Cat Bite Girl

January 11, 2006

Never mess with cat bites.

I spent last night in the hospital getting IV antibiotics for an infected cat bite. I was discharged at 4:00am and sent home with a prescription for heavy duty horse-pill antibiotics which I will be taking for the next 10 days.

I’ve been bitten twice, so far. Both by kitties who were stressed and upset, but who had to be restrained for one reason or another.

Cat Bite on my ThumbThe first cat bite was on December 28th and she bite me on my left thumb. I had to reach into a cat trap to retrieve her because she wasn’t going into a carrier on her own.

She was easy to retrieve from the trap, but as soon as I tried to put her into a carrier to transfer her to a crate she sprawled her legs out, as cats do so well.

So I reached with my left hand to remove her legs from the sides and she bit me. Although it was painful for a few days, there was no complications. It’s already healed, in fact. I went to the emergency room directly after it happened, which you should always do. They had me soak it in sterile iodine and prescribed some heavy duty antibiotics.

The photo is one I took in the hospital after they bandaged it up, it looks more swollen than it was because of the gauze they wrapped around it.

Cat Bite on my ForearmMy second cat bite happened a few days ago on January 8th and a different cat chomped my left forearm. Mike and I were moving her from her crate into a carrier because she was being transferred to her new mom out in Utah.

We transfer kitties in a large carrier with food and water and a small litter box. We had the food and water in there with her, but needed to put the litter box in. As soon as we opened the door to the carrier, she bolted. There were more people than normal in the cat area and they all started chasing her, trying to catch her.

Not the best judgment call. Cats should never be chased, it just freaks them out more.

So, I told them to stand still and to move slowly towards her so she could be backed into a corner. They got her into a corner and I went in to scruff her. I had a good scruff on her and immediately went to pull her up – it’s always best to work with gravity to help weigh an adult cat down so they can’t twist up and scratch or bite you.

Anyway, when I backed up while scruffing the cat, one of the volunteers was hovering over my shoulder and I knocked into her and lost my grip. At that point, the cat had enough leverage to chomp several times on my forearm.

I put her down and asked Mike to try and corral her into a carrier again and let him know that I was going to the emergency room, again. I found it amusing that all the nurses remembered me and I got the same doctor. Heehee.

The doctor looked at it and had a nurse apply some iodine and wrap it up. He prescribed antibiotics, but they were a weaker kind. This one hurt way more than the bite I received on my thumb. It still hurts, actually. Unfortunately, it also became infected, which is why I spent the evening getting liquid antibiotics dripped into my veins.

Cat Bite Being Treated with IV AntibioticsBefore I went to sleep on the 9th, I noticed the skin around the bite was still really swollen and starting to develop a rash. I thought it was just a little irritated, so I cleaned it up really well and bandaged it up again.

Yesterday, after showering, I looked at it really well and noticed it was worse than the night before. It was really sensitive, more swollen and the rash had deepened in color and spread up my arm. Super. I haven’t experienced anything like this before, so I asked for some other opinions.

There is a paramedic, an EMT and an EMT in training who are working here. They all stressed that I should return to the emergency room to get it checked out, so I did. It was one of the most severe bacterial infections this doctor had seen from a cat bite. He told me that if I had waited another day, I would have had to spend at least 4 days on IV antibiotics. Yikes.

Hopefully, I won’t get bitten again, but I’m not holding my breath. It is just a risk one takes when working with animals. By the way, both the cats are doing just fine. 😉

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