seems infected or if they suffer any odd symptoms, which may include:
- Fever, headache, decreased appetite, enlarged glands, and an overall sense of being sick are all possible symptoms.
The majority of cat bite illnesses are curable with antibiotics or other drugs and supportive care if caught early enough. An infected cat bite might result in potentially life-threatening consequences if not treated promptly. Cat owners should make it a point to take their pets to the veterinarian on a regular basis for routine treatment. This can help to keep the cat healthy and avoid the spread of infectious illnesses. As an added precaution, people should follow the guidelines outlined below to avoid being bitten or scratched:
- When dealing with strange animals, exercise caution and proceed with caution, even if they appear to be friendly. Preventing animals from being protective toward other humans by playing rough with them is important. It is best to avoid rough play while a pet cat is young in order to prevent biting and scratching. cat’s nails should be trimmed, with assistance from a veterinarian if necessary
- Educate children how to engage with cats and other animals in a polite manner, and how to notify their caretakers if they have been bitten or scratched by an animal
There is no evidence to suggest that a cat would suffer any long-term negative consequences as a result of biting a human, with the exception of study that suggests a cat may break a tooth while healing the wound. In order to aid in the healing of the wound, a doctor will need to carefully remove the tooth piece from the wound. The reason that cat bites can cause illness is that they can leave behind a deep incision that heals fast, allowing germs to become trapped inside. If a cat bite happens, it is important to treat it as a major medical emergency.
A doctor will be able to assess the risk of contracting rabies and will be able to prescribe medications to treat an infection if it does develop.
Cat Bites – Not To Be Taken Lightly
Renee DiPietro, CVTVeterinary Information Specialist, Permitted Wildlife Rehabilitator, is a member of the CVT Veterinary Information Specialists Association. Did you realize that a bite from your feline companion Felis domesticus (the house cat) might have life-threatening ramifications? As someone who recently spent three days in the hospital receiving IV antibiotics for a cat bite, I felt it would be appropriate to issue a public service announcement. Do not ignore a cat bite from your cat or any other cat for that matter, and do not attempt to treat the injury at home unless it is an emergency.
- I cleansed the wounds well and then proceeded directly to an urgent care center because my personal health-care physician did not have any appointments open until the end of the day at that time.
- I cleansed the bites thoroughly and promptly.
- The heat and discomfort in and around the bite wounds increased throughout the rest of the day.
- The bite wounds had grown infected by the time I went to bed because I had a low-grade temperature and the redness and heat on my arm was spreading, indicating that the bite wounds had become infected.
- This is not my first experience with a cat bite, nor is it my first experience with an infected cat bite.
- Throughout my professional life, I have been bitten by a variety of animals, including cats, dogs, horses, hamsters, eagles, turtles, and even an owl.
- Despite the fact that this incidence was distinct and more severe than anything I had previously encountered, it is not an uncommon occurrence among cat bite patients.
The bacterial flora found in a cat’s mouth includes certain dangerous anaerobic bacteria that can cause illness (thriving where oxygen is not present).
This bacterium can also be found in the mouths of other animals that bite, however when a cat bite occurs, the potential for this pathogen to cause significant illness is increased due to the feline dental structure.
Every time a cat bites you, it is as if the cat is injecting this aggressive infection (and others) deeply into your flesh.
An severe cellulitis (skin infection) can then take hold and spread throughout the body very fast.
Treatment for infected cat bites frequently entails hospitalization, intravenous antibiotic therapy, surgery, and, in rare circumstances, amputation of the affected limb.
The results of a Mayo Clinic research on infected cat bites revealed that 72 percent of persons who were admitted to the hospital immediately following presentation to the ER for an infected cat bite required surgery as part of their medical care.
The animal’s vaccination status and the possibility of transmitting Rabies are two other major concerns when one gets bitten by a cat, or any mammal for that matter.
If left untreated, this CNS virus has a high chance of being lethal.
Once symptoms manifest, the likelihood of a favorable result (i.e., one in which you do not die) is virtually zero.
The cat that bit me had not had a vaccination.
Regardless of this, I received rabies post-exposure therapy while at the emergency room.
This includes many injections of Human Rabies Immune Globulin, which was a first-time experience for me.
Specifically in my instance, this meant that the injections were given all around the bite wounds and into the diseased region.
Following that, I received a booster dose of my rabies vaccination, as well as two further doses on days two and four following the bite.
At the end of this essay, you will discover photographs of my own personal experience.
If you look closely, you will be able to see where the staff at the hospital placed circles on my arm to trace the progress of the infection.
It is not worth taking the chance.
The importance of instilling the belief in your own cat from a young age that biting is not acceptable, especially during playful interactions.
Consult with your veterinarian or a pet behaviorist for advice on how to train your cat or kitten not to bite in the future.
Petting cats on the street that you do not know, no matter how nice they appear to be, is not recommended for your own protection.
If you have been bitten by a cat, wash the wound with soap and water immediately and get medical attention as soon as possible after being bitten.
As my experience demonstrates, even a cat bite that is treated quickly can develop into a significant health problem. So, cherish your beloved feline companion, aid that homeless kitten, but please, for the love of God, stay away from those teeth! References:
A cat bite might result in a wound that is severe enough to induce skin breakdown. A clean dressing is applied to the area, and the wound is occasionally stitched up. Even though the wound is totally closed, it is fairly uncommon for it not to be completely closed. This allows fluid to flow from the incision in the event that it becomes infected. Frequently, the wound is left exposed to allow it to heal. An further tetanus injection, if necessary, may be administered in addition to wound treatment.
- Hands should be thoroughly washed with soap and warm water before and after care for the injury. This reduces the likelihood of contracting an infection. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for wound care. It is important to follow the instructions for changing any dressings that have been put to the wound
- Put a clean, soft cloth over the area where the wound is bleeding if it is bleeding. Then apply tight pressure to the wound until the bleeding stops. This process might take up to 5 minutes. Continue to apply pressure to the wound and avoid looking at it during this period
- Always seek medical assistance if you get a cat bite on your arm. They have a significant risk of becoming infected
- Nonetheless, the majority of wounds heal within 10 days. However, infections can arise even when the right therapy is followed. Check the wound for indications of infection on a daily basis (see below)
- Antibiotics may be recommended if an infection is found. These aid in the prevention or treatment of infection. If you are prescribed antibiotics, follow the directions on the label. Also, make sure you finish all of the medications.
Rabies is a virus that can be transmitted by certain animals and cause them to get ill. Domestic animals such as cats and dogs might be included in this category. Pets who have been properly vaccinated against rabies (2 injections) are at extremely minimal risk of contracting the disease. However, because human rabies is nearly invariably fatal, any pet that bites should be quarantined for a minimum of 10 days as an additional precaution. In general, if there is a danger of rabies, it may be necessary to take the following precautionary measures:
- If a cat belonging to someone else has bitten you, it should be kept in a safe place for the following 10 days while the owner looks for symptoms of sickness in it. If the pet owner does not agree to this, you should notify your local animal control facility. If the cat becomes unwell or dies during this time period, call your local animal control station immediately so that the animal may be tested for rabies and treated accordingly. If the cat continues to be healthy for the following 10 days, there is no risk of rabies in either the animal or the person. If you were bitten by a stray cat, call your local animal control office. Capture, quarantine, and animal rabies testing are all topics they may provide information on. Depending on whether or not you can locate the animal that bit you within the following two days and whether or not rabies is present in your region, you may be required to undergo the rabies vaccination series. Contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Alternatively, return to the emergency department as soon as possible
- All animal attacks should be reported to the local animal control agency. If you were not provided with a form to complete, you can file a complaint on your own.
Inspect the wound and follow up with your healthcare practitioner or as instructed.
When to seek medical advice
If any of the following occur, contact your healthcare professional immediately:
- The redness or warmth emanating from the wound is spreading. Pain or swelling that has increased
- Fever of 100.4oF (38oC) or higher, as determined by your healthcare practitioner
- And Fluid or pus that is colored and seeping from the wound
- If you were bitten on the hand or arm, you may see enlarged lymph nodes above the bite site, such as lymph nodes in the armpit if you were bitten on the hand. This might be a symptom of cat scratch sickness (also known as cat scratch fever).
- Drooling or salivating more than usual
- Headache, confusion, strange behavior
- Reduced capacity to move any body part that is in close proximity to the bite site
- Bleeding that continues to bleed despite applying forceful pressure for 5 minutes
The StayWell Company, LLC retains ownership of the trademarks 2000-2020. This material is not meant to be used as a substitute for competent medical treatment in any situation. Always adhere to the recommendations of your healthcare practitioner.
Animal Bites and Rabies
The smallest animal bites and scratches can develop infectious and transfer bacteria to other regions of the body, even if they are not serious. It doesn’t matter if the bite comes from a household pet or an animal in the wild; scratches and bites can spread illness. Cat scratches, even those from a kitten, can spread “cat scratch illness,” which is a bacterial infection that can be fatal. Other animals can spread rabies and tetanus, as well. Bite wounds that breach the skin are more prone to develop infected than other wounds.
What is the care for animal bites?
If you have a superficial bite from a familiar home pet that is inoculated and in excellent health, you should follow these steps:
- After washing with soap and water under pressure from a faucet for at least 5 minutes, do not scrub, since this may cause tissue to get bruised. Apply an antibiotic lotion or ointment to the affected area. Keep an eye out for indications of infection at the site, such as increasing redness or discomfort, swelling, or drainage, as well as if the individual becomes ill or becomes ill. If you have any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare professional immediately.
For deeper bites or puncture wounds caused by any animal, or for any bite caused by an unknown species, consult your doctor.
- The bite or scrape should be applied pressure with a clean bandage or cloth to halt the bleeding
- Otherwise, let it alone. For at least 5 minutes, wash the wound with soap and water from a faucet that is running at high pressure. Do not clean the tissue since doing so may cause it to bruise. Dry the wound thoroughly and apply a sterile dressing on it. It is not recommended to seal the wound with tape or butterfly bandages since this might trap dangerous bacteria in the wound. Please contact your healthcare practitioner for assistance in reporting the assault and to decide whether additional treatment, such as antibiotics, a tetanus booster, or a rabies vaccination, is necessary. Especially vital for bites on the face, hands, or feet, as well as bites that produce deeper puncture wounds in the skin, is to seek medical attention immediately. It is also crucial for any cat bites that have a high risk of infection to try to track down the animal who bit you in the first place. Some animals must be trapped, quarantined, and tested for rabies before they may be released. Don’t even think of attempting to capture the animal on your own. The victim may require a series of rabies shots as well as a dose of anti-rabies immunoglobulin if the animal can’t be located or is a high-risk species (raccoon, skunk, or bat), or if an animal attack was unprovoked. Contact the nearest animal warden or animal control office in your area for assistance.
If you have any flu-like symptoms, such as a fever, headache, malaise, decreased appetite, or swollen glands after being bitten by an animal, call your healthcare practitioner right once.
What is rabies?
Rabies is a viral illness that affects some warm-blooded animals. It is caused by a virus belonging to the Rhabdoviridae family and is transmitted to humans. Viruses that affect the neurological system are 100 percent lethal to animals if they are not treated immediately after developing symptoms. In North America, rabies is most commonly seen in skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and bats, among other animals. These wild creatures have been known to infect domestic cats, dogs, and livestock in some locations.
Individual states keep records of animals that may be carriers of rabies in their jurisdictions.
In underdeveloped countries, where vaccination of domestic animals is not standard, travelers should consult their healthcare practitioner about acquiring the rabies vaccine before to departure.
How does rabies happen?
Viruses that cause rabies enter the body through cuts and scratches, as well as through mucous membranes (such as the lining of one’s mouth or the lining of one’s eyes), and then proceed to the central nervous system. The virus spreads throughout the body when it has established itself in the brain by traveling down the nerves from the brain and multiplying in other organs. The salivary glands have the most significant role in the transmission of rabies from one animal to another. When a rabies-infected animal bites another animal, the rabies virus is communicated to the other animal through the saliva of the bitten animal.
What are the symptoms of rabies?
Between the time of exposure and the development of sickness in humans, incubation periods can range from 5 days to more than a year, with the typical incubation period being around two months. The following are the most often seen signs and symptoms of rabies. Symptoms may include any of the following:
- Initial stage of nonspecific symptoms lasting 2 to 10 days
- Subsequent period of more specific symptoms. Fever, headache, malaise, reduced appetite, and vomiting are all possible signs of the condition. At the location of the wound, you may experience pain, itching, or numbness and tingling.
- Because of their inability to swallow saliva, people frequently experience difficulties swallowing (which is also referred to as “foaming at the mouth”). Even the sight of water may be terrifying for some people. Some people get anxious and bewildered, while others become immobilized
- Some others experience both. It is possible to die immediately or to go into a coma and die as a consequence of various problems.
The symptoms of rabies might be confused with those of other medical diseases or disorders. Always get medical attention if you suspect a medical problem.
How is rabies diagnosed?
The direct fluorescent antibody test (dFA), which is performed on brain tissue, is the most commonly used method for detecting rabies in animals. Diagnostic labs can detect whether or not an animal is rabid in a matter of hours, and they can then communicate this information to medical specialists. If the animal is not rabid, the findings of this test may prevent a human from having to undergo treatment. There are a variety of tests that must be performed in humans in order to confirm or rule out rabies because no one test can be used to definitively rule out the illness.
It is also possible to obtain a skin biopsy from the nape of the neck.
What is the treatment for rabies?
If you or someone you know is suffering from rabies, there is currently no recognized, effective therapy for the condition. There are, however, effective rabies vaccinations that, when provided promptly after an exposure, can provide protection against the disease. It can also be used to safeguard persons who are at risk of being exposed before they are exposed, such as veterinarians and animal handlers.
How can animal bites and rabies be prevented?
Being cautious around animals, even your own pets, can help lessen the likelihood of being bitten by one. In order to avoid animal bites and rabies, it is recommended that you follow the following guidelines:
- You should avoid attempting to separate warring animals. Stay away from odd and ill animals. When animals are eating, please leave them alone. When you’re out in public, keep your pets on a leash. Selecting family pets should be done with caution. Leave no small child alone with a pet under any circumstances. All household dogs and cats should be inoculated against rabies and their vaccinations should be kept up to date. You should never approach or play with wild animals of any type, and you should be aware that domestic animals can be infected with the rabies virus as well. Pets should be closely monitored to ensure that they do not come into touch with wild creatures. To have any stray animals removed, contact your local animal control organization.
What would my healthcare provider need to know about an animal bite?
If you or someone you know gets bitten by an animal, keep the following information in mind to share to your healthcare provider:
- Geographical location of the incident
- The type of animal involved (domestic pet or wild animal)
- The location of the animal. (cut, scrape, licking an open wound) Type of exposition a part of the body that is engaged The total number of exposures
- Whether or not the animal has received rabies vaccination
- Whether or not the animal is ill or in good health. If the animal was “ill,” what symptoms did it exhibit while ill? It is necessary to determine whether or not the animal is available for testing or quarantine.