WWYD? bat in house and rabies Qs - Mothering Forums
Vaccinations > WWYD? bat in house and rabies Qs
cravenab00's Avatar cravenab00 06:45 PM 04-30-2010
the other night, i was laying in bed, and heard a horrible SCREECH!
i realized, oh crap, that sounds like a bat, and it was WAY too loud to have come from outside!
a couple seconds later the cat comes running into the room at top speed. I thought he was scared of the noise.
I look at him, and he's sitting at the foot of the bed, tail flapping wildly. He is staring downward, very intently. it was then that i realized, he had the bat, in my bed!
i have never moved so fast. i grabbed DD who was also in my bed, and flew out of the room, closing the door behind me, as i see the cat playing with his new toy, who is desperately trying to fly, but cant.

so DH comes home from work, (this happened around midnight, he got home at 6am) turned the room upside down, couldn't find the bat. We figured it either found a way out, or the cat ate it.

fast forward 3 days later. i was about to get in bed, when i see the cat sniffing the TV cabinet, and starting to paw at it.
i have DH look, and sure enough, the bat is in there, trapped under some VHS tapes, wings torn to shreds, but still alive!

(please understand i'm terrified beyond belief of bats, and rabies, so all my thoughts are completely irrational)

None of us touched the bat, except the cat, who is current on rabies shots, and had a booster the morning after the incident.

i'm still terrified. things i read on the internet say a bat can bite you and you wouldnt feel it!

i dont know how long the bat was upstairs (where my DDs were sleeping)
I'm guessing not long, because the cat was nutso about getting that thing. and he was upstairs all evening.

the bat is in a container in my garage. the vet tells me the rabies testing is $100 (yikes!)
he doesnt think its necessary in the slightest.
even my high stress, high anxiety dad things i'm being ridiculous.

what would you all as parents do?
would you test the bat? if it was positive, would you do rabies shots?

thanks!

bookwormommy's Avatar bookwormommy 07:09 PM 04-30-2010
You could check with your local health department and/or local county or state veterinarian (these vets are government employees, not in private practice). They could advise you on the incidence of rabies in your local bat population, and there may be some option for free testing of the bat, or less expensive than if you go through your veterinarian's lab.

If you need help getting contact info for the government vets, PM me.

Good luck. I kind of have an irrational bat fear also, so I know where you're coming from.
Mirzam's Avatar Mirzam 07:49 PM 04-30-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by cravenab00 View Post

what would you all as parents do?
would you test the bat? if it was positive, would you do rabies shots?
I would do nothing. I would let the bat go and forget about it. If the cat comes down with rabies then I would rethink.

Oh, I am scared of bats too.
ShadowMoon's Avatar ShadowMoon 09:10 PM 04-30-2010
I would try to relax, first of all . (I know it's hard to do....)

You can call your local division of wildlife and find out how high the incidence of rabies in your local bat population is. It is probably very low, bats have a bad rep regarding rabies, but it is still possible.

Since you already have the bat, I would get it tested. Have you called animal control? Around here they take the animal and test it without charge to the person that found it. (Especially if it's thought to have rabies).

I already have my rabies shots. They were required for a wildlife research trip I went on in college years ago, and my titers are still strong. If the bat tested positive, I'm not completely sure what I would do with my child. It's generally a series of 3 shots which may cause no problems or cause several reactions depending on the person. It would depend on how sure I was of contact with the animal and my child.

Good luck with everything. I would definitely call the local animal control if you haven't already.
Crazybean's Avatar Crazybean 09:15 PM 04-30-2010
We just has a similar situation at work. Because bat bites are so small, sometimes you can't tell if you've been bitten. The entire family came in for the rabies vaccines. Our policy is that if you don't know where they are 100% of the time, you should get the vax. Mind you, this is coming from someone who doesn't vax herself...
nicolebeth's Avatar nicolebeth 09:56 AM 05-01-2010
I'm sorry you're going through this!

I would do the shots--there's no cure for rabies. I wouldn't wait for the cat to show signs of rabies--if the kids were actually bit (and, I also heard that bites are imperceptible), that would be waiting to long. There is about 72 hours (if I'm remembering right) to start the shot series.

The prophylactic series is three shots (for traveling to an area with rabies). Unless they've changed it since I had them in 2001, the regular series is five shots (plus the immunoglobulin, though I think I read that it's no longer part of the series?) The shots are spread out over about a month. If it helps, I don't remember any reactions (like I had to tetanus, for instance). Plus the risks of not getting the shots outweighed the benefits.
laohaire's Avatar laohaire 10:39 AM 05-01-2010
What good would a vaccine do now if there is already rabies exposure?
Fyrestorm's Avatar Fyrestorm 11:30 AM 05-01-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
What good would a vaccine do now if there is already rabies exposure?
It's actually not a vaccine, they give immunglobulin - just like they should do for Tetanus exposure in an unvaxed person.

It is a equine blood product though with reactions of it's own.

http://www.who.int/rabies/human/adminimmuno/en/

Here is a link to a study showing reactions:

http://www.thaiscience.info/Article%...ensitivity.pdf
amnesiac's Avatar amnesiac 12:02 PM 05-01-2010
I would talk to my local animal control about getting the bat tested through your state lab. I wouldn't wait for my cat to exhibit symptoms either. In my area bats frequently carry rabies.

Post-exposure may include both HRIG (the only 2 products I'm aware of in the US are human, not equine) & Vaccine:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/rabies06.pdf
https://www.vaccineshoppe.com/image....pe=product_pdf
http://www.talecris-pi.info/inserts/hyperrab.pdf
https://www.novartisvaccinesdirect.c...rt20090721.pdf
https://www.vaccineshoppe.com/image....pe=product_pdf
mamadelbosque's Avatar mamadelbosque 01:34 PM 05-01-2010
I'd chuck it outside and forget about it... we've had bats in our house numerous times, and never even considerd going and getting rabies shots.... Just caught the bat and threw it back outside. But, we like bats... theres tons of them living up under the siding (cedar shakes) and in the eves of our house, and they are *SO* cool to watch fly around in the summer in the evenings...
WhiteHorse's Avatar WhiteHorse 01:52 PM 05-01-2010
I would have the bat tested right away.
Violet2's Avatar Violet2 09:38 PM 05-01-2010
Get the bat tested and then you'll have some peace of mind. That seems to be the logical course which will answer your most pressing questions.

I've actually gone mist netting for bats in the rainforest and held them. They are actually cute and very soft.

But we had shots in case we were exposed to rabies.

V
newmum35's Avatar newmum35 01:10 AM 05-02-2010
How long would it take for test results to come back for the bat? Since you already have the bat I'd get it tested and maybe its negative and you don't even need to consider getting a series of shots. I'd pay the $100 for the peace of mind.
Anastasiya's Avatar Anastasiya 01:39 AM 05-02-2010
Totally - you have the bat. I'd have it tested.

If it's positive for rabies, yes, I would do the shots, only because there's no telling how long that bat was in your bed and if it bit either of you in its state of panic.

I don't vax, but rabies freaks me out.
Starflower's Avatar Starflower 02:28 AM 05-02-2010
Since you have the bat and are very anxious, I would get just it tested. It sounds like the $100 would be worth it for your peace of mind and probably less then getting everyone the shots.

I hope everything works out well for you. I'm interested to hear what you decided to do.
nicolebeth's Avatar nicolebeth 12:15 PM 05-02-2010
The problem with testing the bat first is that results might not be within the window of starting treatment.

Day 0-3 is a rabies vaccine + immunoglobulin. (Which, again, I'm not sure if that is still the US protocol; there was a shortage at one point.)

Post-exposure shots are supposed to help in conjunction with the immunoglobulin. If someone has pre-exposure shots (usually three), they don't need the immunoglobulin the next time they have the shots.

Again, fwiw, I had these shots in 2001. The only shot I felt ill from was the tetanus (which, as I was in a foreign country, I let them give me even though I thought it was ridiculous since my previous one had been in 1994). My view of shots has had a 180 since then, and I don't even want my next kid to have any (DD had the most, DS has had fewer, etc.). That said, I would do the rabies vaccine because there is no cure.

If they can test the bat in a few hours, by all means do it. I had just understood (perhaps wrongly) that testing the animal could take longer and was usually used as a means to check on an animal's exposure, not a human exposure.

Good luck with your decision! Rabies is quite rare. Everyone has to look at it the way that is comfortable for them.
WhiteHorse's Avatar WhiteHorse 04:48 PM 05-02-2010
Rabies is rare, but there are cases. In our area (Ohio) over the past 2 decades we have seen a few dozen cases of bats and raccoons having it. When my son was bitten by a dog 15 years ago, the doc ordered us to find the dog and if we couldn't within a week he had to get the shots. Inevitably, he had the shots - there were a series of them in the arm (if I remember it was 5, some weeks apart). A year later my other son was scratched by a cat. We were told to catch the cat and have the SPCA pick it up for testing. If you call the SPCA or animal control, they will have the bat tested right away, they take these things very seriously. Rabies is almost always fatal, and there is no cure after the first few weeks.
newmum35's Avatar newmum35 08:47 PM 05-02-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteHorse View Post
When my son was bitten by a dog 15 years ago, the doc ordered us to find the dog and if we couldn't within a week he had to get the shots. Inevitably, he had the shots - there were a series of them in the arm (if I remember it was 5, some weeks apart). A year later my other son was scratched by a cat. We were told to catch the cat and have the SPCA pick it up for testing.
Curious about this, as I'd never heard it before and grew up in a family of cats, scratches are common thing. I'm assuming this was a cat who viciously attacked someone unprovoked? (otherwise I do find this odd, they are suspecting rabies in a cat scratch, as common as they are)
angelpie545's Avatar angelpie545 02:50 PM 05-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmum35 View Post
Curious about this, as I'd never heard it before and grew up in a family of cats, scratches are common thing. I'm assuming this was a cat who viciously attacked someone unprovoked? (otherwise I do find this odd, they are suspecting rabies in a cat scratch, as common as they are)
I'm finding the cat scratch thing a bit odd too, unless you don't know that cat. I owned cats for years and was scratched from time to time with no issues. I did, however, go to the ER for a tetanus vax when a new kitten scratched me after she'd had her feet in the litter box.

As far as the bat goes, I'd go ahead and get the shots. Rabies is 100% fatal with only two exceptions that I've read about involving miraculous experimental treatment that doesn't work most of the time anyway.
Fyrestorm's Avatar Fyrestorm 02:54 PM 05-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmum35 View Post
Curious about this, as I'd never heard it before and grew up in a family of cats, scratches are common thing. I'm assuming this was a cat who viciously attacked someone unprovoked? (otherwise I do find this odd, they are suspecting rabies in a cat scratch, as common as they are)
I think the theory on this is that many cats are outdoor cats and much more likely to get in a scuffle with a squirrel, raccoon or bat in their travels than a leashed or fenced dog is.
serenbat's Avatar serenbat 03:27 PM 05-03-2010
our vet told us the most important issue was to de-worm when ever the cat caught something-mostly mice are the problem
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