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Old 08-05-2006, 12:59 PM   #1
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Possible Exposure to Rabies - needs advice

A week ago today I was bitten by a stray cat at my father's house. We live in a rural area, and the cat has been wandering off and on Dad's property for about a month. He appeared to be well and wasn't foaming at the mouth or anything like that.

I had him indoors with me and was petting him when he bit me twice on my right hand. I was going to let this go, but some people said "he might have had rabies - better get it checked out" and others said "just let it go, chances are he was ok, especially if he's been at your father's for that length of time and seemed ok". I don't know who to believe.

I went to the ER and the doctor told me to call the health department and they would impound the cat for 10 days for observation. Only problem is, when I called the health department they said that what the hospital told me was wrong. I was told it would be up to me to find a place to keep the cat. I'm not allowed any pets in my apartment building, and Dad refused to keep him. So, Dad tried to put him down, but the cat took off.

Yesterday someone told me they thought they saw the cat, but when I tried to track him down near where it was sighted, I left empty-handed.

So I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. I don't know if the cat is still alive, and I don't want to have those shots. I have a history of severe health problems, including cancer, asthma, etc. I can't afford to get sick. If that cat did expose me to rabies and I don't have those shots, then I'm done for. And even if he didn't expose me to rabies, what if those shots, if I go through with them, make me sick? Has anyone been known to get sick from them?

I don't know what to do. If anyone out there has any suggestions, I would be grateful. Thank you!

 
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Old 08-05-2006, 07:35 PM   #2
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fallenleaf HB User
Re: Possible Exposure to Rabies - needs advice

If it were me, I would get the shots. It doesn't make any sense for the cat who you were petting to just bite you like that. He doesn't have to have symptoms first to have rabies so even if that's not WHY he bit you he could have still been infected and transfered it to you. If you don't get the shots you are going to just worry yourself sick about it anyway. Also I would call the closest humane society or pound and talk to them about it. At the very least, they should give you some more useful information.

Last edited by fallenleaf; 08-05-2006 at 07:40 PM.

 
Old 08-05-2006, 07:37 PM   #3
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fallenleaf HB User
Re: Possible Exposure to Rabies - needs advice

Also consider setting a trap w/food. You can find a cage w/ a trap door probably fairly easy since you live in the country. ( I live in a rural area too) A neighbor might even have one.

If you do get the cat don't kill him take him to the vet and they will test him for rabies (but I think they kill him there) IF in doubt also call local vet.

Last edited by fallenleaf; 08-05-2006 at 07:39 PM.

 
Old 08-07-2006, 09:31 PM   #4
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Re: Possible Exposure to Rabies - needs advice

I went to the ER today and had my first shots. Like you said, if I didn't go through with them I would have worried myself silly. I'm glad I got this part of my treatment over with. I have another shot on Thursday, and three more over the next several weeks, and that's it.

I'm feeling ok except that I'm really tired. It's been a long day and it took forever to get out of the hospital. When I got back home I was feeling warm, but my temperature was normal. Must have been another hot flash!

Thanks for responding!

 
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