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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Advice needed about possible rabies exposure

 helen32 - Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:21 am

I have just returned from holiday in Tunisia.

Whilst there we were eating a meal on a street cafe, and my children were feeding a very hungry stray cat small pieces of their food. They were not touching the cat, however as my 6 year old daughter held a piece of food out to drop it for the cat, the cat jumped up and scratched her hand in an attempt to take the food. The cat had previously been eating the food off its paw, so there was potentially saliva on it.

The cut drew blood. I immidiately rinsed it under the tap with some soap and water and then put a plaster on it.

The cat appeared health (skinny and under fed but they all look like that there). This happened one week ago, and the cut has pretty much healed up. I didn't think much of it until I mentioned it to a family member on my return home (to the UK) yesterday, who thinks my daughter could be at risk, and Im now very worried.

Many thanks for any advice.
 helen32 - Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:57 am

Since posting I've seen our doctor, she was not concerned at all, and said the only thing they would worry about it tetanus. As my daughter is up to date on her injections for this she didn't need any treatment. I guess Im just being over protective (Mum's perogative!).
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Apr 25, 2009 11:30 pm

User avatar Hello,
It is possible, but extremely rare to get rabies from something other than a bite from a rabid animal. A non-bite exposure such as a scratch is sometimes treated but it would be impossible to say if this was one of those rare situations where it is indicated. The fact that your child has not had symptoms (usually early symptoms occur within days of exposure) and the animal did not appear to be diseased or behaving strangely leads me to think her greatest risk was infection and it appears she did not become infected since the scratch is healing well.

Best wishes.
 bananafish - Wed May 27, 2009 5:37 pm

I've never posted here before so I don't know if I'm doing this right.

I was bitten by a small dog 9 days ago on my leg. I received a tetanus shot (on day 3), but it was never suggested I receive rabies, nor did I bring it up.
Starting on day 6 I suddenly got very light headed and then extremely dizzy. The light-head/dizzy feeling has hit me at about 2pm for the last 3 days and stays all night. When I wake up in the morning and get going (I walk for a living) I get progressively better as the morning goes on and feel pretty energetic and clear-headed, but then when I sit down after work it all starts again. Also have had problems staying warm, especially my hands. Mostly I just feel very tired and light-headed and when I lie down I feel my pulse and blood flowing, sometimes pounding in my head, back of the eyes, my stomach. The veins in my arms are all of a sudden very thin (could this be the cold hands things?) My eyes are blood shot and I do have pain behind them on and off. Also my blood sugar highs and lows are very exaggerated. No congestion of any kind. No muscle pains, or pains at the bite site (scabbed over now.) I know that's a lot of info I just don't want to leave anything important out.

I read about incubation periods online and it said the earliest was 10 days (mine started at 6) and that the farther away the wound is from the brain, the longer it takes (mine is about as far as you can get - lower calf). I just wanted to know your opinion to know if I should get the shot, or if I'm just being completely paranoid and have an unrelated virus, etc.


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