I just started a job at a vet. Hospital as a receptionist. On Thursday of this past week, I was called quickly into the exam room to help the doctor restrain a cat. I had a good hold of him but he got free and lashed out and bit me on the arm. (very small bite above the hand) I cleaned the wound right away. The cat is a 13 year old house cat that goes out once in awhile in the owners backyard on a leash.
The thing is the cat has never had any vaccinations against rabies and I am concerned that perhaps I may have been exposed. The cat showed no signs of aggression when it came in or left…just was a bit mad being restrained and held down for blood work. Since the cat has not had it shots it has been reported and the cat is under quarantine for 10 days.
Now after that long story here is my question.
1. Lets say it did have rabies and we found this out in the 10 day period, is there still time for me to get the rabies shot and not get rabies myself.
Someone told me that I could get this virus right away and this 10 days is too long a time to wait for the vaccine. I know I sound alarmed but when you have people giving you all kinds of info on this…I am not sure if I am doing the correct thing here.
The cat is a friendly cat and the owner has not had any problems. It was only brought into the vets for kidney issues…other then this..the cat is the owners baby and she takes very good care of him.
Any information on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Unlike in other mammals, rabies typically takes months to develop in humans. Waiting 10 days will not make any difference other than a lot less pain and expense, given the high odds that the cat who bit you is not rabid.
The incubation period can vary from 2 to 12 weeks and in rare cases even longer. However, rabies in cats is relatively rare, especially with very young kittens. Are you seeing any symptoms or to you have reason to suspect that this kitten has been directly exposed (i.e. bitten by or has eaten a rabid animal?).
No. It doesn't seem like he has any wounds or ever did. They've lived in my backyard since they were newborns. The mother didn't seem odd either. We've been feeding them since the mother was around but since they are old enough she's been gone. They've slowly been learning to trust us but they still become afraid when noises happen etc. so they don't act completely trusting. They all act like normal kittens (playing, eating, drinking, sleeping, grooming etc).
Problem is is that I have panic/anxiety disorder and I guess probably some hypochondria so I keep thinking what if if just hasn't shown signs yet? But I keep telling myself is basically impossible for it to be infected because I've never ever seen any of them limping or wounded or even any wound marks on it or any of them.
At most I'm assuming they might have fleas/worms/etc. I've already received a tetanus shot yesterday and will be starting antibiotics today (even tho I don't really need them cause the bit hasn't become swollen or anything crazy at all).
Oh and for the rabid animal part I don't know. I've read that rabbits don't really have rabies but it's possible? I do remember seeing a rabbit carcass that the mother brought to eat maybe about a month ago.
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