Cat bites can cause broken skin, inflammation, pain, and even limited mobility, especially if the bite is near a joint. A minor cat bite may not produce any of the aforementioned signs and symptoms, however, it is prudent to visit an urgent care center to have the wound evaluated by a physician. Here are some urgent care services for cat bites that you may receive when you visit the facility.
The urgent care physician will evaluate your cat bite to determine how severe or deep the wound is and then they will clean the area to help remove the bacteria. After the wound has been cleaned, the healthcare provider will apply antibiotic ointment over the affected area. While the doctor may cover the wound with a sterile dressing or bandage, they may recommend that the wound stay open to the air to promote optimal healing.
If you are bleeding profusely, pressure will be held over the wound and if the bleeding is profuse or if it is difficult to control, the physician may determine that you need stitches. They will let you know if the stitches are the type that dissolves or if you will need to return to your primary care doctor to have them removed.
Vaccinations And Oral Antibiotics
If you are not up to date on your tetanus shot or booster, the urgent care provider may recommend a tetanus vaccination before you are discharged. Deep puncture wounds can raise your risk for tetanus, otherwise known as lockjaw. While the risk of tetanus is small following a cat bite, it is still recommended to get a tetanus booster if the bite is deep.
Even though the doctor will apply a topical antibiotic ointment to your cat bite after they clean it, they may also prescribe oral antibiotics. The topical antibiotic ointment will help prevent a local infection, but it will not prevent a systemic infection that could arise as a result of a deep animal bite.
The oral antibiotic will help prevent a body-wide infection, however, it is important to note, that certain antibiotics can cause gastrointestinal distress. Because of this, some people will not finish their entire prescription. If you experience diarrhea or abdominal pain from your antibiotics, let your doctor know so that they can prescribe a different type of antibiotic.
If you get bit by a cat, seek treatment at an urgent care center. When animal bites are treated quickly, you may not be as likely to develop extensive scarring, permanent soft tissue damage, and infections.
Contact a local urgent care service to learn more.