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Cat Bite - Can It Kill You?

Updated on May 24, 2011

I really can't figure out why Americans are against our Canadian Free Health Care system to be implemented into American society. I don't understand what the fuss is all about.

If something like this happened to an American Citizen who didn't have health insurance, they probably would never have gone to a hospital because of the bill they would have received. There are no bills here in Canada for a hospital stay or surgery, but this topic is for another Hub (blog).

I thought that when the power went out this morning, I wouldn't get a chance to write another hub for a while. I wish you Americans would please keep your tornadoes and winds on your side of the border. You can have all those nasty tornadoes just for yourself. Today, your high winds crossed our border and caught us by surprise. I don't even think Mother Nature has a legal passport to come over here, but she did, and all the work we did on our cat hotel came apart this afternoon with your invasive hurricane force winds. But look at the bright side. I now have something to write about after having writers block for a day or so.

Cats, cat bites and infection all go together and can cause major health problems.

Judy was bitten by a cat yesterday and decided against going to emergency because there was always a long wait of three to four hours. After all, it was only a cat bite and what can happen with a cat bite. But this time, her hand swelled up pretty fast and I told her that she should go to the hospital. After many of her friends said the same thing to her, she decided to go. It was a good thing. After waiting almost six hours to see a doctor, her hand was even more puffed up. The doctor told her that the poison was going up her arm and was halfway to the elbow. If it makes it to the elbow, it spreads through the blood system and, it's "lights out" for this life. She was lucky, for sure.

A nurse came into the room and placed an intravenous line in her arm which lets the antibiotic flow through the veins thus preventing further infection. If this had not been done, tomorrow I'd be making plans for a funeral. Who would have thought that a cat bite, even though it was fairly deep, could have caused such a problem.

Judy has been a dog and cat groomer for seven years. She has been bitten before by dogs, scratched by cats but never bitten by a cat so she thought -- no big deal. I have no idea why groomers don't protect themselves with gloves or long sleeves but it seems none do. So, this is the result.

The hospital filled out a report of this incident and took the cat owners name. The Public Health Department will be calling tomorrow to see what happened and this poor innocent cat may have to be quarantined and if it does not have the proper shots,they may go after the owner to have the animal put down. Now we are both animal lovers and this was not the cats fault. It was being shaved to get rid of mats and obviously didn't like what was going on. As far as I'm concerned, groomers should protect themselves with some sort of glove and long sleeves or, as in most cases, the cats should be tranquilized before they arrive here in order to have this procedure done. The owner said that this cat was very hard to work with. Judy did look for a muzzle to fit the cat but they were all too big.

So -- if anybody thinks that a cat bite can't kill you, then think again. The proof is in the hospital report and in the photos below. Once the infection begins to move up your arm, you better move fast.

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    • ianleverette47 profile image

      ianleverette47 6 years ago from Brinston, Ontario Canada

      As long as the IV has been applied, she will be fine. I would not change hospitals. All that can be done has been done. The redness will go away in time.

      If your cat is an outdoor cat, your Mom will probably need a Tetanus shot.

      Your cat should have all its shots from the Vet, then all is fine.

    • profile image

      kim 6 years ago


    • ianleverette47 profile image

      ianleverette47 6 years ago from Brinston, Ontario Canada

      There was no offense whatsoever. I'm just very Canadian -- was up at 4:30am to watch William & Kate get married and I just plainly think we have it pretty good here, health care wise. So please don't take me too seriously. I argue a lot about what I believe in and sometimes I get out of control, so I've been told.

    • K. Burns Darling profile image

      Kristen Burns-Darling 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      I was bitten by my own cat when I was 38 weeks pregnant, the infection that ensued was bad enough that my doctor's considered inducing labor so that they could treat it without harming my baby. Luckily, that was not necessary, and my daughter was delivered, (without my being induced) a week later. Cat bites, I came to find out are absolutely one of the worst possible of all bites to receive. Great Hub! Voted Up! Looking forward to reading more hubs by you!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Sorry for the offense. It was not intentional. I meant no harm, just was thinking of dialoging about what you wrote. Please accept my apology.

    • ianleverette47 profile image

      ianleverette47 6 years ago from Brinston, Ontario Canada

      First of all -- this is a cat hub -- the other topic is coming at some point. But since we're there now, there are no problems with our health care and I'm 63 years old so I've been here for a while. You should really not listen to here say from others. Yes, our taxes are high but we live in a 1st rate country. You get what you pay for here. Many of our good doctors left for the States after being enticed away for higher pay but are now retuning in droves because they miss this great country. Money isn't everything. We have the Royal Wedding tomorrow as we are part of the Commonwealth. Two billion people will be watching. There is nothing we lack here except a powerful military and I can really stray off the cat topic but let's leave it just a cat topic for now.

      Canadians are very patriotic just like Americans and I can tell you bluntly that if I have any sugery --- well, actually I did last year for skin cancer and it's fixed --- No Charge. I'll take high taxes any day.

      Please keep the topic for now on Cat bites.

      I'll try a Hub on Health Care soon but you should really see the movie that the American gent (Michael Moore) did on health care in Canada vs the U.S.A. Maybe that film will open some eyes.

      "Sicko takes a look at the huge flaws in the US health care system. The movie primarily focuses on the failing American health insurance and pharmaceutical industries including health insurance scams.

      Today over fifty million Americans are currently uninsured, and those who are covered very often become victims of insurance company fraud and red tape.

      Moore's Sicko movie compares the US health system with free public funded or so called "socialized" health systems in other countries, namely Canada, UK, France and Cuba

      According to Mike Moore, in France the French government provides exceptional social services, such as day care for $1 an hour, and neonatal support that includes cooking, cleaning, and laundry services for new mothers.

      In England Mike Moore visits a UK pharmacy, where pharmaceuticals are free of charge for persons under 16 or over 60, and subsidized in most cases for everyone else, only a fixed amount of Pds6.65 per prescription is charged (about $13 U.S.)

      The film criticizes both the American Democrats and Republicans for their inaction and in some cases their willingness to be bribed by pharmaceutical companies and insurance carriers.

      Sicko was described by some critics as "a very strong and very honest documentary about America's health system that's totally corrupt and that is without any care for its patients."

      Remember, this is a Cat Hub,

      I won't talk about the other issues until I write one.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Oh! I am so glad your wife is going to be okay. We are cat lovers so we need to know about this. Thanks very much for posting it!


      I have visited Canada and I fell in love with the country and the people so this is nothing personal. I would love to visit Canada again and meet more people there.

      As an American I might be able to help you with our aversion to the proposed changes to our health care. You can imagine that there are many facets to the issue, but I think the main issue is one that people sometimes have trouble putting into words. It is that we want real solutions to the problems with our present health care system. It does not matter what system is put in place here or in any other country, there will be problems with it. Yours has problems--we've heard about them. We want the freedom to address the problems we have from the standpoint of our health care professionals with the help of the business world, not the government's perspective.

      In a perfect world, all the problems of each system would be solved by now, but that's never going to happen. Not all heath care professionals are going to care about their jobs or patients. Not all hospitals are going to hire quality caregivers. Some parents are not going to do what's best for their children's health. Some teens are going to rebel at the advice of parents and doctors. Some adults are not going to do what they know is best for their health. But governments have never nor will they ever be known for solving what the private sector can't solve.

      We find it amazing to hear Canadians say that there are no bills for medical care in Canada. Sure there are. Your payment is hidden in your taxes. Who else would be paying for the care? Where else would the money to pay for the salaries and the tools and medicines and the facilities come from? Honest, please know that I am not being sarcastic. It is with true astonishment that some Americans listen to some Canadians say that their health care is free.

      An American citizen with an inflamed cat bite can get the help they need if they will go to a doctor or hospital or clinic. I personally know of two totally unrelated people, one an infant, one a senior citizen who did not have insurance but had an emergency health situation come up and the beneficence/charity fund of each hospital covered the cost of care for each person. Their care was the priority. There are also medicare and medicaid services that still provide care, even though the government has mismanaged them so badly that they are in danger of losing their funding.

      You are a creative writer and I enjoyed reading this hub. The weather was a sad story for many, many people this week. It's a blessing when one can just as well laugh as cry about it when all the damage they had was the loss of a building. I am truly thankful for your sake. It will be interesting to read the comments that this hub generates about both the weather and health care. I'll take a look at your other work soon.

      Glad your writer's block is gone! :)

      But sorry it was at Judy's expense. :(

      Still, thanks again for sharing important info on cat bites!