Hoping to guage the opinions of my fellow TT'ers on whether a scratch from a feral cat should require a rabies shot. I always thought only bites, not a scratch, from a possibly infected animal can cause rabies. Thanks in advance.
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My sister once had cat scratch fever. They had to remove her lymph nodes.
I don't know about rabies, but Shamrock is right, you will want to see a doctor. My dad had cat scratch fever once when I was a kid, and it is not as cool as Ted Nugent makes it sound.
got scratched by a cat 2 years ago and the next day I woke up with a lump the size of an olive on my arm. 8 hours later it was larger than a ping pong ball. antibiotics took care of it.
Wow! I never would have thought or even imagined such things from a cat scratch. And I've had my share of cuts, bruises, etc.
Of course cleaning it really good after it happens is key. Checking with a doctor is never a bad idea. I guess it would depend on how deep it was and if you can clean it all the way. Bites and most puncture wounds are bad because they close up and trap the dirt/disease in it.
Please let us know.
Thanks to all for your comments. I'm not really worried because I've been scratched before and the doctor only gave me a tetanus shot. We've cared for the cat for about five years and it stays in our garage. He just gets very eager when I feed him and he swats me sometimes when I put the plate of food down. We were out with some friends the other day, and we got into a little debate about whether scratches can cause rabies. I always thought you had to be bitten by a rabid animal, not scratched, to require a rabies shot. Never heard of cat scratch fever though. Yikes.
Saliva the principal mode of transmission from host to victim, bikerdude. The virus that causes rabies lives in the host's saliva, and it dies very quickly once it is no longer in saliva. Airborne transmission between animal vectors and human victims is quite rare, and this is usually limited to laboratory workers.
It would take some unusual circumstances for a person to get infected via a scratch, such as the animal licking the wound on the victim or the animal salivating on its paw just prior to scratching the victim. The scratch would also have to be a deeper wound and not a superficial scrape.
Thanks, historymike, for your comment. That is pretty much what I thought. The cat is a neighborhood cat who stays in our garage when it gets cold, then goes somewhere else when the weather turns warmer. He has endeared himself to many because he has managed a neighborhood rat problem the last couple of years. I think I will try and trap him and get him vaccinated.