Posts Tagged infection

Cat Bites An Unrecognized Danger

Posted by on Friday, 21 February, 2014
Cartoon about cats

THOSE TEETH !

CATS

Cats are stunning things – amazing beings. If you have one in your house, you know. Please don’t mistake them for pets as they are visitors from another star system that just happen to favor fur coats.

THEY decide if they’re in the mood.

Or not.

Often they rub against arms and purr. However. Wind up toys, they are not. They’re willful, intelligent co-inhabitants of your life space and, if they get pissed off at you, they won’t hold it all in and give themselves ulcers.

Cats bite and scratch. If you haven’t had the pleasure, believe me, they can make their point.

Here’s the thing.

If a cat bites your hand, take it seriously, okay? One in three bites to the hand put the attached person into the hospital with a nasty infection that all too often needs surgery to debride the wound. Dr, Brian Carlsen (lead study author on the paper which was published in the  Journal of Hand Surgery) says this is because the needle-ish teeth of cats do a great job of injecting bacteria deep into structures that aren’t exposed to air. Once the tooth gunk is sealed off in there, the infectious organisms have enough privacy to engage in intimate behavior leading to many bacterial babies and a glorious explosion of infection.

No need to make them crazy in the emergency room. Don’t show up every time your cat brushes you lightly with a paw. But if you do get a puncture wound – especially if it looks red or inflamed – please don’t ignore it. Let a medical type have a quick look. If it’s nothing, you can go home and change the litter box. But – seriously – if that bugger is getting infected, the best time to act is now.

Do it for me. Okay?

– – – – – –

The drawing of the unsmiling kitty is mine.