April 22, 2008,
A.M. asks from Ferndale, MI on April 21, 2008
Anyone Have Experience with Bat Bites?
I found a bat flying down the hall upstairs and trapped him in my room. He disappeared. We had a bat guy come out and look for it and he couldn't find it either. They can get through the smallest openings. My friend had a bat in her daughter's room and they caught it and had it tested. It had rabies, so her daughter had to go through the rabie shots just in case the bat drooled in her mouth or she got bit. That was in Farmington. It cost her over $3,000 because insurance won't pay for it unless it's an emergency. It made me paranoid that maybe my sleeping children could have got bitten. I didn't catch the bat in their room, and they're mattresses were on the floor but I've read that bat bites could be undetectable so I'm nervous. I really wouldn't want to put the kids through the painful shots 5 times unless I had to. Anyone have any experience with this? Thanks!
So What Happened?™
Too much knowledge is not necessarily a good thing sometimes. After consulting my ped, a nurse, the emergency room, my family and friends, the mamasource community (which I think is just great) and studying up on it on the internet, I was CONFUSED as to what to do! Bat bites can be indetectable, they have apparently bitten sleeping children, only 4% of bats have rabies, but rabies is deadly. And I guess they have found more this year. I thought, no, why would it bite my still sleeping kids, but if it's rabid.... I realized I had to come to the conclusion myself based on my intuition. My daughter wasn't feeling good yesterday and it put me in a state of panic. I realized I can't live like this for a year (which is how long it could take for symptoms to show up). I was going to take them to the emergency room today but last night my daughter said "I'm so thirsty! Why am I so thirsty all of a sudden" -extreme thirst is a symptom. Although symptoms woudn't have shown up so quickly, I took that as a sign. We went last night to the emergency room which is where they have the vaccine. The kids did so unbelievably well - we were there for 4 HOURS!!! We all got them (except my husband who was working) IT HURT!!! My kids screamed and cried, but they did it. I got 4 shots, my kids 3. That was the worst part though. We must go 4 more times and get just one shot in the arm. I am buying them both a webkin today for being so brave. And now we are no longer freaked out by bats. We all have "super powers" to keep us strong and healthy if we were to get bit by a rabid animal. I feel so much better....
Thank you all. It's so nice to get the responses...
L.C. answers from Saginaw on April 21, 2008
I've never been through this, but it is critical that the treatment begin before the onset of symptoms. See your doctor as soon as possible.
C.M. answers from Detroit on April 22, 2008
Don't mess around with this. Call a "critter control" company immediately! Not only are they possibly deadly, their dung could be in your attic. Breathing dung air is dangerous too.
M.M. answers from Lansing on April 22, 2008
have not had this experience but one of my daycare mom's did. They found a dead bat in their son room. They were told that a bat can bite someone and you may not even feel and it could be so small that you may not be able to see. They did have they bat tested and it was negative for rabies and so it ended there.
I would call your ped. that is what they did and they gave them good advice.
S.W. answers from Grand Rapids on April 22, 2008
Check with your doctor because once you start experiencing the symptoms of rabies it is too late to treat and it can be fatal. I don't mean to scare you but it is serious. Bats are a large carrier of rabies. Good luck.
F.W. answers from Detroit on April 22, 2008
Bats can be scary. Your children are old enough to tell you if the bat was near them, aren't they? Bats are all around us everyday, and bites are not common. Go to your doctor, and if you are not satisfied with their knowledge of bat exposure, you might want to try one of the naturalists at one of the suburban cities or state parks/nature centers. Cranbrook also has a big learning center on bats, perhaps you could call there. Knowledge is way better than paranoia. I have also had a bat in my house and found it freaky, but just because it was in my house is not a good enough reason to treat. Also, look for bat droppings and make sure you have cleaned and disinfected the area if you find any. I hope having a plan of action has eased your worries.
B.W. answers from Grand Rapids on April 21, 2008
can you search there bodies for bite marks, and go from there? yours too.
C.Y. answers from Grand Rapids on April 21, 2008
I saw a story on it a few months ago. I would suggest you go to the doctor and possibly get the shots just to make sure. Not just the kids but adults too. I guess if the bats bite you at night you won't even know. Sometimes the symptoms don't show up until rabies stage is late it might take a few months. When you finally find out a few months later it might be too late. This is a very serious matter and I wish you the best with whatever your decision ends up.
R.S. answers from Detroit on April 22, 2008
I feel for you I had 2 bats in my basement where my stepdaughter sleeps. With the weather being nicer now your bat has probably gone back outside, but just in case what we did really worked. My husband hung up a wall of fly strips in the path of flight. It took a couple weeks but we caught one. The reason it took so long was because they only come out when it is warmer. The second one got got in a sticky mouse trap that the bat guy (who we paid $100.00 )had stuck a couple to the wall where he thought the bat was hiding. I have not seen any more. You need to check the outside of your house to try to find where it might have gotten in and close it off. I thought my husband was crazy when he hung fly strips but several people told him that this would work and it did. Removing the bat after it is stuck is a different story as my husband is like a little girl and I had to have one of the neighbors help him, it was kind of funny. Maybe check with your doctor about the biting thing and see what they say but I wouldn't get too worked up about it. Good luck!
C.E. answers from Detroit on April 22, 2008
Get ahold of your doctor immediately. Unfortunatly the wild population has been coming down with rabies...And yes in Macomb and Oakland counties. This has been almost unheard of for a very long time and now it seems is back on the rise. A friends wife got bit by a rabid Coyote in Sterling Heights about 3 months ago. It has been showing up in the bats unfortunately. You may want to be safe than sorry.
E.M. answers from Saginaw on April 22, 2008
Something there has you wondering. Perhaps your family Doc could examine the kids and tell you. It seems like (no experience here with bats here) that they would complain about the bite or show it to you if they had one. When my children were younger I knew about every single mosquito bite because they were quick to show me, but ? I really don't know anything about bat bites, ONLY THAT THEY ARE VERY SERIOUS. But right now YOU need peace of mind. And that could mean taking them in to be checked out by a doctor,,,,,,,,just to be sure they are fine! Let us know how things turn out.
L.K. answers from Lansing on April 22, 2008
What constitutes an emergency if that doesn't? We had the same thing happen last summer and our entire family (2 adults and 4 kids) had to get rabies shots. Our insurance covered it all. Don't take any chances. If you can't find the bat to have it tested for rabies (because if it tests negative then all of this is moot), please go ahead and get the rabies shots. While the chance that either of your children came in contact with the bat is remote, rabies is fatal. Symptoms may not show up for months or more. Why have this hanging over your heads. As for the shots, they really aren't that bad. I think the thought of getting them is far worse than the actual shots.
Best of luck to you. I know what you're going through all too well.
N.G. answers from Detroit on April 22, 2008
Theoretically your child(ren) don't have to be "bitten" by a bat to get rabies. Your child(ren) can get rabies if a bat crawls on them and scratches them, if they come into contact with the rabid bats saliva and even the bats urine (potentially). Now, your child(ren) would have to have an open wound that this entered thru or enter thru a mucous membrane (eyes, nose, mouth, etc) but the potential is still there. If your child(ren) does come down with symptoms of rabies, it's done. Only 1 or 2 people have survived after showing symptoms of rabies (in recorded history) and they have "problems" associated with the treatment of the rabies. So is the $3,000.00 worth it? If you think they were at risk, I would contact your doctor. If not, you can take the chance. Don't mean to scare you.
E.O. answers from Lansing on April 22, 2008
We lived in a rental townhome when my 5yr old daughter was born. I woke up to a bat flying through my room and didn't know if it had been in my daughter's room. (It was the first night I had put her in her crib in her bedroom, at 6 weeks old). We had a bat guy come and was told the same, that bat bites are not easy to spot. I called my peditrician and they wanted us ALL to go for the rabies shots. So my 6 week old daughter, husband & I all had to go through the vaccine series. It was NOT fun, however, better safe than sorry. I've also done research and often when rabies symptoms appear it's too late. The other important thing to mention here is once you see one in your house, the likelihood of others following is good. Make sure the bat guy does an inspection on your house to figure out how that one got in and seal those areas. (They will put up bat traps so if any more are in the house they can get out but can't get back in.)
One way to catch them or at least knock them out of the air is a tennis racket or a towel). Good luck!
C.P. answers from Saginaw on April 22, 2008
I don't have any advice on bats, but when my son was about 3, he was bit by a stray cat. The cat ran away immediately so we couldn't have it tested for rabies but our doctor suggested we go through with the rabies shots anyhow. I just wanted to ease your mind a little bit on the shots. My son did just fine with them and he never complained about them being any more painful than regular immunizations. I was terrified though beforehand because of all the stories I had heard! In the end though, it's better to be safe than sorry...
S.L. answers from Benton Harbor on April 21, 2008
Rabies is very serious, so I understand your concern. However, I don't think most bats will bite a person unless scared or provoked. Almost 10 years ago, a bat got into the duplex we were living in and "hung out" for a couple of days. We managed to shoo it outside once it woke up, and no one was bitten, and we were all fine. Also, when my husband was in Grad. School, his T.A. office was on the first floor, near an exit, and he had a bat in his office for at least a week, before him and his office mate figured out that it wasn't a "toy" that the other one brought in lol, and they were both fine. Just to be safe, you might want to talk to your Doc about what kind of marks to look for, or if you should all go in for exams. I hope that I have helped to ease your mind a little.