Painful Shots Prescribed After Rabid Cat Attack

Dozens of painful injections, and a scare for an Upshur County man attacked last week by a rabid cat.

Dwayne Seabolt was making a phone call outside his home west of Gilmer Thursday. Suddenly, the cat attacked.

"I came down to get some tools out of my shop and I noticed he was sitting down there, asleep," he describes of the moments before the cat lunged.

"When he got up, I noticed he was staggering like he was off-balance."

He says that was strange, but soon the phone rang, and the cat was out of mind. It came toward him slowly at first, then in a moment it attacked.

"The next thing: the cat jumped on my leg and was chewing on me," Seabolt says.

Claws embedded in his leg, and the cat's teeth sank into his knee.  He knocked the cat away, and knew it had to be examined. The cat hadn't acted that way before, and with grand kids around couldn't happen again.

"I went and got my rifle and I shot him, because like I said, I got my four grand babies are down here all the time.  I sure didn't want the cat biting them for any reason, and I knew there had to be a problem with him."

Dr. Randall Spencer sent the cat to the Texas Department of Health.  Monday, the test came back positive.  He says it's another case in an increasing trend of rabid animals.

"If you're going to let animals hang around, they've got to be vaccinated. And they need to be vaccinated by state law," Spencer says.

Seabolt adds, "I had thought about it one time about getting her vaccinated, but she was a barn cat, just hung around."

Though the problem cat is gone, Dwayne had to get 30 injections in his knee Tuesday.

"That was pretty painful because there's not much to stick there. I also had two syringes in my right hip, one in my left hip and then one in my right arm," he says.

Doctors say Dwayne will be fine, but experts say it's a lesson to everyone -- vaccinating an animal can save your life.  E

Experts add it's very important to make sure children know never to pet or even approach an unfamiliar animal. And if they're bitten, they must tell an adult immediately. That's because rabies is always fatal once symptoms appear.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.