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He bit me, and now I have a rash?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Should I go to the doctor?

I have a 7 week old feral kitten I rescued several weeks ago. He is getting to be very bitey with hands and other body parts when playing. A few days ago, he bit at my wrist when I went to pick him up, and he broke the skin (like a scrape, not a puncture.) I washed it really well with soap and put antibiotic ointment on and a bandaid, but now it has what looks like a lightly reddish rash which is just slightly bumpy(uneven tiny bumps, barely raised) where he bit and the surrounding skin (like a half inch across.) It doesn't hurt but itches a little. Oddly the reddish area is almost a square shape. Do I need to go to a doctor or should I just keep an eye on it? I figured some people here may have an idea since you've dealt with ferals...
post #2 of 21
It dont need to be ferals to get hurt from a cat. Cat bites are quite often quite nasty.

So if nobody says otherwise, do contact a doctor yes.
post #3 of 21
You say it's kind of shaped like a square? Could it be you had a reaction to the adhesive from the band-aid you used? Just a thought.
post #4 of 21
Isnt that called "cat scratch fever"?
post #5 of 21
I would go see a doctor (unless it could be an allergic reaction from the adhesive I guess) but anyway a good way to see if a rash is getting bigger or not is to get a marker or a pen and draw around it on your skin.

If the red then goes outside the pen line you're in trouble, if not you know it hasn't gotten bigger. I had a roommate that was a nurse and he told me this tip. They even do it in hospitals, it's the easiest way to see if skin infections are getting better or worse.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by snosrap5 View Post
You say it's kind of shaped like a square? Could it be you had a reaction to the adhesive from the band-aid you used? Just a thought.
It's possible, but if it was from the adhesive wouldn't it be on the sides of where the bite was, in the area where the adhesive was attaching the band-aid and not in the middle?
I do have sensitive skin, I've gotten red skin before when I had to replace a band-aid a few times (I think from the pulling off of the band-aids, pulling them off the same place over and over, not from the band-aid itself) and that was always to the sides of the cut, where the adhesive was.
post #7 of 21
Better safe than sorry. I'd get it checked out by a doctor.
post #8 of 21
Yes I would certainly go if it was no better after 48 hours
post #9 of 21
Thank you for taking care of the little kitten.

Here is info about Cat Scratch Fever.

Sending vibes that you heal quickly with no complications.
post #10 of 21
A rash is a early warning sign- see a doctor quickly!

MA still recovering from a bad case of cellulitis from a kitty scratch
post #11 of 21
Hello there. Weighing in I've been nailed (yes, bitten clean through!) my thumb by my well vaccinated, usually well behaved kitty (I was trying to pill )

Here's what happened: I went to the doc, they gave me a TOTALLY UN NEEDED vaccination against Tetnus. You can't get tetnus from cat bite wound - highly highly unlikely.

So it wasn't needed. I did get antibios - which were okay, but again, I let the wound bleed out before dressing, and had NO infection occur.

Also, warning on the vaccine:
I like many others experienced a BIG allergic reaction at the injection site. Not only did my thumb throb for days, but my arm where I got this unneeded shot did too! So, yes to antibiotics - NO to a vaccine for Tetnus (lockjaw). They can treat it if it develops, but the vaccine is NOT needed.

It is highly unlikely you have anything serious - if the bite did not puncture,
HOWEVER - you may have an unknown allergy to cat saliva. This is the type of rash you see with an allergy.

Here's what I would do: Don't panic. Anything will take time to develop, short of septic wound, which requires a very good puncture to get the bacteria deep under the skins.

Next: follow the recommendation to circle the rash. Check in 24 hours - has it gotten bigger? If no, then it is probably an allergic reaction and NOT a bacterial problem. Hence no need for antibiotics.

Check to see if you have "streaking" if the rash is "traveling" up the arm/hand in a streaky pattern... this suggests infection.

Lastly, take an anti histamine (for hayfever), like Benadryl, Tavist, Allegra or similar. Does this help the itchy rash? if so, you likely have a reaction to the salivia of cats. This means you are in fact allergic to cats, LOL. Just you do not have the nasal and eye issues that most cat allergies produce. I myself have this, and I have cats with no problems.

Just weighing in. I don't like people to take un-needed measures - mostly scratchs and mild breaks don't cause problems. Good deep punctures on the other hand, Look Out!

Hope this helps relax and calm you. I'm pretty sure you have an allergic reaction...
post #12 of 21
Originally Posted by opilot View Post
I went to the doc, they gave me a TOTALLY UN NEEDED vaccination against Tetnus. ....

Also, warning on the vaccine:
I like many others experienced a BIG allergic reaction at the injection site. Not only did my thumb throb for days, but my arm where I got this unneeded shot did too!
My swedish doc prescribed a tetanus shot too. Thus I suspect it WAS apropriate.

Second. It is a double vaccine. It stands still now, I dont remember for sure what the other component is. Diphteria probably.
They had Tetanus-only vaccine, so the nurse did gave me the diphteria-vaccine too, just in case. Especielly as I wasnt sure I was fully vaccinated for diphteria. I was sure I wasnt fully vaccinated for tethanus. She gave me it in the other arm. And I did get swollen in this other, diphteria, arm....
I was not sick because my usually very friendly kind home cat did bite me. I was sick because I get vaccinated...
Precisely like you.

But it was not tethanus-vaccine which was quilty, it was the diptheria-component.
post #13 of 21
I would err on the side of caution and see a doctor.

I just recently got a tetanus shot since I hadn't had one in years. No biggie - not even any swelling or tenderness. I guess it really depends on the individual how you will react to injections.
post #14 of 21
I had to have a tetanus shot to volunteer at the shelter so I too would assume they are necessary.

I would check with your doctor, they will be able to tell from looking at it better than we can from you describing it
post #15 of 21
Please: ALWAYS check with your doctor FIRST.

Do NOT take medical advice from people that are not trained medical professionals.

People have lost limbs from untreated cat bites. Bleeding from the wound does NOT mean that there is no infection transmission.

Don't panic IS good advice. But if you have any concerns, you are best off to make an appointment with your doctor. Getting an A-OK diagnosis is better than leaving a bite untreated, and then finding out too late that you should have gone to a doctor right away.
post #16 of 21
Ginger's MOm has a good point.

None of US is a doctor.

Although my Dad IS a doctor and his advice when I had my thumb nailed was:

get the anti bios, skip the Tetnus and Diptheria and whatever.

His logic: It is nearly impossible to catch tetnus from a cat bite, but if you ARE going to get it, the signs are so far in advance of the disease, you won't have trouble treating for it. And he did warn about the reaction to the vaccine that I got, which is more than the DOCTOR did!

You are MORE likely to get septicemia (sp?) bacterial blood poisoning in a nutshell.

That's the real problem with any cat or animal BITE. Note I say bite, not scratch, or abraded skin. The cat must PUNCTURE the skin with his her teeth!

Scratches, while nasty rarely give you blood poisoning.

(This is the don't panic and blindly run see the doctor for scratch part of the lecture).

If you can't see a doctor for cost or other reasons definitely:

first, don't panic. Second do these 2 things:

1) circle the rash
2) check for fever, pain, swelling and
"streaking" - a rash moving up the arm - within 12/24 hrs

If rash increases, swelling, fever or discharge occur in that time
period you MUST see a doctor, since you have an infection that might require more than one type of antibiotic to treat. (Cat's mouths are very good
at harboring bateria, as are many other animals, human's included, LOL).

Don't joke around - if its an abrasion or scratch, that's one thing. A puncture, deep into soft tissue / skin, is something entirely different.

FYI: I wouldn't worry about rabies. You could torment yourself, but you know, its generally not that prevelent, stories not withstanding. then again, I don't panic over these things much... Too many other things to worry about, LOL.

Hope our advice helps...
post #17 of 21
I vote for circling the rash and keep an eye on things. You can also apply Benadryl cream to the site & check for improvement.

I've had doctors who panic at the words "cat bite" and antibiotics can be dangerous - take it from someone who's been there (I'm talking severe allergic reactions to antibios - now I rarely am given them - just in case I ever need surgery, my "slate" needs to be kept clean.
Hopefully, you have a good, common sense family practicioner whom you can call for advice, although nowadays, due to the legalities of things, you will have to go in for a consultation.
Sending "healing vibes" that you heal naturally. BTW, are you keeping a journal on this?? That will be of great benefit to your doctor
post #18 of 21
I would talk to your doctor. Do what he or she says, and I agree about not panicking.

The "streakiness" referred to is that the infection is spreading. Cellulitis can move quickly - if that's what it is -- and sends little shoots or streaks away from the center of infection. I know, I have had it. Needed Cipro to clear it up. BTW - not from a cat bite or scratch.

I am also allergic to cats and their scratches get red and puffy. I clean them THOROUGHLY, often using Hibiclens, too - take oral antihistamine and put topical antio bio and cortisone on them.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info, everyone!
I'm pretty sure that I am up to date on tetanus, I think I got a booster after an injury a few years ago.
I know about the dangers of cat bites, and if it looked at all infected I would have been to the doctor ASAP! I've heard plenty of horror stories about infections and know the signs of how they spread, but this did not look anything like the way any infected bites I have seen or heard of look which is why I was not sure what to do...plus it was not a puncture at all but rather a scrape from the milk tooth of a young kitten. I was just concerned as I have never heard of or seen a rash-type thing that looked like this, so I did not know what I was dealing with here...
I don't think it means I am allergic to cat saliva-- if that was true, wouldn't I get a rash when the kitten (or my cat) licks me as well? he licks a lot and that's never caused any reaction.
I'm still not sure what this rash-like thing is about but I have been keeping a close eye on it and there has not been any growth or change since I first saw it except it was getting to look more blotchy rather than uniformly pink, and it now appears to be fading.
post #20 of 21
I hope that it's fading...
if not, you know what to do.
Healing vibes are still on the way.
post #21 of 21
If you are allergic to salvia - it must BREAK the skin or get into
the eyes to give the reaction. Thus licking will NOT cause problems.

It is possible you simply
have very very strong "histamine" reactions.

Do a test - take a finger nail and score / scratch yourself.

do you get a slightly puffy raised red line? If so, you have good histamine
reaction going.

Thus even a scrape from milk tooth will give you a rash type
reaction and you may not even BE allergic to the saliva.

However, if you get a patch allergy test for cat done - I bet you a 100 dollars you will come back "positive" for allergic reaction, and the patch test area will swell up like the dickens...

anyway, I would not worry about it if its going away. Just keep in mind if you get a good puncture wound to immediately clean the wound, let it bleed a bit, put the anti bios on and within a day see the doctors... because punctures DO go septic / get infected.
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