Not that I think I will be slowly morphing into a human-feline mutant but I was surprised how badly I responded to a recent cat bite I sustained during my locuming in in a small animal practice in Blackpool. Since I graduated from the vet school in 1998 I have had a few bites and lots of scratches from my dearest feline friends but I have never had to seek medical help before.
This cat was a bit of a psycho as it was quite happy looking and content when the owner brought it into the consult room. Besides the fact that it was enormous and very very fat I had no warning what was to happen during the consult. After the owner and I opened the carrier door I even patted the cat gently and he was absolutely fine with it. The facial expression was showing slight worry (over what the hell is going to happen to him at the vet’s) but still relative sedateness.
Because of the enormous size of the cat we had to open up the carrier and before that we had to undo all the clips that held the top and that was quite a loud undertaking. Just as we removed the top the cats suddenly lunged forward - as it was in the direction of my right hand, took a good bite in it and just as quickly lunged back in. It all happeed so quickly even the bite wound took quite a few seconds before it started to bleed - see, even my hand was surprised :-)
What I usually do after a bite is to do the usual initial disinfection by dousing the wound some surgical spirit - gritting teeth and growling un-recognisable rude words, preferably in Slovene, so no one around me understand me.
The next day I thought things were getting better so I decided to leave it only to start having problems in the evening. Luckily I already enquired with one of the nurses where the nearest A&E clinic is. In this case I went to the walk-in clinic in Blackpool.
Please look away if you are squeamish but this is what my hand looked like about 36 hours after the bite:
Can’t really see the swelling well but its there, trust me and the wound was suppurating quite nicely and very painful. Luckily the trip to the
Whitegate walk-in centre resulted in me receiving antibiotics flucloxacillin that worked really well. But examples like this just show what doctors can get away with in regards to owner compliance compared to us vets. The treatment demanded me to take the capsule four times a day. And you were also not allowed to eat two hours before and one hour after taking the pill. Well, simple maths show you that was 12h of me not eating. I was usually awake for about 16 hours so I had to get my eatin’ done in those four hours throughout the day and still work at a very busy veterinary practice. Of course I couldn’t do that and I had to cheat a few times.
Luckily the medication still worked fine and this is my hand two days after start of treatment