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Cat scratch, potential for tetanus?

(10 Posts)
DarnedCat Tue 23-Aug-16 17:58:54

My dd is unvaccinated (for medical reasons, due to very severe allergies and family history of severe reactions to vaccinations).
Yesterday she was clawed across her face by our neighbour's cat (who we are feeding as they are on holiday). I phoned NHS111 and they said she needed to be seen and assessed by her GP. We couldn't get her seen yesterday but a GP phoned back and wasn't overly worried about the scratch itself but was keen for us to get her vaccinated (obviously, as all doctors are). However, the tetanus vaccine is not going to be effective on this occasion as she's already been scratched.
I put some Germoline on her cheek this morning and the spots went very red, so I managed to get her seen by her regular gp to see if we could get an antibiotic cream on prescription, and he said she didn't need any, but prescribed co-amoxiclav to be taken if the spots where the claws struck become infected within the next few days. He added that this is the treatment for cat "bites"...and I reiterated that she was scratched and not bitten, but he said "same as".
I asked about the risk of tetanus and he said it was fine as she'd be covered by her immunisations. ...at which point I reminded him that she hasn't had any. He immediately changed his tune and said this was a medical emergency and that we have to take her to A&E to be assessed and perhaps given immunoglobulin! So, I'm sitting waiting for DP to come home to take us up to A&E.
Has anyone else had this "emergency" response regarding a cat scratch? I was never vaccinated as a child and we had many cats, a dog, went horse riding often, endless cuts and grazes, and the only mention of a tetanus shot was when I cut my head open and needed 7 stitches!
I've done a lot of reading online (NHS website etc) and they seem to only worry about bites and deep wounds rather than scratches.
Is my GP overreacting? Last time dd was ill another GP at the same practice sent us to A&E claiming she had TB!! Of course she didn't...but simply because she hasn't been vaccinated they jump to the worst case scenario. I'm in my 40s and never had any vaccines (apart from the one that almost killed me and the tetanus shot when I cut my head open) and never had any problems. I certainly don't want to take any chances with dd, but I equally don't want to put her at risk of severe reaction to anything they inject her with.
Any advice for similar situations?
We're not "anti vaxx"...we are just anti dd being vaxxed. Her sister has no allergies and has had all her vaccinations.

GraciesMansion Tue 23-Aug-16 18:09:09

Cat scratches can get infected very quickly and be nasty. A colleague recently spent two weeks in hospital and another month off work because of one - before this I wouldn't have given scratches another thought! Might be worth at least going to A&E and seeing what they say?

DarnedCat Tue 23-Aug-16 18:27:44

I know, but not necessarily infected with tetanus. We have the prescription for co-amox as a precaution for any sign of infection. but tetanus is a whole other beast. I've been reading up on cat scratch fever. That can be really serious, but it has nothing to do with tetanus, or immunoglobulin treatment.

NeedACleverNN Tue 23-Aug-16 18:30:37

Agree that cat scratches can turn nasty pretty quick but I think that doctor sounds a bit OTT.

I would probably wait it out and see if Dd has any signs of infection but that's me.

I don't expect you to do that at all. If you would rather take her to A&E like the doctor has told you to, please do so

DarnedCat Tue 23-Aug-16 19:06:01

I wouldn't wait it out if tetanus is a real risk.

SideOfFoot Tue 23-Aug-16 19:23:09

Isn't tetanus a risk in deep wounds? Tetanus tends to live in the soil. I suppose tetanus spores could enter the cat scratch but it doesn't sound like a big risk to me, I agree that the cat scratch could become infected but
Sthat doesn't mean tetanus. Take her to a&e by all means but I bet that when you get there they will give her a vaccine against tetanus, diptheria and polio to protect against future incidents. This will do NOTHING to protect her from any dangers caused by the cat scratch!

DarnedCat Tue 23-Aug-16 19:50:14

This is her face now

NeedACleverNN Tue 23-Aug-16 19:51:51

Doesn't look overly infected. Just usual inflammation. If it was red, swollen and redness spreading I would be very concerned

SideOfFoot Tue 23-Aug-16 21:36:12

That doesn't look very nice but not too bad. I would be concerned and worried about the risk of infection but I don't see it as a tetanus risk. I probably would be happier if it was looked at at a&e but I would not want a vaccine against tetanus, diptheria and polio. You can not be vaccinated against tetanus alone, it is a combined vaccine. This vaccine ŵill do nothing for the wound.

shewolfmum Mon 19-Sep-16 23:47:01

Hypercal ointment. Amazing stuff.

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