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Old 11-03-2011, 08:31 PM   #1
insignificant_one
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Wound Care Question - Cat scratch/bite question

I got badly bitten by a cat today. As unfortunately the First Aider was off today, I didnt recieve any actual first aid, but washed the wound out for ages, and put pressure on the actual wound until it stopped bleeding (not tons thankfully, otherwise I would have been off to A&E), and put some cream on it (I forget what it is called but apparently it is very similar to antiseptic cream e.g. germolene/savlon).

The thing is that it is very sore and swollen, so much so, it hurts to type and eat with a knife. She (that is, the cat) has bitten around the thumb area, and I am not sure if she has gone into the joint. One puncture mark actually leaked a clear liquid briefly - not sure if joint oil. The area is very puffy and a bit warm to touch.

When I got home (this was not my cat), I have put some germolene on it, and plan to do so. I passed the GP on the way home, but they had no appointments (I am concerned about infection, hence my post) so the earliest will be Monday before anyone can look at it...

Does anyone else have any other suggestions to stop possible infection. I dont want to cover it as it doesnt really warrant it, and also it will stop me putting germolene in that area. The puncture wound would also be harder to keep an eye on also. Also due to the area an bandage would get in the way.

PS I notice on the main site it says not to use Germolene on puncture wounds, why?





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Old 11-03-2011, 08:39 PM   #2
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Sounds like you've done all the right things to keep it clean, but the clear liquid oozing from around the joint is concerning. Is there a minor injuries unit near to you? I think, because of the possibility that it did enter the joint, you should get this checked out before Monday.



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Old 11-03-2011, 08:46 PM   #3
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if youre in the UK, it wouldnt hurt to drop into a walk in centre/minor injuries unit?

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Old 11-03-2011, 08:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mikey View Post
Sounds like you've done all the right things to keep it clean, but the clear liquid oozing from around the joint is concerning. Is there a minor injuries unit near to you? I think, because of the possibility that it did enter the joint, you should get this checked out before Monday.
It hasnt done it for hours, just a little after I was checking whether the bleeding had stopped (due to the colour of the towel I was using it was quite hard to tell unless I took it off). Right now, there is nothing coming out of any of the sores.

I do agree that it should be looked at, that is why I went to the GPs, only to be told that there was no appointments. They are absolutely rubbish - I have had so many problems with them before. Unfortunately there is no Walk in Centres or Minor Injuries Unit in the whole of the county. The only option before Monday would be A&E but I am not going tonight (it will be fun of drunken idiots and due to my mh status it would make things worse not better).





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Old 11-03-2011, 08:51 PM   #5
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Okay, well I do think it's better to be safe than sorry - perhaps you could go to A&E tomorrow morning?
Is your tetanus up to date?
Also, cat mouths are full of bacteria, so they might decide that a course of antibiotics is needed, especially if the puncture wounds are quite deep.



There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: 'This glass is half full'. And then there are those who say: 'This glass is half empty'.
The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: 'What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!

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Old 11-03-2011, 11:11 PM   #6
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Yep, I agree with Mikey. Cat Bites, however bad they are need antibiotics, often 2 different ones. The risks of infection if not are INCREDIBLY high and there is nowhere for this to escape from a puncture wound. As well as this, if it goes straight into the joint or the tendons nearby or even just close to that then it could cause much further problems if left untreated; I know of people who are left with different degrees of finger/ hand problems (one had a problem with her whole arm I think) as a result of purely and simply a cat bite and not seeking help so this needs to be seen right away.

Germolene etc won't help with cat bites as it's not the outside wound that is the problem as this is tiny, it's the bacteria that their teeth literally inject into you that is.

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Old 12-03-2011, 11:31 AM   #7
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Thanks. My hand is a lot less painful and no substance is coming out. It's still rather puffy/sore and a little inflamed. However I have not gone for any treatment yet, though.

I will definitely do more on Monday, again tackle the GP, and I have more time then if I need to go to A&E (which will probably happen if the GP has no appointments). I do think you are right though, it probably needs antibiotics, and at least it hurts much less to hold a knife or pen!





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Old 12-03-2011, 03:32 PM   #8
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I hope you get this seen to soon.

I understand GP practices being useless, sometimes you have to be really persistant to get anywhere.

If there are no GP appoingments available (even emergency ones) ask to see the Senior Nurse on duty, as they will know a little about wound care and can at least get you seen quicker by the GP should they feel it warrants it.

If they dont have those - then do go to a&e, as it sounds like it needs proper treatment.





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Old 14-03-2011, 03:36 PM   #9
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I got an appointment for later on today, but unfortunately it is with the worst doctor in the practice. It's better but still very painful, and not sure it is infected. The area is still a little puffy and inflamed. I also have a dull kind of sensation in my right hand.

I do think it needs antibiotics, but like I said, it is the worst doctor in the practice. I once had a bad cold for 4 months, and I went to see him, and he gave the same stuff as I had at home! So I kept the prescription and used it for the next time I got a cold.

So it will be a waste of time because he does nowt! The chances are that he will do nothing but look at it and tell me to keep an eye on it and put germolene on it (which I have been doing). The scratches are healing nicely (and the puncture wound area), but I am still worried about it getting infected so that is why I am still going.

If it gets worse and the GP does nothing, then I think I will skip the GP altogether and go to A&E.





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Old 14-03-2011, 10:52 PM   #10
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How did it go? Have you managed to get it sorted now?

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Old 21-03-2011, 06:48 PM   #11
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How did it go? Have you managed to get it sorted now?
It went ok (sorry forget about this). It was puffy but the GP didnt think it is infected. He said that the pufffiness should go down but if it didnt come down a week later (which is today) to come back. It still took a couple of days for the swelling to come down though, but right now it is not puffy at all. You can still see it where the cat bit/scratched me, but it is now healed and should disappear in a couple of weeks. Or if I do scar, only a little (I may have a small scar due to where she scratched!).

I also avoided the cat responsible last week, so she had no opportunity to scratch/bite me. When she scratched/bit I was shaking - I have never shook before! My own male cat does bite me quite regularly (because he's a grumpy old man) but thankfully he has very few teeth so he dont hurt! (the evil witch of a cat who bit thankfully is not one of mine!)





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Old 22-03-2011, 12:01 PM   #12
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Though it has healed from the outside, I personally would not be juming for joy as of yet. Puncture wounds from cat bites can heal from the outside extremely quickly, ie not be visible 2 days down the line in some cases. However, the damage can still be done inside regardless of what it looks like on the outside so I would still keep a close eye on it and if you start having any difficulty moving that finger/ pains coming from it/ it continues to be a bit puffy then it needs to be looked at again. The problem with cat bites is not on the surface at all, it's tissues you cannot see and a cat bite injury is one of the few which (touch wood I have yet to have in my career though I have had loads of scratches and I have been quick to miss bites) would have me going to A&E or seeing a doctor later on that day, even if I was working that day and many injuries wouldn't do that and it's plain and simply because it's like having an injection of pure bacteria under your skin and then nowhere for any infection to be released so it becomes trapped and can track up tendons/ ligaments and cause damage to the joints and sometimes not straight away. Someone I know personally lost about 40% of the movement, maybe more than that, in her thumb due to a cat bite and that was one that was treated as it is the policy there for all cat bite injuries to be seen by a doctor and get antibiotics. The fact it was puffy for quite some time does have me more concerned to be honest with you.

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