Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"My cat scratched me, should I get vaccinated for rabies or not?"
Hi, We have a domesticated cat and while I was playing with her I got a scratch on my feet and it did bleed. As far as we know, she is vaccinated but I am not %100 sure. I cannot say %100 that she did not encounter any animals as sometimes mices appear around this area. I am just not sure if I should go and get vaccinated for rabies or not. Please let me know.
This is an interesting question. First, it is important to wash the wound quickly and thoroughly with warm soapy water to clean the wound and prevent other serious infections. If you are pregnant or are to become pregnant in the very near future, please speak with your doctor as there are bacteria and other diseases in the feces of felines that can cause serious complications during pregnancy. Your question suggests that you are several layers removed from the most serious risk but you are not sure, in that you were playing with a cat that you believe had the rabies vaccination, and therefore the risk would be from any mice or other animals that she may have eaten or encountered in the recent past. This is likely a lower risk than that which you would expect from an animal who was demonstrating aggressive behavior or other symptoms of the rabies virus. To determine or predict your exact risk, you can refer to the CDC.gov website, and also speak with your doctor about what the appropriate next step should be in your case. This will likely include at least a tetanus booster. Please speak with your doctor about this question.
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