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.
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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!