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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Took anti-rabies and anti-tetanus shots after cat bite. Have slight fever. Is this normal?

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Dr. Grzegorz Stanko

General Surgeon

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 5770 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 12 Jan 2013 in Infections
Question: Hi. I am 29 years old female living in the Philippines. Yesterday, I got bitten by my cat in the upper arm as I was shielding my dog from the cat. There are 4 very small punctures wounds. They look like syringe punctures or mosquito puncture. I went to the hosp and the doc told me to go to another center the next day (today) to get the necessary anti-rabies and anti-tetanus shots. Then he prescribed Cefalexin to me as antibiotic.
Anyway, I got my first 2 shots of Verorab this afternoon... However the nurse told me I needed to get the ERIG? IRIG? As I have 4 puncture wounds... higher category?
Right now, it's almost midnight--I have a slight fever and my injection sites hurt a bit. I feel a bit sick. Is this a normal side effect of the drugs (antibiotic and Verorab) I am taking? Also, I was still not given my tetanus shots... up to how many days is it ok for me to wait to get it also? To be honest, I am quite scared as this is my first time to be bitten by an animal. :(((
I am paying to get an answer just so I could sleep soundly tonight. :(((
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Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 2 hours later
Hello!

Thank you for the query.

First of all you need to calm down as nothing serious is happening. You need to be aware that every animal has in its mouth a lot of bacterias. That is why you need to prepare that your wound can get swollen, red and painful. It also might need some skin incision for cleaning. This is something very common.
Another thing is about injection sites. Pain in this area is also quite common thing as you have been injected with virus parts to stimulate your immune system. Such vaccination causes local immune system cells accumulation, vessels irritation and results with inflammation. So this is normal as well.
Fever can appear due to primary infection caused the bites or by vaccination. This is also normal and correct response of your immune system to the infection.
Antitetanus vaccination is recommended to be performed as soon as possible after the exposure. Moreover, if not given in recent time after the exposure, it should be done anyways even after few days because tetanus incubation virus can take about 30 days. Moreover, you does not have to be infected with it.
And one more thing, Cefalexine might be not effective for your infection (fewer can indicate that it does not work). So if you find your wound getting worse, you may ask your doctor about Clindamicine 300 mg 3x1.

In conclusion, there is nothing urgent right now, so you can go to sleep right now. You can visit your doctor next day for Tetanus vaccination and maybe antibiotic change.
Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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