Today marks the 32nd day that I have been in isolation after having a possible COVID exposure and signs develop. I have not been able to be tested, so have been told repeatedly to just stay in isolation until I have gone 72 hours without any symptoms (no cough, no low grade fever, etc.). It has been hard, but I realize many people have it much worse than I do. I have some money saved in the bank. I have people that check in on me. I know that I am loved. I know that even though I am isolated, I am not truly alone. I have my people near and far – we are still together (thank you internet!!).

Photo Credit Brian Pasko


A veterinary colleague shared a story from her work today that hit me in the gut. Her patient needed to be euthanized and although the owner couldn’t be physically present for euthanasia due to the current COVID protocols, she let him know he could be present via Facetime or whatever program.

His response broke my heart. He said, “I get it. I’m a respiratory therapist. We’re doing terminal extubations by Zoom right now.”

As a veterinarian, I know I have medical training that would be helpful on the human side (even though humans are the one species I am not licensed to work on). I have signed up to help where I am needed, if and when I am needed. Today, with this conversation, I finally realized what I really want to do on the human health side.

I want to be someone that sits with the COVID patients. Someone that can give general updates to the family (because the doctors and nurses have been so busy it can’t always happen as frequently as families would like). Someone that can just be there for the people so that they are less alone. I know veterinarians snuggle our patients all up when they are hospitalized, but the human side can’t do that. I want to try and help decrease the psychological pain that these people are going through – before and after intubation and extubation. I know that this would also be helpful for non-COVID patients that are hospitalized. Loneliness is real. Hospitalization is scary.

I don’t know if this is possible. I don’t know if someone is already doing this. I know the risk. I know how to maintain proper bio-security measures. I know how to be there.

I don’t know if this is something other people would do. I hope so. I hope that there can be a way to make this happen. If you have contacts, please let me know. Have them contact me.

What would you like to do? What have you done?
How would you like to make a difference? How have you made a difference?

Are you a teacher that is struggling to meet the needs of your students? Have you dropped off their homework or done a car parade? Are you a parent that is now working from home and helping to supervise your children’s’ education while trying to hold it together and still have made masks or treats for others? Are you home alone trying to keep it together; reaching out to your friends and loved ones? Share your stories!

We can’t do this alone. We need to come together, while staying physically distant.

#WeAreTheCavalry #WashYourHands #InThisTogether #YouAreNotAlone #BrianPaskoIsAnAmazingPhotographerAndFriend #BrianPasko

Lions, Tigers, and Me! Oh, My!

Many of you have likely seen the reports about the tiger that tested positive for COVID-19 at the Bronx Zoo. The lions and tigers are sick (only one tested due to the required anesthesia for the sample collection). They are all doing fine now after developing respiratory signs.

UPDATE: The test that was run to test for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) was a veterinary test. The tiger did not use a test meant for humans.


What does this mean?

  • It is possible for animals (ferrets, cats, and possibly dogs) to “catch” COVID-19 from people.
  • There is no evidence that people can “catch” COVID-19 from household pets (or zoo animals for that matter).
  • If you are sick, minimize contact with your pets as much as possible, to be extra careful.
  • If there is someone else that can care for your pets while you are sick allow them to do so.
  • You DO NOT need to get rid of pets or kick them out of your home.
  • No animals have been shown to have developed severe disease or died from COVID-19.
  • If your pet does get sick contact your primary care veterinarian and discuss options and testing. COVID-19 testing is generally not recommended for pets at this time. If your veterinarian feels it is reasonable to do so, they will need to contact their state veterinarian for directions and recommendations.

Please feel free to ask me or your primary care veterinarian questions about this. Please do recognize that your primary care veterinarian is also working very hard, along with their staff, to take care of animals and people in a very difficult time, so if it is just a general question about COVID-19 and animals, ask me. I am in isolation and have time. Your vet probably does not.

Boots and Olaf

(My house panther does not approve of being separated while I am in isolation)

Remember to #WashYourHands #BeKind #StayHome

#WeAreTheCavalry #HelpThoseThatCannotStayHomeByStayingHome

Just Be

There are so many things that are going through my head today. Some are important. Some are frivolous. Some are serious. Some are random. So, what have I been thinking about?

  • COVID-19 and isolation
  • I am out of cheese!!
  • How can I help others while I am in isolation?
  • Am I going crazy? Is my fear and anxiety normal?
  • Sadness from cancelling my trip to Mongolia in August to train/mentor veterinarians.
  • Joy that some of my friends have tested COVID-19 negative.
  • Fear for friends on the front lines of the pandemic. Human and veterinary professionals and staff. Those that work in grocery stores. Those that are exposed to the public.
  • Fear for friends that can’t work from home and have lost their jobs.
  • Children. Those that are learning from parents that are doing their best. Those that are not safe in their own homes – both children and adults.
  • I really miss animals. I don’t think I have ever gone this long without touching an animal. I love pictures and videos, but it is not the same!
  • I feel powerless. Powerless to save lives. Powerless to make a difference in the lives of those around me.
  • Anger. Lots of anger at the flippancy that some people seem to have with our current situation and needs.
  • I rejoice at seeing friends and strangers working to make this less difficult for others.

I am well known for ruminating on things that cause me stress and anxiety, so I have made some strides forward in taking care of myself. On Saturday, I had my first therapist appointment. This was a long time coming. The last time I spoke with a counselor was after September 11, 2001. Most of the time, I am able to work through my stress, anxiety, and depression. These are not normal times. I have had to start addressing that I have had to cancel my trip to Mongolia later this year. It is not just the loss of the travel experience, but rather, the opportunity to rebuild my personal reserves that are filled when volunteering in Mongolia. Yes, I go to help others, and I will not lie and say that I don’t get something from it as well. Volunteering is a major part of how I rebuild myself when I am broken. Along those lines, I also signed up today with, the Wisconsin Emergency Assistance Volunteer Registry. Many of my friends around the country have signed up to help out in an emergency. Many of my friends are making masks and gowns for reusable PPE. I am looking for the helpers that Mr. Rogers told us to look for.

It is okay to have all the thoughts. To have all the feelings. Learning to sit with them is hard, but possible. Not having them take over your life can be a struggle. Please take the time to just be. Be Kind. Be quiet. Be strong. Be sad. Be present. Just be.

#WashYourHands #BeKind #WeAreTheCavalry

COVID-19: PPE Shortage

What does PPE Shortage mean?

PPE is personal protective equipment. This is what is worn by people that need to protect themselves from something. In the case of COVID-19, we are specifically talking about those that are at risk for being exposed to COVID-19 due to their work with those that are ill or potentially ill. This includes doctors, nurses, EMTs, and other professionals. At the beginning of the pandemic, some people purchased large amounts of these products with the intention of reselling at a huge markup to make money. Unfortunately, this will cost lives and in some places is illegal.

In medicine, PPE includes gloves, masks, gowns, face shields, hair bonnets, shoe covers, and even HAZMAT suits to name just a few. PPE is usually one time use due to the risk of infection, although that is changing now because of the shortage. Most hospitals do not keep large stocks on hand because of the cost. Right now, there are many locations that are out of PPE or will be shortly. Human hospitals are already requesting supplies to be donated by veterinary clinics, dentist offices, and the general public. Many are handing them over because we recognize the larger issue. Unfortunately, this leaves veterinary clinics which remain open to care for animals and the food supply without PPE themselves.

#StayHome #CatSnuggles

So, what can you do?

1. If you know how to sew, then make some masks and gowns. Here is a tutorial on how to make a mask that can have a filter placed inside of it and be reused. Contact your local hospital, health department, veterinary clinic, EMT/Fire department, and police department on what material they would prefer. Once I have more specific recommendations, I will update this post!

2. If you have n95 (or other) masks at home that are usually used for remodeling, construction, or even yard work, consider donating them to your local hospital or medical facility.

3. If you happen to have a ventilator, contact your local hospital to see if they borrow it for awhile.

4. Stay home unless you need to go out for urgent/emergency reasons! Yes, you can go to the grocery store, but only send one person from the home. Have someone else watch your children. Or even better, get a group of people that need items and send one person that can then deliver to your doorstep to decrease the number of people out and about. If you can have one person pick up call ahead orders to be picked up for multiple people, even better!

5. If your pet or a person needs medical care, CALL AHEAD! Many locations are using telephone, video, email, and even text to triage – go over history and signs and then get directed on where to go or what you can do from home.


Be Kind. Wash your hands.

COVID-19: Isolation

I love my job. I love being a veterinarian and saving lives. I love meeting a new puppy or kitten and getting it set on a road to success as a family pet. I love finding out what is causing a health issue and fixing it. I love educating someone so their pet has a better outcome. I love being present for a family and patient when it is time to say good-bye for the last time. I don’t love some of the other stuff that comes with all of this.

On Tuesday, I was working in a veterinary emergency clinic. A client came in, and I started the exam and initial treatment of his pet. I went in to speak with the client after my initial assessment and let him know what was going on. He authorized additional treatment. During this time, it was explained to him that most of the work (including the initial exam) was being done in the treatment area to decrease risks of disease spread from humans to humans. In case you didn’t know, there is this thing called COVID-19 that is sweeping the nation (and the world). He became more and more agitated while he was in the room and then he started wondering the clinic and asking where his dog was. He was also a person that produced a lot of saliva and sprayed it all over when speaking to people. He tried to get into the locked back area of the clinic (this is locked at all times for safety and security passes are required to get through). I went to speak with him and he escalated even more. He demanded that we stop everything and give him his dog back. Which made me very sad as we had not been able to provide any treatment for his pet. We gave him his dog back and he said, “I have had an upper respiratory infection and a fever. Now you are all infected!” He then left.

On Thursday, I developed a cough. Once I had a thermometer, I learned I had a fever. By the time I got in touch with my doctor’s office, they agreed that I should remain in isolation. They would not order any testing as there aren’t enough tests available and the assumption is anyone with signs has COVID-19. If I had severe difficulty breathing, then I was to call 911.

             COVID-19 Isolation Day 2

I am now on day 2 of isolation.

I am sad and upset that this person potentially exposed me to something. I am in isolation at a hotel 2 hours from home, because if I do have COVID-19, I can’t risk spreading it to anyone else, especially my husband. I won’t carry it to another community. I don’t love that I was put in this situation. I don’t love that I wasn’t able to help my patient. I don’t love that I am angry at this client. I don’t love that there is not enough PPE for everyone that needs it. I don’t love that there are not enough tests to know if I am infected at this time.

The world is in chaos right now. The chaos will change the world. It will change each and everyone one of us. We will adapt. We will change. Things will never quite be the same.

Please be kind. Please stay home. Please contact your vet before you go in to find out what you may need to do. Many vets are going to telemedicine triage right now. They may charge a fee for the consult and let you know what you can do at home or if you need to come in to them or go to the ER. Many vets have done this for free for years and years. Many people will be upset that there may now be a charge. Those vets are trying to keep their doors open so that if you do need to go in, they are there. They are trying to keep you, their staff, and themselves safe in this pandemic.

Please choose love.

The Other Side of the Exam Room

            Boots in the sun

Today, I was the on the pet owner side of the patient in the hospital. My cat, Boots, went to Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery Specialists, LLC to have his oral cavity examined

He has had some issues prehending food, but we attributed it to a previous injury. Recently, I noticed he had some bleeding from the crown of one of his canine teeth after brushing. We scheduled the appointment.

The following radiograph (x-ray) shows that there has been significant disease in his teeth for a long time. The infection inside of the mandibular canine teeth (pulpitis) spread to the bone. The wide pulp cavity of the canine teeth show that the damage was done when he was very young. Other that picking up food gingerly he never showed signs of problems or pain that were noticed by my husband or by myself.


Boots’s mandible prior to surgical extraction of the canine teeth.

Despite having 6 teeth surgically extracted, he ate his dinner with much more ease than he ever has before.

My job is literally to be able to tell when an animal is in pain or is sick. I am so embarrassed to admit that I missed the signs in my own little guy. I am sad that I allowed him to be in pain and discomfort for years. I can’t expect you, the client that is not trained, to know the signs and to see them all as well.

Please know that when a veterinarian recommends blood work, radiographs, or any diagnostic test, it is not out of greed for money, it is because we need the information to best help your pet to be healthy.

Thank you, Dr. Honzelka, for taking care of Boots for us today. It was worth every penny for him to be cared for and to remove the pain he was in!

One Small Act. One Giant Difference.

Today, I was reminded of the fragile nature of life and how one action can make a difference. A woman came into the clinic to have her dog checked, because the dog had been urinating more frequently and had blood in her urine. While the assistant was getting a history, the client’s phone rang. Although, we normally frown upon people talking on their phone during their appointment, the woman answered her phone.

Her nephew had just the left her house and was involved in a serious car accident involving a school bus. The woman was crying and shaking. I could hear every word from the other side of the clinic. She started making calls, alerting family members to the event and attempting to coordinate getting everyone where they needed to be.

As the staff members began arranging for the dog to stay for the day, I stepped into the room. The woman’s phone rang again. The nephew was being transferred to a local hospital. As she hung up yet again, I took a step towards her and wrapped her in a hug.

She clung to me.

She shook and cried harder.

Her hug back tightened.

Then she whispered, “Thank you.”

After a few moments, she let go, stating she had to call Grandma. She was shaking so hard she couldn’t hold her phone still enough to get to her contacts list. I held her phone with one arm over her shoulder until the call was made.

She struggled to get the words out to meet at the hospital, she would be there soon. I knew she was in no shape to drive right then. I apologized that I needed to get some information about her dog. I got her to focus on the dog for long enough that her breathing started to steady and she could answer some simple questions. We discussed what the plan would be for the day, and that I would call her as soon as I had any information. I had her take a few breaths and she signed the paperwork for her dog. She was calm enough to drive.

Throughout the day, I made contact with her to update her on her dog’s status, always asking about her nephew first. Although the dog was my patient, my heart broke for this woman and her family. I knew I was needed in more ways than just my role as a veterinarian. As we went through the tests, we found that her dog did not just have a urinary tract infection. She had never been spayed and was recently in heat. The blood in her urine was caused by a pyometra, a uterine infection that, if not treated, could be fatal. The pup needed an emergency surgery to remove her infected uterus.

The family did not have a lot of money, only a couple hundred dollars available, but they made some calls and found friends that would help. She called back and told us to go forward with surgery.

Surgery was a success, and I was able to call to share the good news. I was greeted with news that the nephew would also be alright.

After leaving his aunt’s house, his car went under a bus. He was pinned in the only portion of the car that was not crushed. The woman’s daughter was supposed to be with him that day as they were supposed to carpool. The bus needed to be lifted by a crane to remove the car from beneath it. The daughter would have been dead. The nephew survived with few injuries amazingly; damage to his hands, cuts and bruises to his body.

When she picked up the dog at the end of the day, she wrapped me in a giant hug, and then she showed me pictures of the car. No one should have been alive with the extent of the damage. Her hands were steady, but her voice still shook. She gave me another hug and whispered, “You were my angel today. Thank you for being there. Thank you for saving my baby’s life. You are a blessing from God.”

I fought tears that swam in my eyes. I am so thankful that I was present today; that I was willing to do more than “just my job.” I was able to be God’s hands and feet on earth. I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to help someone. What I did wasn’t much, but it was everything to this woman and her dog.

Please, take the time to do something small (or large) to help someone. Listen when they are in pain. Be there when they need a shoulder to cry on or a hug to lean into. Please keep this family in your prayers.

Merry Christmas 2014!

This past year has been an adventure. Seeing the joy of Christmas around the world has brightened my day and brings me great happiness.

For the past month, I have been working on St. John in the US Virgin Islands doing relief work. I have had many crazy experiences and have been blessed to meet many wonderful people. Although it is hard to be away from home for the holidays, I am thankful to be here. I would like to share a couple of stories from the St. John Animal Care Center, the only shelter here on the island. Since I am working at Canines, Cats, & Critters, the only veterinary clinic on the island, we see all of the animals.

The first is Churchill. Churchill is a spunky little guy that unfortunately had a run in with another dog the other day. After some immediate treatment to keep him alive and supportive care, Dr. Laura, the owner of CCC, came over from one of the offices on another island and performed surgery to close the hole in Churchill’s chest wall and repair his broken ribs. He is a fighter and is doing well now. Hoping to find a forever home!

Churchill the day after surgery.

Churchill the day after surgery.King on

The second is Dulce. Dulce is a sweet little girl that was brought into the shelter with the rest of her litter. She has been nice and healthy. Due to the generosity and love of others, she was able to leave for her forever home on Christmas Eve. Dr. Laura was delivering her to her new family in Maine. Many of the dogs from the island get adopted by people, most often living in the USA. Many of them will have a human escort to get to their new family. Others fly solo. Thankfully, Dr. Laura was able to go home to visit her family in the northeast USA for Christmas this year and take Dulce at the same time.

Dulce says goodbye and thank you!

Dulce says goodbye and thank you!

My final Christmas star, is King. King has had a rough life so far. Thankfully, his former owner brought King to the shelter when he finally realized that he could not care for him. King had stopped eating and his previous owner could not afford veterinary care. The ACC took King in and brought him to us at CCC. King weighed in at 38 pounds upon arrival and it has been a tough road getting him to eat anything. King is heartworm positive and extremely malnourished, although he has started to gain a little weight. We are doing all we can to get him strong enough for heartworm treatment. He is a very sweet boy, although not really a fan of other animals, he LOVES people! Today, King celebrated Christmas at CCC with a big squishy bed that was donated by a wonderful family for his comfort.

King on Christmas morning.

King on Christmas morning.

Please remember everyone, human and animal, that is in pain and alone this Christmas. Consider a donation of food or clothing, or even better, friendship, to someone that needs it. Consider a donation to a local shelter (human or animal) that provides for those in times of crisis.

If you want to help support the Animal Care Center and help provide for the cost of Churchill’s or King’s care, or any of the other animals, please contact the ACC here.

With the help of The Pet Apothecary, we are able to get some much needed medications for the cats with unresolved upper respiratory infections at a great discount. That being said, we still need to raise some money for the medications (about $100) and shipping to get it here.

Have a very merry Christmas (or whatever celebration you may wish to celebrate) and take time to make a difference in someone’s life today!

When Will It End?

I remember my first thoughts of suicide were when I was in fourth grade. I did not have a particularly difficult childhood, there was no abuse or neglect. I may not have been popular or had a lot of friends, but I was generally a happy kid. I don’t remember why I had these thoughts. I do remember going for long walks. I would sing at the top of my voice in the middle of no where. I would cry to let out pain that I didn’t understand. I remember being depressed in high school and college. Not just the “I’m sad today” or “regular teenage angst,” but the black abyss with no light and no hope for the future. I would have trouble getting out of bed, but I would do it so no one would know that anything was wrong.

While in college, I finally discussed my problems with a doctor. I was diagnosed with moderate depression with generalized anxiety. I did not get any treatment at this time. I felt somewhat vindicated as when I had spoken with people prior (not medical professionals), I would be told, “Get over it. It is all in your head.” Now, I knew it was all in my head, but now I knew why. This explained why when someone was late, my brain went to one of two scenarios: 1. The person/people hated me and were not coming or 2. They were in a major accident and were on the side of the road bleeding to death. I am not sure which scenario was more difficult, although the second made me feel guilty for being angry that they were late while they were dead.

Fast forward to September 11, 2001, thousands of people did not go home to their families that day. This shook me to the core. I finally went for help. My first few years of veterinary school were split between school and seeing a psychologist. They wanted to start me on medication, but due to some personal issues with medication and suicide (another story that I may never share on a public forum), I couldn’t bring myself to take them. I knew that one of the potential side effects was to have enough energy to actually commit suicide. I couldn’t do that to my family and friends.

At the same time, studies were coming out about veterinarians having the highest suicide rate of any other professional. I don’t remember all of the numbers at the time, but it was significantly higher than the general population and other professionals. I petitioned the school to have a counselor on site – in the veterinary school building, not just on campus. I spoke with multiple people. I went into my final year, but no longer had the time to see the psychologist or to continue petitioning the school. When I came back to school after an externship out-of-town, I learned that another veterinary student committed suicide while I was gone. I was devastated. I felt guilty; that I should have been able to prevent this, despite only knowing the individual in passing. Since then a counselor has been placed in the veterinary school for students, staff, clients, anyone that needs the support.

I graduated from veterinary school over 9 years ago. Since then, I know many veterinarians that have committed suicide and many more that have attempted suicide. The problem has not been improving. There are more studies being done to figure out why the rates are so high, but there has not been a solution found. Hopefully, anything that is found will help not only the veterinary community, but also the general public. Mental illness, depression, suicide are all topics that get pushed under the rug until something happens to spotlight them.

Today, I learned that Dr. Sophia Yin, an amazing veterinarian, animal advocate, lecturer, and person died via suicide. I don’t know what her struggle was. I don’t know why she chose this path to death. I don’t know a lot of things, but I do know that the world lost a beautiful person. I do not condone the action of suicide, but I do understand why people can feel it is the only way out of a mind fraught with anguish. My heart, thoughts, and prayers, go out to the Yin family, friends, the veterinary community, and the world.

When on those walks many years ago, one Bible verse would repeat in my head. Isaiah 40:31, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They will rise up with wings as eagles. They will run and not grow weary; walk and not faint.” It was a long road, one I still sometimes struggle with, but when I wait upon the Lord, my strength is renewed. When I no longer try to hold the world in my control, I can let Him take control and life is not as hard. I have had people tell me this makes me weak. That I am less of a person. That I am stupid, illogical, and uneducated for believing in God. I will tell you, yes, I am weak, that is why I need Him. I am not worthy of His love, yet he grants it to me. I am not stupid. I am not illogical. I am not uneducated. I am honored to place my trust and faith in God.

If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or that life is just too much to handle please, ask for help. Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (in the USA) or find a professional that can help. You are not alone. There is a light, even if you can’t see it right now. It takes a long time to retrain your brain, it may require medication, but life can get better.



World Rabies Day 2014 and Animal Bites

Today is World Rabies Day 2014

I have posted about rabies multiple times(here and here), because I feel that people, especially in developed western cultures, do not understand the true implications of rabies. It is estimated that 200 people die every day worldwide from rabies. If you have a place to get your dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, etc. vaccinated for rabies, please do so. You can save a life. When I came home from Mongolia, in the two weeks that I was working, I had two cases that were placed in quarantine – 60 days for each animal. One had exposure to a raccoon, one to a bat. Thankfully, both had been vaccinated previously. Is rabies highly likely in Wisconsin? No, but it is possible.

On a happier note, the first person to survive rabies without post-exposure vaccination (or previous vaccination), Jeanne Giese, got married last weekend. That is pretty exciting. She was even able to walk down the aisle. Congratulations!

What should you do if a person or animal has contact (bite or scratch) with wildlife?

This depends on where you are to some extent, but the essentials are:

1. Clean the wound with soap and warm to hot water (not scalding) for a minimum of 10 minutes.

2. Seek medical attention – medical doctor or veterinarian depending on the species affected.

3. An animals rabies vaccination should be updated immediately.

4. If the animal that has bitten or scratched is available for testing, then it should be caught and submitted for rabies testing. A big mistake that is often made is that the animal is either hit or shot in the head – DO NOT DO THIS! The brain needs to be tested, so damage to the head often makes it impossible to test the brain. The animal can either be given to your veterinarian or to the local health department, which will then submit the proper specimens.

5. If the animal is not available for testing, then a person will generally go through post-exposure treatment. An animal will have its rabies vaccine updated and then be placed in a 60 day quarantine, although this can be longer if it had never been vaccinated previously.

What if you or your pet are bitten by a domestic animal?

1. Clean the wounds with soup and warm to hot (not scalding) water for a minimum of 10 minutes.

2. Seek medical attention – medical doctor or veterinarian depending on the species affected.

3. The animal that has bitten should be placed in quarantine at the direction of the local health or police department. The animal will likely be placed in a 10 day quarantine. Sometimes this can be in home, sometimes it will be in a controlled facility – this is determined by the authorities, and has to do with vaccination status. An animal that has been vaccinated will usually be an in-home quarantine. During this quarantine, the animal will need to be examined by a veterinarian three times – the day of the bite, 10 days after the bite, and one day in between. The reasoning is that if the animal has rabies, it will show symptoms and die within the 10 days.

4. If the animal is not available for quarantine, then a person will generally go through post-exposure treatment – multiple injections. An animal will have its rabies vaccine updated and then be placed in a 60 day quarantine, potentially longer if it had never been vaccinated previously.

The most important part is to receive medical treatment. It is easy for a bite to turn bad, very quickly. Wildlife can carry multiple diseases and will generally stay away from people if they are healthy, so interactions that result in bites are usually interactions with sick animals. Dog bites generally cause crushing injuries that may not be apparent immediately. Cat and ferret bites generally are deep punctures that leave bacteria deep in the wounds – these are most likely to cause severe infection and loss of limbs. Waiting until signs of infection appear is not a good idea for many reasons.