I want to thank you for all the purrayers for my health. I do believe they helped for a speedy (yes 10 weeks is speedy) recovery.
About 2 weeks before Marv arrived I had the flu, and the week previous to his arrival, I got pneumonia. This came from a combination of the smoke from the wild fires and the congestion in my lungs. When I got Marv home from the airport, I thought I had closed the bedroom door tightly before opening Marv’s carrier, but I hadn’t. Cinnamon came in to see. She tried to stick her face in the carrier, I put up my hand and…
See the tooth mark between my fingers…
At the time, I did not realize how deep the bite was or that it had hit the bone. Cats don’t have more germs in their mouths than dogs (or people), but when cats bite, their sharp teeth make deep puncture wounds and this can inject difficult to treat bacteria into the skin and joints. I did not know it, but I got a troublesome to treat bone infection.
As I was already taking an antibiotic, I made the assumption that it would take care of any infection from a bite. (Yes, I’ve gotten infections from previous cat bites). It did…sort of.
I was still feeling quite ill when my course of antibiotics was done. I waited an couple of days and one and a half weeks after Marv arrived, I went to a walk-in clinic about the infection and the Dr prescribed a strong oral antibiotic. 3 days after that I realized that this went beyond a normal infection. My finger had turned purple and boy did it hurt! I ended up at the emergency ward. There they sent me for an x-ray and put me on an oral and IV antibiotics.
This meant I had to to go to the hospital everyday, wait my turn in the emergency ward, then get hooked up to the IV.
Intravenous antibiotics are administered by intermittent infusion for over 30 minutes to 1 hour per day during the course of treatment. Over the next 10 days I saw a couple of the emergency Doctors (as my finger was still very swollen), and I had an ultra sound a couple of times to see if the infection was spreading.
After the first course of antibiotics (10 days) they had me see the infectious disease specialist. He increased the strength of the antibiotics both the IV and oral antibiotic for 2 weeks.
The side effects from antibiotics are not fun. Especially the digestive ones. And the exhaustion. Between taking care of the animals, working and spending up to 4 hours a day traveling to from and spending time at the hospital I was really really tired.
What a bone scan looks like. Dark spots indicate something
At the end of the first week, and no significant change to my finger, the infectious disease doctor ordered a bone scan. This showed that the infection was in the bone. The Doctor set up an appointment to have a Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter, or “PICC line,” it is a thin, soft plastic tube — like an intravenous (IV) —they put into a large vein in your arm and that ends up in the main vein near my heart, where blood flows quickly. This was done the last day of the second course of IV antibiotics.
Through the PICC line, the antibiotics I would be receiving were going to be even stronger! The upside was I would be allowed to give myself the antibiotics at home. I learned how at the local health clinic and for the next 3 weeks, I dutifully mixed my antibiotics into a saline solution and sat there with the IV tube in my arm every day when I got home from work.
Finally, the last week, my finger started to look normal. It was still swollen (but not like it was) and was still sore, however my Doctor did not want to keep me on the antibiotics for another course because of the strength and other side effects.
We hope the infection is gone, but there could still be some there, it is something that I have to be aware of and keep an eye on.
This post is to let you know that cat bites are dangerous. Please, if the bite breaks your skin, see your doctor. Infections from their bacteria are hard to get rid of.
I am leaving with a graphic from the Purrington Post. Even though it only shows US statistics, I am sure you can extrapolate for your country.
We have added this post to the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop because I am so thankful, both for the terrific care I received through our medical system, the love and prayers from people in the blogosphere and for Marv, who is a wonderful and loving cat!
Click the link to go to Brian’s Home and see all the other Thankful Blogs!