Q. I think my cat was bitten on his front foot by a vole. It is tender, he's careful of it. I see no wound, possible slight swelling of pad. Take to vet?
LAURA E. MCRAE
A. A vole's teeth a quite sharp but small. The puncture wounds would be very small and may even close over, so that you can't see them. First, if your pet is not current on rabies, go to the veterinarian right away. A vole is a type of rodent, and rodents can carry rabies (although voles are not major carriers). Better safe than sorry. Otherwise, wash the affected foot with warm warm and monitor carefuily. If the foot becomes swollen, develops an odor, feels very warm to the touch, or you see oozing pus, head to the vet. Also, go to the vet if the cat continues to favor the foot more than a day or two.