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A note of caution re: feral cat bites

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yesterday morning I got bit by a feral cat. When I got bit, I did everything right - hot water/antibiotic scrub with nail brush, betadine scrub, hydrogen peroxide, epsom salt soak and neosporin. I didn't think it was infected because it didn't hurt- it was just numb. But after talking to Deb, I went ahead and went to the doctor. The bite is infected, the cat bit into the radial nerve of my thumb causing the loss of sensation and it is why my fingers are now asleep. It is hard to type- but I am now on strong antibiotics, had a tetanus shot and am on painkillers. It has been quite a few years since I have been bit. I thought I knew how to kill the bacteria successfully. I was so wrong. Be careful when handling feral cats- 89% of all cat bites will get infected.
post #2 of 17
Yeesh! Good thing you went to the doctor and got it taken care of before it got worse.

Definitely, anyone who works with feral cats should be sure to keep their tetanus shots up to date and consider a pre-exposure rabies series as an extra precaution. And above all, prevention is the key - don't handle a conscious feral cat unless it is really absolutely necessary. I personally have never had a bite get significantly infected but I've had two bites that caused enough damage that I lost most use of the finger for several months. Definitely not something you want!
post #3 of 17
OMG!!!! I am SO sorry you got bitten! YES, I got bitten and it was not by a feral cat. It was from my dearest Spikey, and it was about a year and 1/2 ago. I did EXACTLY all the same things you did, after the bites, (yes, he bit me in acute anxiety, multiple times within a few second's time). And I ended up in the hospital for 5 days on high dose antibiotics as my entire arm was swollen up about 6 times the normal size! It got bad REALLY quickly too!!!!! I woke up the next day (after doing all the same cleaning techniques you posted) and my poor arm! And Spikey??? He was just wanting me to pick him up and hug him, as he was TOTALLY clueless what damage he'd done to my arm and hand!!!!!!
I really do hope you recover VERY quickly and don't end up with it getting worse, before it gets better!
post #4 of 17
This is so scary, MA! Good for you for taking proper care of your wound and thank you for sharing your experience with us!
post #5 of 17
I'm so glad you went to the doctor, MA! It sounded like a really bad bite when we talked, but I had no idea how bad it really was. I'm glad you're taking care of it. Thank you for the reminder about how serious bites can be.
post #6 of 17
Wow! Thankfully you went to the doctor!
post #7 of 17
This is an important reminder that all of us should take cat bites very seriously.
Thanks MA ... ((((hugs))))
post #8 of 17
Thank you MA for that info. I hope you feel better soon!
post #9 of 17
MA, I am glad you went to the doctor. Keep a good eye on it, now.
post #10 of 17
Glad you went

I would like to ask if this can be dupl;icated as it does also pertain to house cats and there bites
post #11 of 17
Very glad you went to the doctor. Hope the nerve is back to norm soon, and that you feel better soon.
post #12 of 17
Wow, I'm glad you went to the doctor. Hope it heals up quickly!

Thanks for the bites are serious aren't they.
post #13 of 17
I will add an extra advice and warning about diptheria vaccination if unnecessary! As these are often given together with tetanus shots!

I was once bitten (hard!) by our othervise very kind and friendly Vagis, a russian blue tomcat.
The doctor didnt looked much at the wounds, but prescribed antibiotics and a new tetanus shot, as that one I had was old and not complete. (of course, Vagis as a strictly inside cat dont has as many mean bacteries as a feral or even outside-going cat)
And so I get also an extra shot for diptheria in the other arm, as these are given usually simultaneously - often in one shot.
I saw the nurse was a little unsure - but still she gave me the shot.

Result? The wounds were a little red and swollen some days yes, but evidently the antibiotics did helped. And I did feeled several days from the brutal force of the bite! It is a tremendous strengh if a cat bites for real! And yet Vagis was a rather small for an adult tomcat, only 4 kilos and has no experience for biting for real... But he of course does kills sometimes rolls of toalette paper... You can see his deep bites in them.

But. The other arm did swollened up almost double. And I get some fever almost one week.
Not from the bite, not from the tethanus shot - but from the diphteria-shot!

Bevare to get unnecessary diptheria-shot if you are already vaccinated against diptheria!
post #14 of 17
I still have a small scar left from when Tommie bit me a couple of year ago.
I feel your pain!!! As I am in the midst of having another stray/feral I'm much more aware of being bit and the after effects to me and my wallet!!
post #15 of 17
MA - sorry to hear this news. Healing vibes coming your way from me and hope all goes well.
post #16 of 17
Ouch! Hope it is feeling better soon!
post #17 of 17
My trick for significant bites is to soak it in a 50-50 bleach/water solution for 15 minutes. It hurts a lot when you first stick your hand in but when I had a bite that went clear to the bone, it prevented infection.
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