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Suggest treatment for cat scratch

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Posted on Thu, 24 Jul 2014
Question: my son who is 35 was scratched by a cat - he washed the wound with running water and then soap. He went to get the anti-rabies vaccination today (three days after the scratch). The doctor said it was late to do this but gave him the first injection and he will have 4 more. Is he still at risk of rabies becaus he did not go straight away?
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Answered by Dr. Sumanth Amperayani (36 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Suggestions on cat scratch - Vaccine

Detailed Answer:
Rabies is usually more possible from unprovoked bites from rabid animals especially dogs. Will suggest some things which keep your mind at peace-
1. Assess whether it us a provoked or scratch from the cat? That is think if the cat had scratched after it was irritated for some reason like being hungry or being pregnant or a lactating cat feeding kitten etc.
2. If the cat is rabid it us unlikely to live more than 10 days from now... So keep a track of that particular cat & if its alive after 10 days.... Be rest assured that nothing is going to happen.
3. Washing with running water and soap was an excellent & medically approved first aid after the scratch... Don't worry.
4. What the Dr said is theoretically & technically correct, but it might not be a rabid animal at all.

I suggest your son to complete the all 6 vaccine shots in the schedule, being 0,3,7,14,28 & 90 days shots.

Kindly get back with answer to my question number 1, so that I will be in a better position to reassure you.
I am happy to help anytime. Further clarifications on this website are welcome.
Regards - Dr. Sumanth.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Sumanth Amperayani (34 minutes later)
Thank you for your reply which has helped to allay our fears.
Reply about Question 1. My son said the kitten was being attacked by a bigger cat so he picked the kitten up and took him into his house but the kitten was scared and tried to get away - he scratched my son's arm with his back leg when it was wriggling to get out of the houe. So it was clearly a provoked scratch from the kitten. It is a stray kitten but it has been seen around the complex where my son lives for the past few days.
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Answered by Dr. Sumanth Amperayani (51 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
No need to be alarmed

Detailed Answer:
Hi.... You need not be alarmed. It's surely a provoked bite as the kitten was scared to death and it didn't realize that it was being rescued. I suggest your son to complete the schedule as suggested by me....its 0, 3, 7, 14, 28 & 90 days.

Regards - Dr. Sumanth
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Answered by
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Dr. Sumanth Amperayani

Pediatrician, Pulmonology

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 8343 Questions

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Suggest treatment for cat scratch

Brief Answer: Suggestions on cat scratch - Vaccine Detailed Answer: Rabies is usually more possible from unprovoked bites from rabid animals especially dogs. Will suggest some things which keep your mind at peace- 1. Assess whether it us a provoked or scratch from the cat? That is think if the cat had scratched after it was irritated for some reason like being hungry or being pregnant or a lactating cat feeding kitten etc. 2. If the cat is rabid it us unlikely to live more than 10 days from now... So keep a track of that particular cat & if its alive after 10 days.... Be rest assured that nothing is going to happen. 3. Washing with running water and soap was an excellent & medically approved first aid after the scratch... Don't worry. 4. What the Dr said is theoretically & technically correct, but it might not be a rabid animal at all. I suggest your son to complete the all 6 vaccine shots in the schedule, being 0,3,7,14,28 & 90 days shots. Kindly get back with answer to my question number 1, so that I will be in a better position to reassure you. I am happy to help anytime. Further clarifications on this website are welcome. Regards - Dr. Sumanth.