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Cat scratch, tetanus?

(8 Posts)
DarnedCat Tue 23-Aug-16 18:05:18

Wasn't sure where best to post this so have put it under "vaccinations" and "chat" as well. Hope that's allowed!

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.

BasinHaircut Tue 23-Aug-16 18:07:53

It does sound a bit OTT for a domestic cat scratch, but better to be safe than sorry. If you have been advised to go to A&E then just go to put your mind at rest

lljkk Tue 23-Aug-16 18:11:02

Is being immunoglobin the same as being given the jabs she can't have? confused

I thought it took fairly deep puncture wounds for tetanus to take hold. Mere cat scratches wouldn't be a risk to anyone.

DarnedCat Tue 23-Aug-16 18:25:39

No, it's not the same lljkk. The vaccination works as a longterm prevention, whereas immunoglobin is fast but short acting. I just don't think it's necessary for a cat scratch, and I don't want to be bullied into it just because "she hasn't been vaccinated".

darreldixonishot Tue 23-Aug-16 18:29:44

I got scratched / bit by next doors cat, washed it with dettol and took some antihistamine but less than 24 hours later I was in a&e, on an antibiotic drip& scheduled for an op the next morning to open up my hand & wash it out!
Luckily I didn't need the Op as I reacted well to the antibiotics but they really told me off for not going in to the hospital sooner!
My tetanus was out of date so not sure if that had anything to do with it!
How deep are the scratches? They told me that cat claws are like needles that just inject bacteria & nasties in to the skin.
Difficult to tell in the circumstances you describe but I didn't take it seriously at all at first!

darreldixonishot Tue 23-Aug-16 18:34:39

It's a difficult call! Do they look nasty!?
The redness in my hand had started tracking up my arm, which was why I went to the GP! She bleeped the plastic surgeon at the hospital there & then!

lljkk Tue 23-Aug-16 19:01:31

@darrel: was that for cat scratch fever? Because tetanus doesn't act that quickly on the body. I've had CSF, it's pretty unpleasant but I suspect much less dangerous than tetanus.

DarnedCat Tue 23-Aug-16 19:03:45

Not nasty, no. The superficial scratches are hardly visible, but there are 4 tiny puncture marks that have scabbed over, and one has a reddish ring around it, but that's only since I put germolene on it. The others were equally red when the gp saw but not so much now.

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