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Deep Cat Scratch--antibiotics??

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My dd was scratched by our cat today. The scratch was right in the crease where the top of her ear connects to the side of her head. It bled alot, and once I got it cleaned out using hydrogen peroxide, I noticed that it was gaping some. We went to acute care for stitches. She got 4, and they told me to get antibiotics for her.

Right now, I'm leaning towards not giving her antibiotics, as the chance of infection seems less likely than the negative effects of antibiotics. Anyone had experience with deep cat scratches and infection requiring antibiotics? Any thoughts? What would you do?
post #2 of 8
I think I'd probably give her the antibiotics. Is this an indoor or outdoor cat?

My niece was scratched by a cat and ended up developing something(can't think of the name of it) and required surgery because she had a huge lump under her neck.
post #3 of 8
I was told by an ER doc that more than 75% of cat bites get infected because they are closed puncture wounds. Since it was a scratch and it bled you probably have a better chance of it not getting infected but since it was bad enough to require stitches I would use the antibiotics.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies.

It is an indoor cat-at least he's been indoors for the last 2 months. In the warmer months he would sneak outside.
post #5 of 8
Mu cat bit my thumb and I got a nasty infection that required me to get a shot of antibiotics at the Dr's office. I would do the antibiotics--as cute and cuddly as they are, cat scratches and bites can cause some very nasty infections.
post #6 of 8
I'm hardly ever the one to say take the abx, and I know this is a scratch and not a bite, but cat bites are nothing to mess around with. The fact that it needed stitches inclines me further to say yes to abx.

I almost had to have my finger amputated after my own indoor cat bit my finger during a trip to a horrible vet. When they cultured the infection they cut out of my finger (less than 24 hours after the bite), it was normal cat mouth flora. I ended up with IV abx for three days post surgery and some really big scars on my finger.

At the very least, watch it very closely for a few days to make sure there aren't any signs of infection. If you do abx, make sure to do probiotics!
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've been inspecting the area every couple of hours. It looks pretty good. It's pink at the cut, but not around it. There is no swelling, no pus, no fever...I'm feeling so conflicted!! I wish I knew if there was a resulting infection, would I be able to tell visually, meaning could it possibly travel somewhere else and the cut would heal normally? Or is it just a matter of watching for signs of infection at the cut and if it shows infection signs, if giving the abx right away going to soon enough?
post #8 of 8
If it were on her finger or someplace besides on her head, and thus rather near her brain, I might feel safe watching and waiting.

The location, as well as the need for stitches, would have me erring on the side of caution too.

Cat's clean everypart with their tongues, so the concerns, to me, are the same whether it's a bite or a scratch.

That it bled a good bit is a good thing in that that would have helped to flush the pathogens out of the wound.

Good luck whichever way you decide.
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