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Bat in the house

May 11th, 2007, 10:39 AM
This morning, after investigating what I thought was likely a moth one of my cats was trying to catch, I realized there was a bat in the house. I'd been hearing noises for a couple hours but my previous attempt to figure out what it was had been fruitless and I'd just figured Annie was trying to catch a bug or something. Well, the 'something' was a huge bat! :eek: Ok, so maybe not very huge, but it looked big to me. I like bats, but they don't belong in the house. Not only am I wondering, how did it get in, and are there more, but I'm worried about my animals. This morning I managed to get it to fly out the kitchen door, but what if any of them came into contact with it? Are there any health/disease issues I should watch out for? All my animals are up to date with their shots, including rabies.

May 11th, 2007, 10:52 AM
As far as I know with Bats the biggest concern is rabies so if you pets are all UTD then I wouldn't be concerned about that but just to be on the safe side I would call your local vet and just ask if there is anything else to be concerned about :)

I had a bat in the house once here too, a couple years ago.
It came down the wood stove pipe, I actually have a pellet stove and it came dow and was scrambling around and our cat was sitting watching it through the glass.

we were out but came home and saw this and after we figured out why the cat was so fascinated with the stove hubby tried to get it but it crawled up into the hopper!
We at that time couldn't figure out where it went though and thought it went back up the stove pipe.

That was in spring but come fall again when it was time to flash the stove up I found it in the hoppper, all mummified the poor thing :-(
I just couldn't toss him out so I built a little wee trapeze and he is now hanging upside down in my porch

May 11th, 2007, 10:54 AM
Crestedcrazy, we need a picture of your (deceased) trapeze artist.

May 11th, 2007, 12:10 PM
The main concern is rabies, so your pets should be just fine. I wouldn't worry too much. There could be more roosting somewhere if there is a gap allowing them access into a place like the attic. If you're concerned, you could call a pest control company to come check it out and see if you have a bigger problem. I've had bats in the house too, but it always seems to be an isolated incident...none are actually living in it.

May 11th, 2007, 12:36 PM
Yeah, I'm afraid to look in the attic. However, this weekend I'm supposed to get a new roof, then gutters and siding too, so I imagine if there are more, they will be revealed during this process... Hopefully not. Could be an isolated incident, there are plenty of places for a bat to squeeze in, my house has lots of holes. The animals always warn me when something gets in, though. I will definitely ask the vet about it, and in fact have an appointment for one of my cat's annual checkups next week anyway.

Crestedcrazy, great story, I would love to see a pic of your mummified bat friend! :crazy: I was worried my bat would get stuck in the house too, at one point it was crouched on the door frame (the open kitchen door), I poked at it w/ the broom and it flew into the house instead of outside! Poor thing was probably scared, but so was I since it was getting pretty close to my head while swooping around. Normally bats don't scare me, but if they are in the house it freaks me out. You should have heard me screaming! :laughing:

May 11th, 2007, 01:15 PM
Not to make you nervous, but the bat should be caught and tested because of the risk of rabies to the humans of the household. Especially if the bat may have been in the house overnight, they can bite you while you are sleeping and you may not even notice. If the bat cannot be captured, post-exposure rabies vaccinations (for you) may be required. In addition your pets may need to get booster shots. Call your local board of health and animal control and report the situation and they will advise you on what to do.

May 11th, 2007, 01:19 PM
Definitely get everybody in the house checked for rabies just for precaution! They are big carriers of rabies and better safe than sorry. If you can catch the bat have it checked also.

May 11th, 2007, 01:31 PM
Definitely get everybody in the house checked for rabies just for precaution!
Um, that would require decapitation and testing of the brain tissue. Don't think you want to do that. :D

May 11th, 2007, 02:03 PM
Yeah that wouldn't be such a great idea. I would be calling my doctor though.

May 11th, 2007, 02:14 PM
As requested my bat

the gang
May 11th, 2007, 03:00 PM
yuckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk not good with that stuff, you would need to call 911 for me lol:eek: brenda and the pins

May 11th, 2007, 05:45 PM
Thanks Crestedcrazy! Is it wrong of me to find this mummified bat on a trapeze amusing? I do feel bad for him/her though, dying in the stove hopper. :rip:

No way can I find that bat as i shooed it out the door. I really didn't want to kill it... I'd rather get the shots. My vet appointment is on Tues, so will be consulting with her then about what to do. I really don't think the bat bit me, as my cat Micki was on the bed with me and the dog was also in the room. My door was mostly shut, though it could have gotten in theoretically and somehow bit me w/o the animals noticing it. Seems highly unlikely though. I was more worried about my pets, if they need a booster, they will all get one soon. Thanks for all the info, probably will call my doctor on Monday, just in case. I'm sure that's not a pleasant way to go (rabies).

May 11th, 2007, 06:45 PM
I love it, especially the cobwebs. Bat immortality!

May 11th, 2007, 06:46 PM
Seeing the vet and calling the doctor is a good thing to do. Rabies is a horrible way to go, and once you have it, there's no cure. (They did treat a teenage girl a year or so back, and she was the first person to survive rabies, however she has no brain function, and is a vegetable. :sad: )

May 12th, 2007, 02:26 AM
We had a bat in the house once. I'm usually fine with all animals (except snakes!!!), and bats outside don't bother me, but for some reason this bat really freaked me out. I swear it was following us around the house...if I'd close a door, it would crawl under it! We did get the bat out and life went on... until I found the cats and chickens harrassing an injured bat outside. Different bat, I'm sure, but I just couldn't stand there watching the animals torture it. So I caught it (without gloves) and stuck it in a cage while I ran in to find something more secure to keep it in. Unfortunately I came out to find the chickens tearing it apart through the bars of the cage. It was really, really awful.

Although I thought about rabies, I wasn't very concerned. But not long ago I heard about a person in BC dying after being bitten by a rabid bat. It does still happen. Apparently rabies is very aggressive and the only treatment is supportive therapy. So the odds don't sound good. It's probably better to sacrifice the life of one bat to guarantee the health of yourself and your family.

May 12th, 2007, 07:01 AM
There is treatment for rabies, but only if administered prior to the onset of symptoms, asap after exposure. (ok, this is a vaccine not really a treatment). There is also a pre-exposure vaccine that is apparently highly effective, according the the CDC. I posted the link below, there is also a link on that page to some info specifically about bats and rabies which made me feel better. I know it probably would be better to be cautious and kill the bat and have it tested but I just couldn't do it. If it had seemed sick or acted strangely at all, I would have, but it was flying around like a normal bat, trying to get away from me and did act scared when I got close to it. I know there are many places for an animal to get into my old house and it was nighttime when this happened, a normal time for a bat to be awake. The bat was not in my room as far as I and my animals know. I am a very light sleeper, plus, Micki sleeps right by my head and Guinness is on the floor. Annie was busy chasing the bat in the other areas of my house, so she is the one I am mostly concerned about, though she was just at the vets a couple months ago getting her shots, one of which was her rabies booster.

glitterless - sad story about the injured bat :rip: I feel the same way about bats in the house versus outside. It did totally freak me out, whereas outside I like watching them fly and like having them around.

May 12th, 2007, 07:54 PM
I had to get the pre-exposure vacc because I work with stray, unvaccinated animals. It was a series of 3 shots. Post-exposure vaccines have to be done within 30 days of being bitten, they should be done as soon as possible after the bite. Post-exposure requires more shots, and some shots have to be administered around the wound, if there is a visible wound. ouch. My mother had to get post-exposure shots after she was bitten by a stray cat that she decided to pick up and cuddle. :rolleyes:
Once you have full-blown rabies, there is no cure, it is fatal.

May 12th, 2007, 11:24 PM
I understand, Kristin. It's hard for me to watch any animal die. I don't know if I could do it either.

SableCollie, how easy is it to get the rabies vaccine? Did you just ask your doctor for it? I know that I should have it because I also work with unvaccinated animals daily. I don't think that I live in a high-risk area for rabies, but there have been cases around here in recent years.

May 13th, 2007, 11:59 AM
Doctors probably wouldn't have the vaccine, but major hospitals will. Most insurance companies will not cover pre-exposure vaccines, and they can cost a few hundred dollars. I ended up going to the hospital where homeless people and prisoners go, because they had it the cheapest. That was an experience...lets just say the hospital was not as clean as hospitals should be...

I think the first two shots were 1 week apart and the third one was 1 month after the 2nd shot, but I'm not exactly sure. The nurses kept saying "ohh this is a powerful vaccine, do you feel okay?!" And they would sort of wince when I got the shot. It didn't hurt more than any other shot, I got very dizzy after the first one, and I was nauseous for about a week after the 2nd one, but that was all. The only problem I had was with the 2nd shot, when the doctor tried to put the needle in my arm, it didn't go all the way through my skin, so then she took it out and jabbed it back into my arm really hard, it hurt like heck, and my arm hurt in that spot on and off for the next year, so I think she damaged something.

May 13th, 2007, 09:00 PM
Have you guys seen my post about "the grey headed flying fox" I saw a few nights ago at the local park?

Talk about a bat - 1 meter (3 foot) wingspan!!

Could have taken Gomez away...

Supposedly Australia has no rabies, so I wonder if bats here carry rabies?

May 14th, 2007, 11:38 AM
Well, I called the vet over the weekend and she wasn't too concerned as the animals are all up to date with shots. They were going to contact Animal Control, just in case, and get back to me today.

I haven't seen the post on the flying fox, wow, a 3 ft wingspan! :eek: That would be something to see. I think flying foxes are cute but didn't realize how huge they are.

May 14th, 2007, 03:41 PM
Ok, after trying to get ahold of my Dr and also the Local Heath Board, I have a bit of a rant. Why are these people so hard to get ahold of? I finally managed to speak with someone at the Drs office, who didn't sound knowledgable at all. She asked me if I had a fever and if not, I had no need to worry. Ok, I don't think I would have rabies symptoms yet, it has only been 3 days since I saw the bat in my house! I thought it took at least a couple weeks incubation and by the time you show symptoms it's too late. I did get ahold of the Local Board of Health and got passed around, finally to the Epidemiologist, but had to leave a message on his phone. I am not counting on him calling me back... :frustrated:

May 14th, 2007, 07:14 PM
Thanks for the reply, Sable. The vacc. doesn't sound like something very appealing, but I guess if you work with animals it's a good idea. I'll ask my doctor about it next time I see her.

Yes, so many professionals are difficult to get ahold of, Kristin! I usually give up and leave a message. Hopefully you have nothing to worry about.

May 15th, 2007, 01:12 PM
She asked me if I had a fever and if not, I had no need to worry
That was a really dumb thing for her to say. Even if you were infected with rabies, you won't show symptoms for at least 30 days.

I hope someone gets back to you soon! It's hard when different departments handle different parts of rabies falls under animal control, the animal control officer catches bats that have gotten into a house and sends them out to the state lab for testing. If the bat is gone or she isn't able to catch it, she recommends rabies shots, and she does all the paperwork. Maybe you could call your local hospital and see if they have any ideas, since your doctor's office obviously doesn't.

May 15th, 2007, 05:44 PM
Ok, amazingly enough the Local Health Dept Epidemiologist did call me back. Here is an account of my day's conversations:

Epidemiologist refers me to Communicable disease nurses at Local Health Dept, plus his first choice, the expert at the State Health Dept (a doctor). I call one of the nurses and the state expert, and actually get ahold of the nurse. She was pretty good, and gave me a bunch of info off the internet, and called the State Dr expert guy. But the hitch was, she and he differed in their opinions of what to do. She said, if it were her, she would go get the shots, just to be safe, because there have been cases where people were bit and did not know it. We did have someone die last year in my state from rabies, first in a long time. The State Dr expert said he would not get the shots since my bedroom door was only cracked open (enough for cats to come and go). He did however, say that I should consider getting all my animals some booster shots. Recall my previous conversation with the vet was that my animals do not need shots.

To add to this, the nurse at the Local Health Dept told me the only place I can probably get the post-exposure shots are at the ER! Also that I should check w/ my insurance to make sure they are covered because they are expensive!!! Esp when you go to the ER. So I called my insurance and it all depends on how the doctor bills it so they would not give a yes/no answer. Since my doctor's office was useless, I am not sure what to do now. I did talk again to my vet tonight who was very confident my animals are fully vaccinated and will be fine, plus, she said since I had no obvious bite, I most likely don't need the shots (also the opinion of animal control who communicated with the vet). I really don't know what to do now. I am getting a lot of different answers, plus, am not sure where to go and get shots. I really don't want to go to the ER for this. I am thinking of going and getting vaccinated at a travel clinic. They probably don't have the immunoglobulin shot that would be in order for a post-exposure vaccine, but at least it is something... :yell:

May 15th, 2007, 05:47 PM
Oh, I almost forgot, apparently our State Health Dept Dr has actually met the person who survived rabies, mentioned here previously. She is not a vegetable, but does have some issues (not exactly sure what). She is a somewhat different person now, whatever that means, but otherwise doing well. Just an fyi. I also read, two others who got the same experimental treatment did not survive.

May 15th, 2007, 07:33 PM
I don't want to offer you any advice in case something goes wrong!

Dog bites are usually handled this way: If the dog has been vaccinated for rabies, no quarantine is necessary and the victim does not receive any shots. If the dog wasn't vaccinated, he's quarantined and the victim is urged to get the shots.

I have heard, but don't know the stats, that the number of bats w/ rabies is higher than in other animals.

Keep in mind also that the vaccine comes with risks too. Maybe you should do some reading about side effects of the vaccine, long term effects, and so on before you make your decision.

Good luck.

May 15th, 2007, 07:47 PM
our State Health Dept Dr has actually met the person who survived rabies, mentioned here previously. She is not a vegetable, but does have some issues
Wow, you're right. I stopped following the story back when she was saved, but still unconscious, and they assumed she would be brain dead. Apparently there was some brain damage, but she was able to learn to walk and talk again!

I personally would get post-exposure shots, I would just be worrying all the time that maybe the bat did bite me. I think it might be possible for your primary doctor to order the rabies shots from a hospital to administer to you. You could ask about that. But if worse comes to worst, ER's aren't really that bad, except for the wait.

May 15th, 2007, 10:46 PM
Yes, I did happen to notice there can be side effects for the vaccine. However, not sure on what the chances are of experiencing any of those versus actually contracting the disease. I am not sure why this state does not have in place some protocol for someone who might have been bitten. The protocol is clear if an animal actually is known to bite you. I am now nervous about the slim chance that I could have been exposed. From what I have read, I have to wait 30 days to 6 years(!) to find out. Great. My tentative plan is to get vaccinated but not do the post-exposure routine. I really think if the bat was in my room, I would have known, but I am not 100% sure of that. It is just such a horrible way to go... and I was asleep for part of the night, who knows what went on then.

glitterless - that's exactly what my vet said (she didn't want to say for sure anything, in case she was wrong). there is always that slim chance... ugh. I know I would feel better if I just went and got the shots but i am just not sure how to go about that rather than the ER and I have to go to work, etc.

By the way, if anyone is reading this who doesn't have their animals vaccinated for rabies, do it! My vet said the most common exposure for pets to rabies is bats in the home. She also had a client not long ago with 3 pets who were not up to date at all (years behind) on vaccinations, who had a bat in the home. The recommendation to them, by animal control (I think) was to euthanize all the animals in the home!! From what I gather, that did not happen, but they were able to quarantine them, after some discussion. Still, one can imagine the worst here... If you only get one vaccine for your animals, get this one!

May 18th, 2007, 11:04 AM
It is best to check with your local animal and human health authorities. Situations can change and response can vary depending on where you are. Years ago in Ontario it was extremely rare for small brown bats to get and carry rabies. A bat our cat caught checked out negative. Only a few years later a colleague's dog caught one. It did have rabies so even though her dog was up to date on vaccinations it did have to be quarantined. Her well fenced back yard was deemed to be secure enough to meet the quarantine requirements. The day she found this out she locked the dog in and took herself off to the doctor for her own shot. Wouldn't you know it, that was the day her daughter decided to pay a surprise visit, entered the house and let her dog out to play with the now quarantined dog. So of course she and her dog also had to get shots and be quarantined.

It is my understanding that most health authorities will require aggressive intervention via shots for you and quarantine for your pet even if it has been vaccinated if the bat or whatever animal it is, tests positive for rabies. The vaccine is not sure-fire protection and rabies is so bad quarantine will be required to protect other pets and people, just in case.

May 18th, 2007, 05:11 PM
I have checked with everyone possible: my doctor's office, the state and local health dept., vet (who checked with animal control). I have gotten no clear answer on what I should do about myself as I am not aware of being bitten. I also did not wake up with a bat in my bedroom, which would have been a clearer case. My vet did not at all recommend giving the animals boosters, they are all up to date and she also checked with animal control who agreed. There is no clear protocol in my area about what to do if you might have been exposed and are not 100% sure that you weren't. I also talked with a friend who had a similar experience in a neighboring state, she got lots of conficting and often incorrect info. I am still undecided but for peace of mind am leaning towards going to the ER to get the shots. Unfortunately it seems this is the only place I can get it done. My own doctor will not order them for me... nice.

May 18th, 2007, 05:25 PM
Argh, I'm sorry you are having do much trouble with this! It must be so frustrating!!