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Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by akvz, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. akvz

    akvz New Member

    Just got out of the ER this morning with cellulitis & mild lymphagitis (caught it before anything important swelled) from a cut I got on Friday. I sliced my thumb open pretty good on a raw beaver's teeth and was keeping an eye on it instead of getting medical treatment. Washed it, kept it clean, it did fine overnight and most of Saturday...


    But Sunday it started to get a little angry and puffy... (I went to urgent care ASAP)


    And within 6 hours of that picture, the thumb swelled up to twice the size, started turning black and numb, and red streaks had gone from a few inches past the injury to all over my arm to the armpit.


    Luckily I went to urgent care when it first started and immediately got put on antibiotics, but I still ended up in the ER until 4AM getting IV fluids and antibiotics. This all happened within 12 hours! I should have gotten on antibiotics on Friday or Saturday at least, but I did not think it would be this serious... and now I have an ER bill to pay for that lapse of judgement.

    PLEASE seek medical attention when stupid stuff happens! It can go from bad to life-threatening very quickly and a $2 beaver skull isn't worth the risk or money. $150 at urgent care for some antibiotics, maybe $200 if you need stitches too... versus $5000 at the ER.
  2. marshtaxi

    marshtaxi Member

    Ouch that hurts in more ways than one. So this was with a raw head not macerated? was it one that had thawed out for a while or still frozen. I get cuts occasionally too, I wonder if it is more to do with individual animals carrying things or just the bacteria growing on them after they are dead. Anyway bummer deal hope you get back to 100% soon.

  3. akvz

    akvz New Member

    Yeah, just a raw head. It thawed out a little, was slippery and I dropped it in a way that the upper incisors slid across my thumb. I knew they had sharp teeth but it was like a scalpel!

    I'm sure it had a lot to do with it being on the teeth/mouth area to make it as bad as it was. It could also have not been the beaver but instead a dog or cat licking the wound. I work at a doggie daycare and pet boarding facility so I am frequently being licked. Saliva carries a lot of really bad bacteria in animals (and people) so I would suggest urgent care for any teeth injuries.
  4. Oh man that's nasty. I would be very worried about the blackness setting in, keep a closer eye on that whilst you're on the antibiotics. Good call getting to the ER before it got any worse. I hope you heal up soon, can't imagine something that size and depth being comfortable to work with!
  5. akvz

    akvz New Member

    The development of blackness was why I went to the ER instead of just going back to urgent care when they opened in the morning... I'd rather not have necroticising fasciitis if I can help it. Though the ER doctor said it was just bruising and not anything dangerous, which is good to know. My mom insisted on squeezing and pushing on my thumb to try to "squeeze out" the bad stuff... and that's what caused it. It's just very dark/bad bruising because the tissue is very sensitive.
  6. nina5150

    nina5150 Well-Known Member

    Pig tusks can slice you open to.but in all my years i guess ive been extremely lucky to not have anything happen to me like that and i mess will all kinds of different raw animals,even with gloves.dang.
  7. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Very nasty indeed and a good post to show what can happen with dead stuff. Glad you thumb recovered intact.

    Also as a thought, despite that it's not something you would think of, any mammal can carry rabies and this would be the same as getting bitten. Caution 10X over when handling stuff with pointy parts or using pointy tools around them.
  8. akvz

    akvz New Member

    I wouldn't say my thumb has recovered intact, though the swelling has certainly reduced... I still have a sling to keep it elevated to reduce swelling and a cocktail of antibiotics to take before it really gets repaired... sucks as an artist and someone who uses his hands a lot! I feel like a cripple.

    Rabies is definitely a concern with this, and tetanus should be too! I try to keep up to date on my vaccines so my tetanus was alright and I probably could have gotten a rabies shot... but without insurance, the medical bill is already pretty steep and there wasn't a high chance of the beaver having rabies or it being viable if it was there. A recently roadkilled animal would be different with the incubation of the disease and I'd be very wary of any saliva or brain matter getting into an accidental slice. E

    Perhaps worse is any puncture wounds from teeth, bone shards, or so on... punctures have a greater internal surface area and can get bad very quickly. I'm sure any vet will tell you a number of horror stories about vet techs or veterinarians or animals getting horrible infections from bite wounds, especially from cats.
  9. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    As a prior vet tech I can attest that cats will sprout pointy things from any body part that is in contact with you it seems. Flat faced cats like Persians are some of the worst. No face to hang onto and your thumb gets into that mouth all to easily. Forgot about Tetanus but most of us manage to get a shot update every 10 years or so. Having no insurance must be tough to bear. Would make it worthwhile to take a lame job that didn't pay much just to have it.
  10. farmerjoe711

    farmerjoe711 New Member

    A guy we hunt with punctured his thumb skinning a rabbit and was in the hospital for three days because of it. Better safe than sorry.
  11. lokireptiles

    lokireptiles Member

    Hope you feel better soon.
  12. AH7

    AH7 New Member

    I've been bit and scratched by dozens of dead animals. Never as badly as that though!

    Glad you are doing okay.

    That is pretty much my worst nightmare. My students like to make fun of me, but I am actually really squeamish about cuts and blood. Pretty ironic for someone who dissects for a living!
  13. akvz

    akvz New Member

    The live animals are worse. I was waiting for cellulitis to happen from a dog bite or cat scratch, it felt like it was an inevitable side effect of working with live animals in stressful situations (vet & grooming) but it ended up happening outside of work compensation and during my hobby time, of course.

    It's going away almost as quickly as it appeared... I left the ER yesterday at 4AM and a little over 24 hours later, there's a lot of draining and the swelling has gone down and I can actually bend and move my thumb today!


    The wonders of what 4700MG of drugs a day will do.
  14. AH7

    AH7 New Member

    I have to stop checking this thread of I might pass out!
  15. blindluck

    blindluck Member

    Yikes, thats scary, but looks like you doing better. Thank God.
  16. Mickey

    Mickey Member

    Yikes! Glad you're alright!! I do this all the time by accident and now I'm paranoid something terrible will end up developing!
  17. Could have been from the critters licking your open would. That's certainly not a good idea.
  18. akvz

    akvz New Member

    Ha! I had it wrapped up in a bandage, but bloodhound spit gets everywhere and it could have soaked in... I didn't purposely leave an open wound for dogs to lick at or anything. That would be a stupid idea indeed. I'it's just a chance that that could have been a catalyst for it to happen, but I'm not sure if there's any real way to tell if it was from workplace interaction or the dead beaver.
  19. skullclnr

    skullclnr Active Member

    Glad u r ok. You speak the truth! Go to the doc. I got blood posing 2 times last year and it ain't worth loosing a finger!
  20. I am glad to hear that the infection has gone down and that you are recovering.

    The one thing that came to mind reading this topic was the glove vs. no glove debate, and it is obvious but the biggest risk actually comes when you cut yourself while prepping the skull or skinning the animal, because gloves or not your bloodstream comes in contact with the bacteria present on the specimen...

    I have no idea whether this helps or not but I've personally started giving skulls a scrub using rubbing alcohol or low % peroxide and a plastic brush with nylon bristles.