What to do if a cat bites
Cats bite people less often than dogs, but the chances of suffering from the teeth of both home Murka and wild hunters are large enough. The share of cat bites in the region of 10-20% of all animals bitten by animals. Children and adolescents who play with stray animals suffer more often from bites.
What is dangerous for a person to bite a cat and how to act in this case? Do I always need to see a doctor? Consider how to properly handle and treat a cat's bite, and also find out what diseases these furry pets can transmit with saliva.
Features and consequences of a cat bite
Unlike dogs, cats are not capable of causing serious damage even to a small child. The size of the cats is small, the jaw is weak, and the teeth are small. Despite this, harmless at first glance, feline bites are very dangerous.
Yes, the damage caused by the dog is more traumatic, but it is easier to heal. The fact is that the mouth of the cat contains specific microorganisms that cause inflammation of the wound.
Small but sharp teeth can penetrate deep under the skin into muscles and other underlying tissues, and at the same time bring in a company of merry bacteria. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully treat the wound and apply antibiotics to treat the bite of a cat.
The depth of the bite can also be deceptive. From the teeth remain small, "chopped" wounds, which actually penetrate quite deep into the underlying tissues - muscles, tendons. Especially dangerous are the consequences of a cat bite in the joint (for example, fingers), the face and neck area.
Another unpleasant consequence - the bites of cats do not heal well, which leads to the formation of scar tissue and ugly from the cosmetic point of view. Plus, bites are often accompanied by scratches.
When to see a doctor
Frequent questions - the cat has bitten and the arm or hand has swelled up, the finger - than to treat? In this case, you need to seek qualified medical help. Do not engage in self-medication, since serious consequences are possible, up to tissue necrosis and limb amputation.
Also, the doctor is contacted in case of other complications:
- numerous bites or extensive damage area;
- bites in the joint (bitten by a cat and swollen finger) or in the face and neck;
- severe bleeding that does not stop for 15 minutes;
- bad feeling;
- increased body temperature;
- inflammation of the wound - puffiness redness, suppuration;
- bites the animal unvaccinated from rabies and having contact with the street.
It is advisable to go to the emergency room immediately, within 12 hours after the bite - so there is more chance to crush the infection in the bud.
Usually the doctor at a cat bite appoints antibiotics:
If two days have passed and there are no signs of infection, then antibiotic therapy is not required.
In case of wound injuries, tetanus vaccination is mandatory, if you do not have it, then tetanus antiserum is administered. Vaccination against rabies is done depending on the indications.
First aid and treatment
If you were bitten by a cat - what to do? Small lesions can be treated independently. Also, you need to perform a primary wound treatment before contacting the hospital.
- Place the bite carefully, for 5-15 minutes (depending on the depth of the bite) washed with water with household soap - this is necessary in order to remove all the saliva that has got into the skin, and along with the saliva bacteria from the mouth of the cat and possible triggers of tetanus and rabies.
- The wound is treated with a solution of hydrogen peroxide, in the absence of peroxide - alcohol or vodka.
- If necessary, stop bleeding. To do this, apply a pressure bandage. Usually from the bites of cats, there is a capillary bleeding, as the teeth are small, and the bites are shallow. In rare cases, perhaps, venous bleeding from the superficial veins. In both variants, the blood is stopped by a pressure bandage. The bleeding from the wound has a positive side - the blood is washing away the cat's saliva.
- If the bleeding has stopped within 15 minutes, then you do not need to apply a tight bandage.
- Skin around the wound is greased with a solution of brilliant green, iodine or alcohol.
- The wound is applied antibacterial ointment.
- Above, the damaged skin is covered with a light sterile bandage so that the wound does not get dirty.
You should know that it is impossible to sew up skin damage from feline bites. To eliminate bleeding, bleed blood vessels. Extensive damage is first treated, and in the absence of inflammation, cosmetic operations are performed.
What did the cat bite the child? If this is your domestic cat, vaccinated against rabies or living only in the apartment (without walking outside), and the damage is small, then treat the wound with antiseptics and apply a sterile bandage.
What to do if a cat is bitten to death? As noted above, wound healing depends on how thoroughly you have treated it with antiseptics.
What should I do if a cat is bitten by a finger and swollen or swollen? Unfortunately, complications develop in every fifth case, and in the area of the hands - more often, as close to the skin are the bones and joints. The ingress of bacteria there causes inflammation of the periosteum and the joint bag. For treatment, you need to go to the hospital.
In case of serious injuries, immediately consult a doctor, as many complications arise from feline bites.
Complications of a cat bite
The main complications of cat bites are:
- bacterial infections;
- scarring due to poor wound healing.
The risk of complications increases with the following diseases:
- immunodeficiency states;
- swelling of the affected area;
- pathology of the liver;
- peripheral vascular disease;
- damage in the area of prosthetic joints.
Consider in more detail such complications as bacterial infections and rabies.
With the cat's saliva, a whole "bunch" of microorganisms gets into the damaged tissues.
When cats are bitten:
- streptococci and staphylococci;
- and a number of other conditionally pathogenic microorganisms.
Due to the fact that microbes are buried relatively deep into the tissue, an inflammation focus is formed, and in case of unfavorable course of the process a systemic infection develops:
- kidney inflammation;
- suppurative skin diseases;
- general infection of blood.
In some cases necrosis of damaged tissues is possible, which, without appropriate surgical treatment, can lead to loss of the limb.
In the case of punctures, the infection develops more often than with lacerations, as the cat's saliva is washed away with blood.
Tetanus is another danger from feline bites. The disease is caused by a microbe that inhabits the soil. It affects the nervous system and causes spasmic contractions of muscles. From tetanus, regular preventive vaccinations are carried out every five years. If there is no vaccination, then antitetanus serum should be administered to prevent the development of infection.
A frequent complication of bites of cats is "cat scratch disease". The medical name is lymphoreticulosis. The causes of the disease are still controversial. Previously it was believed that the disease provokes the virus, then it was attributed to bacteria and rickettsia, allocated from the sick people. The disease affects children and adolescents more often. A cat is an asymptomatic carrier, the causative agent is in her mouth, and when licking out she gets under claws. When scratches or bites are applied, the microbe enters the wound, the bite site becomes inflamed and swollen. After 3-10 days after a bite, inflammation develops in the regional lymph node, sometimes accompanied by headaches, deterioration of well-being and a febrile condition. From the site of the bite to the inflamed node, there is a red band (lymphangitis). More often the infection passes without consequences, but in some cases complications in the form of a meningitis and other lesions of nervous system can arise.
Cats are carriers of cat scratch disease for a short period - 2-3 weeks. If the cause of the disease was a fluffy pet - bitten by a domestic cat - what to do in this case? It is necessary to isolate the cat for three weeks from other members of the family - after this period it is no longer contagious. Determine in advance whether the cat is the carrier of the causative agent of cat scratch disease, is impossible.
What if you were bitten by a street cat? In this case, it is necessary to take measures to prevent rabies.
Rabies is a deadly disease of warm-blooded animals and humans, which is transmitted when saliva of infected animals gets into the blood. Infection occurs when bites or if the saliva gets on the damaged skin.
Cats are often carriers of rabies - in urban conditions, they are on a par with dogs, its main distributors. According to statistics, 90% of feline rabies fall into the age group under the age of three.
What if a bitten cat was bitten? If you are bitten by a stray cat, as well as unvaccinated home with access to the street - you must get vaccinated. Rabies is an incurable disease and can be transmitted at a stage where symptoms have not manifested. It is advisable to catch a cat, isolate (over-restrain the animal in state institutions) and observe for 15 days. A stray animal is killed and examined in the laboratory. In any case, they make the first injections, and then, based on the results of overexposure or research, decide whether to continue the course or not.
Signs of rabies in cats:
- no fear of the enemy;
- fear of light, sharp sounds;
- eating non-eatable items;
- hydrophobia - the cat pains to swallow, develops paralysis of the pharynx;
- copious salivation;
- nerve disorders - convulsions, convulsions, paralysis.
The signs of rabies in humans after a cat bite develop after 1-3 weeks. The closer the bite was to the head, the shorter the incubation period. The first symptoms are increased irritability of the nervous system:
- reaction to loud sounds;
- difficulty swallowing.
Unfortunately, for today the disease is incurable, and after the appearance of the first symptoms of rabies, it is already impossible to cure a person. Almost 100% of the patients die from muscle paralysis.
Summing up, we can say that cat bites by themselves do not pose a threat to life and health. But with the saliva of the animal, bacteria and viruses can enter the wound. The bite does not heal well, perhaps, the development of complications - from local inflammatory reaction to general sepsis. It is also necessary to prevent such dangerous diseases as rabies and tetanus. To treat stings of stray animals, you must always go to a medical institution.