The Doctors: Cat Bite Infections, Rabies Prevention & Sea Lion Bites


The Doctors: When Cats Attack

The Doctors TV show shared a video from Molly, who suffered a cat bite on her hand several weeks ago.

After being bitten by her cat, she washed her hands and then went to bed. She woke up and her hand was throbbing so she put some ice on it. It continued to get worse. She took a picture of the bite and emailed it to her doctor, and he instructed her to go to the emergency room.


The Drs: Cat Bite Infections

At the emergency room, they gave Molly antibiotics but her hand continued to swell, and she thought she might have a fever. She went back to the ER where they admitted her and informed her that she needed to have surgery.

Dr. Travis Stork said that up to 80% of cat bites will become infected. When doctors went in for surgery, Molly’s tendons were like wet tissue paper. She was diagnosed with tenosynovitis. Find out what you should watch out for after a cat bite:

The Drs TV: Pasteurella Bacteria in Cats

Dr. Andrew Ordon said that because cat fangs are so sharp and long, getting bitten is like injecting bacteria with a hypodermic needle. Cats naturally have a bacteria called Pasteurella in their mouths.


Dr. Ordon said that the linings of Molly’s tendon sheaths were inflamed, and without surgery her infection could have spread to other parts of her body. Molly had to do occupational therapy and “hand ballet” after her surgery.

The Doctors: Signs of Rabies in Animals

The Doctors: Cat Bite Infections, Rabies Prevention & Sea Lion Bites

Your furry friend might look precious, but cat bites lead to infections 80% of the time.

Dr. Stork said that there have been otter, bat and fox bites in the news over the last few months. Dr. Jim Sears said that we’re hearing more and more about rabies, which is a deadly viral infection.

Rabies causes swelling in your brain and usually leads to death. Dr. Sears said that it’s important to know the warning signs of rabies:

  • you don’t know the pet/it’s a stray
  • foaming at the mouth
  • extreme aggression and constant growling
  • loss of control of its limbs/neck

The Drs: Symptoms of Rabies in Humans

Dr. Sears said that rabies signs in human are:

  • drooling/hallucinations
  • irregular spasms in breathing muscles
  • throat spasms when drinking water
  • pain, itching or tingling at bite site
  • paralysis in bitten body part

There have only been two or three documented cases of people surviving rabies. Dr. Lisa Masterson said that we don’t see it a lot here because most of us are good about getting our dogs vaccinated.

If you think you’ve been bitten by a rabid animal, seek treatment within 48 hours.

The Drs TV: How to Avoid Sea Lion Bites

The Doctors shared a video from comedian Chelsea Handler, where she claimed that she was bitten by a sea lion over the summer. Dr. Stork said he had no idea sea lions were such a threat to society. Watch this advice about sea lions:Kelli Lewis, the educational director for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, said that sea lions are predators, but they’re after fish. She said they’re rarely aggressive, and they’ve only seen this behavior when they’re going after food or protecting territory.

Lewis recommended staying 50 yards away from sea lions, and be quiet with your body and voice. If they start to invade your space, quietly move away and don’t try to trap them. Have you ever been threatened by a sea lion?


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