A 34-year-old female asked:
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i was just bitten by my son's hamster. it broke the skin. do i need a tetanus shot, or will i just clean it with alcohol?

3 doctor answers
Dr. Jodi Ritsch
26 years experience Family Medicine
Tetanus shot: Anytime you break the skin, it is important to be up to date on tetanus immunization. If it has been more than 10yrs, you need a tetanus shot. Clean area and see your doctor if signs of infection develop (if you are up to date with tetanus)
Answered on Sep 28, 2016
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Dr. Jalal Zuberi
44 years experience Pediatrics
Just clean the wound: while pet hampsters generally don't carry tetanus or rabies, even other bacteria (tularemia)l and viral infections and fevers are extremely rare. After cleaning the wound with soap and water, rinse with antibacterial solution and cover loosely with sterile guaze. Watch for any redness or pus discharge which may indicate superficial infection needing oral antibiotics Deeper bites may need sutures.
Answered on Aug 11, 2014
Dr. Heidi Fowler
24 years experience Psychiatry
When was your last: tetanus shot? Hamsters can directly or indirectly transmit Rabies, Tularemia, Salmonellosis, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, Dermatophytosis (ringworm, dermatomycosis), Rodentolepiasis and Hymenolepiasis (tapeworms).
Answered on May 21, 2015

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