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    Is rabies vaccination advisable after getting scratched by a cat?

Posted on Thu, 27 Jul 2017 in Infections
Question: Hi, my brother got a little scratch from a back claw about 3 inches from his elbow from my sons cat. He went missing for almost 3 weeks, and suprisingly came home Saturday. However, he was in very bad shape. His kidneys were damaged, along with his liver, and had alot of maggots around his backside with swelling and redness. He also had a very bad infection around his nose and face along with sever dehydration. I had to make the choice of putting him down. He wouldnt drink but would sit in the sink at the vets office and just let the water run on him. He also had a hard time swallowing. The scratch did break the skin, but not much. My brother got it from picking the cat up. Does he need to get a rabies shot? The vet said Thunder, the cat, didnt show any signs of rabies, and animal control told them that for a scratch, my brother didnt have to follow any procedures. Is that right?
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
That is right!

Detailed Answer:

All pets in the USA are vaccinated against rabies and as such it is very rare to contract rabies from them. Also, with no signs of rabies, there is no need for your brother to get rabies protocol. Finally, it sounds like the scratch was very small and the risk for any possible rabies transmission is very minimal. I will accept that he needs no further specific rabies prevention protocol at this time.

However, he needs antibiotics as the scratch is small and deep. This is because claws are alias dirty and harbor germs that can cause infections. The antibiotic os choice is augmenting.

I hope this guides and helps. I wish you well. Feel free to follow up with me if need be.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
Follow up: Dr. Chobufo Ditah 10 minutes later
I forgot to add, Thunder didn't get a rabies shot in a little over a year. I thought he had gotten a 3 year when I took him to the vet, but it was only 1 year.
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 3 minutes later
Brief Answer:
We need just a single rabies vaccine all our lives!

Detailed Answer:

If the dog was well vaccinated, there is no need for repeat vaccines. You are fine and there is no reason for your brother to get worried. Be calm and rest assured all is well.

Let me know if you have any further worries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
Answered by
Dr. Chobufo Ditah

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 6252 Questions


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