Cat Scratch Disease
a cat scratch wound on the hand that has partially healed and a swollen lymph node in the armpit region of a person with cat scratch illness Cat scratch disease (CSD) is a bacterial illness carried by cats that causes scratching and biting. The disease is transferred when an infected cat licks an open wound on a human, or when a person is bitten or scratched hard enough to break the surface of the skin by an infected cat. A minor infection can develop at the site of a scratch or bite anywhere between three and fourteen days after the skin is damaged.
A person suffering from CSD may also have symptoms such as fever, headache, low appetite, and tiredness.
Cat bites and scratches should be thoroughly cleaned with soap and running water.
If you see any signs or symptoms of cat scratch illness or infection, consult your doctor immediately.
Approximately 40% of cats have B.
Kittens under one year of age are more susceptible than older kittens to get B.
As they play and learn how to assault prey, kittens are also more prone than adults to scratch and bite at their opponents.
How cats and people become infected
Kitten playing with a person’s index and middle fingers. Flea bites and flea filth (droppings) can cause cats to get infected withB. henselae if the bacteria gets into their wounds. Cats acquire up contaminated flea filth beneath their nails and between their teeth as a result of scratching and biting at the fleas on their coats. Fights between cats that are infected can also result in the transmission of the virus to uninfected cats. People become infected with the pathogen when an infected cat bites or scratches them hard enough to cause their skin to tear.
Serious but rare complications
CSD can result in major difficulties in some persons, despite the fact that it is infrequent. CSD can have a negative impact on the brain, eyes, heart, and other internal organs, among other things. Those between the ages of 5 and 14 years old, as well as those with compromised immune systems, are at greater risk of developing these unusual consequences, which may need extensive medical intervention.
While most cats withB. henselainfection do not exhibit any indications of sickness, this disease can cause inflammation of the heart, which can cause cats to become quite unwell and have hard breathing on rare instances.
Infections caused by B. hensela can also occur in the mouth, urinary system, and eyes. Your veterinarian may discover that some of your cat’s other organs are inflamed as a result of the inflammation.
My Cat Scratched Me Should I Be Worried? Risks, Treatment, Prevention
When you’re playing with your cat, it’s not uncommon to receive a scratch every now and again. However, it is critical that you take good care of your wound and keep a close eye out for any consequences. Despite the fact that not all cat scratches are harmful, some situations may raise your chance of getting certain diseases and other health hazards. Continue reading to find out more about some of the potential hazards linked with cat scratches, as well as whether or not you should seek medical assistance for them.
Kittens under one year of age are especially prone to scratching, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Cat scratches, no matter how old you are, may cause more than just discomfort and temporary red or discolored markings on your skin.
Cats, both wild and domesticated, have the potential to spread viruses and pathogens to humans when they scratch their victims’ skin.
- Cat scratch fever (also known as cat scratch sickness), tetanus, and rabies are all possible complications.
First and foremost, every cat scratch should always be cleaned with soap and warm water. Even if it’s your own cat scratching you, follow this guideline for all scratches. Using a clean cloth, pat the skin dry on the affected region. If your scrape is bleeding, gently press on it with a clean gauze pad to stop the flow. Additionally, you may want to apply a little quantity of over-the-counter antibiotic ointment before wrapping with a sterile bandage to help prevent further infection. Over the next several days, keep an eye out for any signs of infection, such as the following:
- Always wash any cat scratch with soap and warm water once it has occurred. Even if it’s your own cat scratching you, you should adhere to this rule.. Using a clean towel, gently pat the skin dry. Use a clean gauze pad to apply mild pressure to the scrape if it is oozing. A little quantity of over-the-counter antibiotic ointment can also be used before covering with a sterile bandage, and this is an option to consider as well. Over the next several days, keep a close eye out for signs of infection, such as the following symptoms:
If you are suffering any of the symptoms listed above, you should get medical attention. When a cat that isn’t your own has recently scratched, bited, or licked an open wound on you, you should seek medical attention right once.
Treating eye scratches
A cat may accidently scratch your face, especially the region around your eyes, from time to time. It is important to promptly flush the damaged eye with either clean water or an eye drops solution in the event of this happening. You should avoid rubbing the corners of your eyes in case something gets caught in them, such as claw fragments from your cat. In the following step, you should contact your doctor so that they may properly inspect your eye for signs of injury. If the scrape on your eye becomes infected, your doctor may also prescribe medicine.
But if left untreated, they can lead to the following complications:
- Eye discomfort, copious tears, a headache, light sensitivity, and blurred vision are all possible symptoms.
Cat scratch fever is a bacterial ailment caused by the bacterium Bartonella henselae that affects cats. Felines may carry the bacteria in their saliva, according to the CDC. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 40% of cats will contain this bacteria at some time in their lives, although the vast majority will not exhibit any signs of illness.
Originally, this bacteria was thought to be acquired by cats through fleas. During cat fights, the bacteria can be passed from one cat to another by the other cats. The bacteria may then be spread to people by the scratching, biting, or licking of an open wound by the infected cat.
Symptoms of cat-scratch fever
If you have cat scratch fever, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that you may have the following symptoms between 3 to 14 days of the original incident:
- Rashes on the body, enlarged lymph nodes, and severe weariness and weakness are all indications of Lyme disease. Fever, pains, and other flu-like symptoms are also common.
Treatment for cat-scratch fever
It is feasible to treat cat-scratch fever with medicines and wound care at home to help alleviate your symptoms and avoid any problems from arising. Some of the symptoms of cat-scratch fever are similar to those of other illnesses, and it is crucial to understand this. This includes tetanus, which is caused by the Clostridium tetanibacterium, which is present in the environment. It is critical to get medical attention if you are experiencing any signs of an infection so that you can be treated appropriately.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, problems from cat scratch fever are more likely to occur if you are under the age of 14 or have a weaker immune system.
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal organ damage
- Bacillary angiomatosis, a progressive skin illness that involves elevated lesions that are red or pigmented and have scaly outer rings
- Red, itchy eyes with flu-like symptoms
- And other symptoms
When a person is bitten by an infected animal, he or she contracts rabies, a dangerous viral infection that can be fatal. While rabies is not frequent in domesticated cats in the United States, feline rabies cases are recorded at a higher rate than those reported in other household pets. An infected cat may exhibit unexpected behavioral changes, such as extreme hostility, when first diagnosed. Another symptom is a loss of appetite, as well as a loss of muscular control and even paralysis. Rabid cats are more prone than non-rabid cats to transfer the virus to people through their saliva, which they do by biting.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu’s initial symptoms in humans are similar to those of the flu, and symptoms might manifest themselves weeks or months later.
It is possible to prevent life-threatening complications from rabies by receiving prompt treatment with antibodies and immunization.
- During all sorts of encounters, washing and care for any unintentional wounds is essential. staying away from physical play, especially with kittens, who are more prone to scratching
- In order to avoid eye damage, it is recommended that you keep your face away from your cat during playtime. concealing any open wounds you may have so that your cat will not be able to get to them
- Making your cat’s surroundings one that is only available inside
- Taking caution when dealing with feral cats or other felines that are not your own
- Making sure your cat has all of the necessary vaccinations, such as rabies injections maintain current vaccinations, including tetanus boosters, on a personal level
- Ensuring that your cat receives a sufficient flea treatment, as suggested by your veterinarian
Although occasional scratches may appear to be a normal part of being a cat lover, you should always make sure to cleanse any inadvertent wounds you may receive after playing with your feline friends to avoid spreading infection. Because some instances may progress to infection, it is critical to be aware of any suspicious signs and to get medical attention as soon as possible. While it might be impossible to completely eliminate cat scratches when you have an active kitty in your house, there are certain precautions you can do to help prevent issues from occurring.
Cleaning properly, avoiding wild animals, and keeping up with prescribed vaccinations are just a few examples.
What You Should Do for a Cat Bite or Scratch
Although occasional scratches may appear to be a normal part of being a cat lover, you should always make sure to cleanse any inadvertent wounds you may receive after playing with your feline friends to avoid spreading disease. Given the potential for infection in some circumstances, it’s critical to remain alert for any suspicious symptoms and to seek medical attention immediately. While it might be impossible to completely eliminate cat scratches when you have an active kitty in your house, there are certain precautions you can do to help prevent difficulties from developing.
Infections cats can pass along
Cats are capable of introducing pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacteriosis, and Pasteurella into your body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Staphylococcus aureusis a bacteria that is widely found on the skin of humans and animals and is transferred between humans and animals through physical contact (CDC). Keep in mind that cats don’t always display indications of this infection, so it may be difficult to identify if your cat has it just by looking at him.
- In the event that you develop thecampylobacter infection, you may have symptoms like as stomach pains, high fever, nausea, and diarrhea.
- Felines infected with Bartonella henselaebacteria either from flea bites, blood transfusion or battling with other infected cats get this infection.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises people to be cautious when approaching strange cats, even if they appear to be friendly.
- This will assist you in reducing your chances of developing an illness.
What to do if a cat bites you
First and foremost, you want to try to wash out as much germs as possible from the wound before irrigating it with water. After that, gently wash the wound with mild soap and water to remove any remaining dirt. Slow the bleeding using a clean towel, and if you have access to it, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment. After that, cover the wound with a sterile bandage.
Maintain the bandage on the wound until you can visit a doctor. The bandage should be changed multiple times a day after you’ve seen your doctor, according to him. In addition to redness and swelling, look for symptoms of infection such as increasing discomfort and fever.”
How a doctor treats a cat wound
“The majority of the time, cat wounds are left exposed to heal,” adds Dr. Sayles. “This makes it easy for you to clean the wound and minimizes the chance of infection.” Your doctor will most likely do the following procedures:
- Cleanse the wound once again and apply antibiotic ointment as needed. If you suspect an infection, you should consider prescribing antibiotics such as Augmentin. If your tetanus vaccination is out of date, your doctor will administer a booster dose. Determine whether or not sutures are required for the wound.
Always remember that if you are catbited, you must act swiftly to avoid more injury. In order to reduce the risk of infection, contact your doctor as soon as possible after being ill.
Cat-Scratch Disease: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment
Cat-scratch illness is an infection that can be contracted after being scratched, bitten, or licked by a cat. It is caused by bacteria that may be found in cat saliva. Fleas are most likely the source of the bacterium in cats. Cat-scratch sickness is sometimes referred to as cat-scratch fever in some circles. In healthy individuals, it is not a life-threatening sickness. However, it can be a concern for young children and those who have weakened immune systems because of the bacteria. People suffering from cancer, diabetes, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome fall into this category (AIDS).
Symptoms of cat-scratch disease
In the case of a cat biting or scratching you, a red mark, sore, or blister may appear. This might occur anywhere from three to ten days following the bite or injury. It is possible that the sore or blister could take a long time to heal. Fever (less than 102°F), headache, exhaustion, and a loss of appetite are all possible symptoms of the illness. It is also possible to develop an infection of the lymph nodes. This occurs more frequently in the glands nearest to the site of the scratch or bite.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your family doctor right away:
- A scrape or bite from a cat that is not healing
- For more than 2 days after the injury, a red patch around a cat scratch or bite will continue to grow in size. Inflammatory response to a cat scratch or bite that lasts for several days
- Lymph nodes that are painful and swollen for longer than 2 or 3 weeks
- Ache in the bones or joints, stomach pain (without fever, vomiting, or diarrhea), or severe weariness that lasts for longer than 2 or 3 weeks.
What causes cat-scratch disease?
A scrape or bite from a cat that isn’t healing properly. For more than 2 days after the incident, a red patch surrounding a cat scratch or bite will continue to grow in size; Inflammatory response to a cat scratch or bite that lasts many days lymph nodes that are painful and swollen for longer than two or three weeks; Excessive weariness or bone or joint pain that has lasted for more than 2 to 3 weeks without the presence of fever, vomiting, or diarrhea
How is cat-scratch disease diagnosed?
Your doctor will check the bite or scrape and inquire as to the nature of your complaints. He or she will examine your lymph nodes to see if they are swollen or sensitive. A blood test may be ordered if the diagnosis is not obvious at the time.
Can cat-scratch disease be prevented or avoided?
In addition to examining the bite or scrape, your doctor will inquire as to your current medical condition. Swelling or pain in your lymph nodes will be checked by your doctor. A blood test may be requested if the diagnosis is not apparent.
- After handling your cat, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands. Playing softly with your cat will prevent them from scratching or biting you. You should avoid allowing your cat to lick you, especially around your mouth and nose as well as your eyes and open wounds. Fleas must be controlled in order to reduce the likelihood of your cat contracting the bacterium. It is not acceptable to taunt or provoke a cat. It is best not to pet stray or wild cats.
After handling your cat, wash your hands thoroughly. Playing softly with your cat will prevent them from scratching or biting you if they do. You should avoid allowing your cat to lick you, especially around your mouth and nose as well as your eyes and open wounds, and To reduce the likelihood of your cat contracting germs, keep fleas under control. It is not acceptable to tease or irritate a cat; instead, Try to stay away from cats that are stray or wild;
Cat-scratch disease treatment
For the most part, cat scratch illness goes away on its own without the need for therapy. You can use an over-the-counter pain killer to assist alleviate pain and discomfort while you are recovering from surgery. Ibuprofen (two brands: Motrin and Advil) and naproxen (one brand: Aleve) are both effective pain relievers. It may also be beneficial to provide hot compresses to the afflicted region. If a lymph node is very big or painful, your doctor may recommend that it be drained to alleviate the discomfort.
Occasionally, the infection might spread to your bones, liver, or other organs, although this is extremely unusual.
Should cats be treated?
Cat-scratch illness is self-limiting in the vast majority of persons. In order to alleviate pain and suffering, you can take an over-the-counter painkiller. In some cases, ibuprofen (available under the brand names Motrin and Advil) or naproxen (available under the brand name Aleve) may be beneficial. It may also be beneficial to provide hot compresses to the afflicted region.. It is possible that your doctor will drain a lymph node if it is very big or painful in order to alleviate the discomfort.
Occasionally, the infection might spread to your bones, liver, or other organs, although this is quite uncommon.
Living with cat-scratch disease
Cat scratches and bites should be washed away with soap and water if you have been scratched or bitten. Over the next two weeks, keep an eye out for indications of infection. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your doctor. You can treat your symptoms at home with pain medications and warm compresses in the majority of instances.
Questions to ask your doctor
- My cat scratched me on the back of the neck. Is it necessary for me to be seen? If my cat has cat scratch illness, is there any way to tell if he contains the bacterium that causes it? My youngster is suffering from a weaker immune system. I’ve been bitten by a cat, and I’m not sure whether I should get rid of my cat. Are there any preventative measures I can take to avoid contracting cat scratch disease?
The American Academy of Family Physicians retains ownership of the copyright. This material is intended to offer a basic overview and may not be applicable to all situations. Consult with your primary care physician to determine whether or not this information applies to you and to obtain further information on this subject.
Cat Scratch Disease
Burns on the SkinEveryday SafetyBurns
What is cat scratch disease?
Cat scratches and bites can result in cat scratch illness, which is a bacterial infection carried in cat saliva and spread by contact with the cat. According to research, fleas may be the source of these germs in cats. Infected cats can transmit germs to humans by licking an open wound or biting or scratching human flesh hard enough to break the surface of the skin, or by licking an open wound. Kittens under one year of age are more likely than older kittens to scratch, increasing the risk of infection.
What causes cat scratch disease?
Cat scratch illness is caused by a bacteria that is carried about in the saliva of the cat.
Infected cats can transmit germs to humans by licking an open wound or biting or scratching human flesh hard enough to break the surface of the skin, or by licking an open wound.
Who is at risk for cat scratch disease?
Cat scratch illness can be caused by a number of factors, the most significant of which are as follows:
- Cat scratch illness can be caused by a number of factors, the most significant of which are:
What are the symptoms of cat scratch disease?
The following are the most often seen symptoms of cat scratch disease:
- When a cat bites or scratches you, the bite or scratch gets reddish or inflamed within a few days and does not heal or worsens with time
- Scratches on the arm or hand can cause pain or swelling in the glands under the arms, or scratches on the foot or leg might cause pain and swelling in the groin. There are flu-like symptoms, including nausea and vomiting as well as tiredness, joint discomfort and fever. Rashes on the body
The symptoms of cat scratch illness might be confused with those of other medical disorders or problems. Always get medical attention if you suspect a medical problem.
How is cat scratch disease diagnosed?
The diagnosis is made on the basis of a thorough history, which may include a history of being scratched by a cat or kitten, a physical examination, and, in certain cases, blood testing.
How is cat scratch disease treated?
Your healthcare professional will determine the most appropriate therapy for you based on the following factors:
- What your age is
- How long you’ve been alive. Your general well-being and medical background
- What kind of illness you’re suffering from
- Your ability to tolerate particular medications, surgeries, or therapies
- How long it is projected that the situation will persist
- Your point of view or choice
The following treatments may be used:
- Medicines to treat the infection
- Treatment of the symptoms that arise as a result of the illness. In the majority of instances, antibiotics are not required, and the infection will resolve on its own.
What are the complications of cat scratch fever?
The majority of healthy persons do not experience any difficulties as a result of cat scratch fever. People with weakened immune systems (such as those with HIV/AIDS, those undergoing chemotherapy, or those who have diabetes) may experience consequences such as the ones listed below:
- This condition is known as bacillary angiomatosis. Red, raised lesions on the skin’s surface, encircled by a scaly ring, describe this skin ailment. Parinaud’s oculoglandular syndrome, which is a more widespread illness that affects internal organs, may develop as a result of this ailment. On the same side, there is a disorder that involves a red, itchy, and painful eye comparable to conjunctivitis (pink eye), fever, and enlarged lymph nodes in the area in front of the ear.
Can cat scratch disease be prevented?
Cats and kittens should not be scratched or bitten on the face. If you have been scratched or bitten, wash the affected area with soap and water straight soon. Cats should not be allowed to lick any wounds you may have.
When should I call my healthcare provider?
Consult your healthcare practitioner if a cat scratch or bite becomes red or inflamed and you have flu-like symptoms such as headaches, decreased appetite, lethargy, joint pain, or fever thereafter.
Key points about cat scratch fever
- Cat scratch disease is an infection caused by a bacteria found in the saliva of cats
- It is contagious. Inflammation and swelling at the location of a cat scratch or bite, as well as flu-like symptoms, are all signs of the condition. If you have been scratched or bitten by a cat or kitten, it is critical that you wash the area with soap and water as soon as possible. Antibiotics are effective in treating cat scratch illness.
Tips to help you get the most out of your appointment with your healthcare practitioner include the following:
- Know why you’re coming and what you hope to accomplish while you’re there. Prepare a list of questions you’d want to have answered prior to your appointment. Bring a friend or family member with you to assist you in asking questions and remembering what your provider tells you. Write down any new diagnoses, medications, treatments, or tests that you learn about during your appointment so that you can remember them later. Also, make a note of any new instructions you get from your provider. Understand why a new drug or therapy is being suggested, as well as how it will benefit you. Also, be aware of any negative effects that may occur. Inquire as to whether your problem may be handled in a different method. Understand why a test or treatment is advised, as well as what the findings may indicate
- Understand what will happen if you do not take the medication or undergo the test or operation. Keep track of any follow-up appointments you have by writing down the date and time of your visit, as well as the reason for your visit. Know how to get in touch with your service provider if you have any questions
default – Stanford Children’s Health
When your child gets bitten or injured by an animal, be cool and promise your child that you will assist him or her. After an animal bite has occurred, your child’s healthcare professional will select the appropriate therapy for him or her. The following may be included in your treatment. Small bites from a domestic pet that is inoculated and in excellent health are treated as follows:
- For at least 5 minutes, wash the wound with soap and water from a faucet that is running at high pressure. Avoid scrubbing since this may cause the tissue to bruise. Apply an antibiotic lotion or ointment to the affected area. Keep an eye out for indications of illness. Fever, increasing redness or discomfort, swelling or fluid spilling, as well as red streaks from the bite, are some of the symptoms. If any of these symptoms develop, contact your child’s healthcare professional immediately.
For deeper bites or puncture wounds caused by any animal, or for any bite caused by an unknown species, consult your doctor.
- The bite or scrape should be applied pressure with a clean bandage or cloth to halt the bleeding
- Otherwise, let it alone. For at least 5 minutes, wash the wound with soap and water from a faucet that is running at high pressure. Avoid scrubbing since this may cause the tissue to bruise. Dry the wound thoroughly and apply a sterile dressing on it. Closing the incision with tape or butterfly bandages is not recommended. This has the potential to trap dangerous microorganisms in the wound. Call your child’s healthcare practitioner for assistance in reporting the attack and determining whether additional treatment is necessary. The treatment may involve antibiotics, a tetanus booster, a rabies vaccination, or a stitched-up wound to close the wound. For bites on the face or bites that result in deeper puncture wounds of the skin, this is extremely crucial to remember. It is critical to inform your child’s healthcare practitioner of any cat bites, particularly those that occur around the hands and wrists. These injuries are well-known for frequently resulting in infection
- If at all feasible, track down the animal that caused the injury. Some animals must be trapped, confined, and continuously monitored for the presence of rabies. Never attempt to capture the animal on your own. If the animal cannot be located or is a high-risk species (such as a raccoon, a skunk, or a bat), or if the animal attack was unprovoked, your kid may require a course of rabies vaccinations.
If your kid exhibits any flu-like symptoms following an animal bite, contact your child’s healthcare practitioner. Fever, headache, sick feeling, loss of appetite, and enlarged glands are some of the symptoms that might occur.
What Is Cat-Scratch Fever? What Causes It?
Scratching fever is an ailment caused by a kind of bacterium known as Bartonella henselae (it is also referred to as Bartonella henselae infection in rare cases.) The germs can be spread to you through contact with an open wound on your skin or by bites or scratches from a cat carrying this type of bacterium. Cat-scratch fever, also known as Cat-scratch disease (CSD), is a viral infection that most commonly affects children and teenagers.
Cat-Scratch Fever Causes
Approximately 40 percent of cats and kittens have Bartonella hensela in their mouths or behind their claws, according to research. Scratching or biting at infected fleas causes them to get the disease. They can also get the disease by fighting with other cats who are infected with it. The majority of sick cats do not exhibit any signs of illness. However, in severe situations, kids may experience breathing difficulties or develop infections in their mouth, eyes, or urinary tract.
If you are bitten or scratched by a cat that has Bartonella henselae and the bacterium gets into your body through the wound, the germs can enter your body. In addition, if a cat licks an open wound, cut, or scab on your skin, you may get an infection.
Cat-Scratch Fever Symptoms
Not everyone who has been licked or scratched by a cat is required to visit the veterinarian. In the event that you have contracted CSD, you will experience symptoms. These things don’t happen overnight. The majority of the time, they develop many days after you have been in the presence of a cat. The initial symptom of a scratch or bite is generally a red lump, sore, or blister at the location of the injury. This may not be painful, but it frequently develops a crust and may include pus. Within the next 2 weeks – and even after the bump has healed – you might experience the following side effects:
- Fever (which might be “low grade,” meaning less than 102 F)
- Exhaustion (feeling really exhausted)
- Having a bad appetite
- Glands (lymph nodes) that are swollen
The lymph nodes that enlarge are frequently seen in close proximity to the diseased region. Consider the following scenario: If a cat bites your arm, the glands in your armpits may enlarge and fill with pus. Only in the most extreme situations does CSD create major difficulties that impact your bone and joint health, eyesight, brain, heart, and other organs. These are especially likely to occur in children under the age of five or in persons who have a weaker immune system, among other groups.
Cat-Scratch Fever Diagnosis
If you inform your doctor that you have been scratched or bitten by a cat, he or she may be able to diagnose you based on the symptoms you are experiencing. If this is the case, you may need to have a blood test done. A tissue sample from your lymph node may be taken by your doctor in order to check for CSD.
Cat-Scratch Fever Treatment
CSD will most likely go away on its own in persons who are in good physical health. While you wait for the swelling to subside, you can take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen(Advil,Motrin,Nuprin) or naproxen(Aleve,Anaprox,Naprosyn) sodium to relieve the discomfort. A hot compress might also be beneficial. Your doctor may use a needle to gently insert into particularly tight, painful glands and drain the fluid from them in order to reduce the discomfort. It is probable that your doctor would prescribe antibiotics if you are suffering from immune system difficulties or if your symptoms have not improved after two months.
It is possible that you will need to take this medication for several months.
Cat-Scratch Fever Prevention
You are allowed to retain your family pet. Taking a few basic precautions now can help you prevent contracting CSD later.
- If you come into contact with or pet stray cats, use caution. Because they spend so much time outside, there is a greater likelihood that they have come into touch with fleas and contracted CSD. Keep “rough play” with your cat to a minimum. Scratches and bites are more likely to occur as a result of this. Take good care of your companion. Trim your cat’s nails and apply a flea prevention solution to keep him safe from fleas. Consult with your veterinarian about the best sort of product to use, since not all over-the-counter products are suitable to use on animals. Soften your hands after washing them. After caressing or playing with your cat, wash your hands with soap and water to remove any remaining dirt. If you’ve been scratched or bitten, you’ll want to wash the affected area with soap and water as soon as possible. The same is true if your cat occurs to lick an open sore, scab, or wound
- However, this is less often. If you have health problems, consider adopting an older cat. Choosing a cat that is at least a year old is important if you have a weaker immune system and wish to adopt a cat. CSD is more common in kittens under the age of one year.
Cat Scratch Disease (for Parents)
Bacteria are responsible for cat scratch illness (a type of germ). It may be contracted by humans if an infected cat or kitten scratches the orbitesthem or licks an open wound. The majority of instances in the United States occur during the fall and winter months, and they disproportionately affect children, maybe because they are more prone to play with cats and get bitten or scratched.
What Causes Cat Scratch Disease?
Cat scratch illness is caused by the bacterium Bartonella henselae.
They reside in the saliva (spit) of infected cats, but do not cause illness in the animals. In fact, kittens and cats can carry the germs for several months after being born. Fleas are responsible for the transmission of germs between cats.
What Are the SignsSymptoms of Cat Scratch Disease?
Cat scratch infection symptoms include a blister or a tiny lump that appears many days after the scratch or bite was sustained. It can seem to be an insect bite. Within a couple of weeks of a scratch or bite, one or more of the tissues near the scratch or bite will swell up and become sensitive. The underarm and neck regions are the most common locations for these enlarged lymph nodes. They range in size from around 12 inches to 2 inches in diameter, and they may be surrounded by a greater region of swelling beneath the surface of your skin.
The predominant sign of the condition in most children is enlarged lymph nodes, and the sickness is often minor in nature.
The enlarged lymph nodes normally dissolve within 2 to 4 months, however they can sometimes linger for considerably longer periods of time.
How Is Cat Scratch Disease Diagnosed?
Doctors often identify cat scratch illness based on an examination of the youngster and a question about whether or not the child has been around a cat or kitten. Swollen lymph nodes and symptoms of a cat scratch or bite will be checked for by the doctor during the examination. In some situations, doctors will request tests to determine whether or not a patient has cat scratch illness.
How Is Cat Scratch Disease Treated?
For the most part, there is no need for any specific therapy for cat scratch illness. Antibiotics are occasionally prescribed by doctors to treat serious cases. If your doctor has ordered antibiotics, make sure to give them to your kid on time and for the whole amount of time indicated. Children who have cat scratch sickness do not need to be separated from their siblings or other family members. Allow your youngster to take as much rest as he or she requires. If your kid wants to play, encourage him or her to do so quietly, taking care not to injure the enlarged lymph nodes in the process.
Is Cat Scratch Disease Contagious?
In contrast to cat scratch illness, cat scratch disease is not infectious from person to person. The infection is conveyed by the scratch or bite of an infected animal, which is most commonly a kitten. If the animal’s saliva (spit) comes into touch with a person’s eye or via damaged skin, the virus can spread as well as by inhalation. It is possible for more than one case to occur within a same family, generally as a result of interaction with the same diseased animal. People who have had only one episode of cat scratch sickness are typically immune for the rest of their life after that.
Can Cat Scratch Disease Be Prevented?
If you’re concerned about cat scratch illness, you don’t have to get rid of your beloved family pet right now.
The condition is uncommon and typically minor, and there are a few things you can do to protect your children against it:
- Instruct children to stay away from stray or unknown cats. In order to avoid getting scratched or bitten by a family pet or a familiar cat, children should refrain from rough play when playing with them. After handling or playing with a cat, instruct children to wash their hands. Maintain a flea-free environment for yourself and your pets.
If your kid has been scratched by a pet, thoroughly clean the damaged area with soap and water. If you suspect that someone has contracted cat scratch illness from your family pet, you shouldn’t be concerned that your cat will have to be put down (put to sleep). Consult your veterinarian for advice on how to deal with the situation.
When Should I Call the Doctor?
When your child’s lymph nodes become swollen or painful in any part of the body, take him or her to the doctor right away. In addition, if your child is attacked by an animal, notify your doctor immediately, especially if:
- The bite or scratch was caused by a cat, and the wound does not appear to be healing well
- The region of redness surrounding the bite is becoming increasingly large. The scratch or bite caused a fever in your youngster, which lasted for a few days following the incident.
You should seek medical attention if your kid has a high temperature, severe pain in a lymph node, appears extremely unwell, or develops new symptoms after being diagnosed with cat scratch disease. Date of last review: January 2021
When a Cat Scratch Causes Infant Infection
If your cat scratches your child, it may result in an illness in the youngster. The reason is that cats can spread cat scratch fever, also known as cat scratch sickness, which is a bacterial ailment caused by the bacterium Bartonella henselae. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 40% of cats have carriedB. henselae at least once, albeit the majority of cats do not show any signs of illness. Contact with an infected cat is the most common way for the disease to spread.
Generally speaking, following a cat scratch or bite, several pimples may grow around the wound while it heals, which will take around 3–14 days after the skin has been split. If you have reason to believe your kid may be suffering from cat scratch sickness, get medical attention immediately. Keep an eye out for the following red flags to alert you that anything is wrong:
- The appearance of a bump (papule) or a blister (pustule) at the site of an injury or bite
- Fatigue, fever, and headaches are all symptoms of menopause. Discomfort all around
- Lymph nodes that are swollen, particularly in the upper body
Among the less common signs and symptoms are:
If you are otherwise healthy, cat scratch fever is typically not a significant problem and does not require medical treatment in the majority of cases. Cat scratch sickness normally disappears on its own within two to four months after being discovered. A person’s risk of contracting feline scratch fever is typically assessed only when the disease is severe or when a healthcare professional detects infection based on the patient’s symptoms. A physical exam followed by a simple blood test, known as theBartonella henselaeIFA blood test, is frequently sufficient to determine the presence of the illness.
Antibiotics, on the other hand, are occasionally prescribed as part of the therapy.
It is normally possible for the bacterial infection to resolve on its own without the need for treatment within two to four months.
How to Prevent Cat Scratch Fever
To avoid this, keep your cat (particularly if it’s a kitten) away from your youngster as much as possible. To say nothing of limiting any intense play between the two players in the future. Pets should not be teased or provoked at any age, but especially when they are eating or sleeping, it is never too early to educate children this.
Flea management is especially crucial since fleas appear to be the means through which cats spread bacteria among themselves (though not to humans). After playing with cats or other pets, children should always wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water to avoid cross contamination.
What to Do If Your Child Gets Scratched
- Keeping your cat (particularly if it’s a kitten) away from your youngster is the best course of action. In any case, any intense play between the two should be discouraged. Educating children to avoid taunt and irritate pets, especially while they are eating or sleeping, can never be too early in their development. Controlling fleas is particularly crucial since fleas appear to be one of the ways in which cats spread germs between one another (though not to humans). After playing with cats or other pets, children should always wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water.
The slightest scratch on your child’s tender, sensitive skin might provoke emotions of fear in new parents, but it is important to remember that cat scratch fever is not a life-threatening illness.
When to Call a Doctor
While cat scratch fever is usually self-resolving, it is still vital to keep a careful check on the region where the scratch or bite happened and to closely monitor your child’s symptoms in the days that follow the incident. If your kid exhibits any of the following more serious symptoms, get medical attention immediately:
- Fatigue, high temperature, and redness around the site are all symptoms of a wound infection. Lymph nodes that are swollen or uncomfortable
A Word From Verywell
Despite the fact that cat scratch fever is typically not harmful, it is still a good idea to take precautions in order to avoid it. If someone you care about has been bitten or scratched by a cat, clean the area thoroughly and check for indications of significant consequences such as fever, swelling around the wound, and other symptoms. Cat scratch fever, although uncommon, has been linked to major health issues in some individuals. Children between the ages of 5 and 14 years old, as well as those with impaired immune systems, are particularly vulnerable.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your child has been attacked or injured by a cat, wash the affected area with soap and water immediately. If the wound is bleeding, apply pressure until the bleeding stops and then wrap with a clean bandage to prevent infection. Immediately seek medical attention if your kid exhibits indications of infection such as excessive exhaustion, a high temperature, or swelling or blistering around the mouth or nose.
How long does cat scratch fever last?
Cats may bite and scratch children, so be sure to clean the area with soap and water if your child is bitten or injured. To stop bleeding, apply pressure to the wound for a few minutes and then wrap it up with a clean bandage. If your kid is experiencing indications of infection such as lethargy, a high temperature, swelling or blistering near the wound, get medical attention right once!
How common is cat scratch fever?
Cat scratch fever is a rare condition, and when it does occur, the majority of instances are rather mild. The most vulnerable are young children and those with impaired immunity, who are at greatest risk of catastrophic consequences.
What causes cat scratch fever?
Infection with the bacterium Bartonella henselae results in cat scratch fever, often known as cat scratch illness. It is spread to humans by the bite or scratch of a cat that has the germs on its body. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Thank you for taking the time to join up. There was a clerical error. Please try your search again. Verywell Family relies on only high-quality sources, such as peer-reviewed research, to substantiate the information contained in its articles. Read about oureditorial process to discover more about how we fact-check our information and ensure that it is accurate, dependable, and trustworthy.
- CDC. Cat Scratch Disease is a disease that affects cats. The National Institutes of Health Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center reviewed this entry on January 17, 2020. Cat Scratch Disease is a disease that affects cats. Stanford Children’s Health has updated their information as of July 20, 2016. Cat Scratch Disease in Children
- Klotz SA, Ianas V, Elliott SP. Cat Scratch Disease in Children. Cat scratch illness is a contagious disease that affects cats. 2011, AFP, vol. 83(2), pp. 152-155.
STEPHEN A. KLOTZ, MD, VOICHITA IANAS, MD, and SEAN P. ELLIOTT, MD, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, collaborated on this research. 2011 Jan 15;83(2):152-155. American Family Physician. 2011 Jan 15;83(2):152-155. Information for the patient: See the linked leaflet on cat scratch illness for more information. Infection with cat scratch illness is a frequent ailment that often manifests as sensitive lymphadenopathy. In the differential diagnosis of fevers of unknown origin and any lymphadenopathy syndrome, it should be considered a possibility.
- Cat fleas are responsible for the horizontal transmission of the disease from cat to cat, and arthropod vectors (such as fleas or ticks) may also be responsible for the transfer of the disease to people on rare occasions.
- The most common method of diagnosing B.
- The majority of instances of cat scratch illness are self-limiting and do not necessitate the use of antibiotics.
- Cat-scratch illness can manifest itself in a more diffused form, such as hepatosplenomegaly or meningoencephalitis, or in a more severe form, such as bacillary angiomatosis in individuals with HIV/AIDS.
- CSD is found all over the world and has been described in all of North America’s major geographic regions.
- According to estimates, 22,000 new cases of CSD are diagnosed in the United States each year.
- It may be present in feline erythrocytes and fleas, which can contaminate saliva and subsequently be transmitted to people through the biting and clawing of cats and other animals.
2 Tick bites, on the other hand, have the potential to spread the bacteria to people. Approximately 50% of cats are infected with B. henselae and show no signs of illness. 3
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
|Clinical recommendation||Evidence rating||References|
|Cat-scratch disease should be included in the differential diagnosis in any patient with lymphadenopathy.||C||2,3|
|The diagnosis of cat-scratch disease is usually confirmed by a history of cat exposure and antibodies toBartonella henselae.||C||3,19|
|Most cases of cat-scratch disease are self-limited and do not require antibiotic therapy.||B||4,21,23|
|If an antibiotic is chosen to treat cat-scratch disease, azithromycin (Zithromax) appears to be effective at reducing the duration of lymphadenopathy.||B||22|
However, although CSD is most typically diagnosed in youngsters, it can also manifest itself in adults. Patients with painful regional unilateral lymphadenopathy, particularly if there is a history of exposure to kittens or cats, should be considered for this condition as a possibility. Approximately 85 to 90 percent of individuals with CSD develop local lymphadenopathy. 4 Other possible causes of unilateral lymphadenopathy are considered in the differential diagnosis (Table 1). The presence of a history of cat exposure is helpful in making the diagnosis, although it is not necessarily essential.
Select Common Diseases That May Be Confused with Cat-scratch Disease Unilateral Lymphadenopathy
|Epstein-Barr virus lymphadenopathy*|
|Group A streptococcal adenitis|
|Human immunodeficiency virus lymphadenopathy*|
|Nontuberculous mycobacterial lymphadenitis|
|Malignancy (lymphoma, leukemia)|
Patient’s can acquire a primary skin lesion after coming into touch with an infected kitten or cat. The skin lesion begins as a vesicle at the site of the inoculation. A tiny minority of patients do not recollect having had any interaction with cats or having skin sores on their arms or legs. Regional lymphadenopathy manifests itself one to two weeks later and is almost always ipsilateral in nature. As a result of their treatment, 46 percent of patients acquire lymphadenopathy of the upper extremities, 26 percent develop lymphadenopathy of the neck and jaw, 18 percent develop lymphadenopathy of the groin, and 10 percent develop lymphadenopathy of other locations, according to one research (pre- and postauricular, clavicular, and chest).
- Seventy-five percent of patients have pain, malaise, and anorexia, and nine percent experience low-grade fever (Figure 4).
- Musculoskeletal symptoms, such as myalgia, arthralgia, and arthritis, are prevalent and affect more than 10% of people with chronic pain.
- 6Hepatosplenomegaly with or without lymphadenopathy is the most common presenting symptom.
- 8,9Only a few occurrences of meningoencephalitis, endocarditis, and ocular involvement have been reported in patients who were otherwise immune.
- It is possible for individuals to experience seizure activity, and they may experience localized neurologic impairments that are self-limiting but can continue for up to one year.
- 12It is characterized by granulomatous conjunctivitis and ipsilateral periauricular lymphadenopathy on the affected side.
- Bacillary angiomatosis and peliosis can occur in immunosuppressed patients when B.
- 13Bacillary peliosis is caused solely byBacillus henselae and affects the liver as well as the spleen on occasion.
- henselae or Bartonella quintana, and it mainly affects the skin and lymph nodes, but it can also affect the bones and internal organs.
- A single or several red to purple papules might appear on the skin of the lesions.
Bartonellainfection has been found in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection in San Francisco, California.
TheBartonellaspecies is difficult to grow, and it is not always suggested to cultivate it. Serology is the most effective first test, and it may be conducted using either an indirect fluorescence assay or an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Although more sensitive than culture, serologic tests are less specific than culture because many asymptomatic individuals have positive serology as a result of past (often silent) exposure to the pathogen. 17 Positive serologic tests in the general population are found in a wide range of proportions, however cat owners appear to be at a higher risk than the general population overall.
- The presence of an infection is indicated by titers between 1:64 and 1:256; repeat testing should be undertaken in these individuals within 10 to 14 days.
- 18,19 Even if a positive immunoglobulin M test indicates that a condition is acute, the production of immunoglobulin M is short-lived.
- henselae and B.
- In order to detect various Bartonellaspecies, polymerase chain reaction is used; the specificity is extremely high, but the sensitivity is lower than that achieved by serology.
- In order to exclude out cat exposure, a history of cat exposure should be obtained, and suitable testing, including serology for CSD, should be conducted.
- henselae, which may be identified using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent test or an indirect fluorescence analysis.
- Patients with CSD have lymphoid hyperplasia and stellate granulomas in their lymph nodes, which are visible on biopsy specimens.
- henselaeis a gram-negative bacillus that is tiny, curved, and aerobic, and it stains with silver.
- Only 245 lymph node specimens from individuals with suspected CSD were found to have signs of CSD in a collection of 786 lymph node specimens.
- If a patient has unilateral lymphadenopathy, even if the diagnosis of CSD has been established, it is essential for physicians to follow up with them.
The treatment of CSD is dependent on how the condition manifests itself. The majority of patients, particularly youngsters, have self-limited lymphadenopathy that lasts between two and eight weeks and does not necessitate the use of antibiotics. Up to 14 percent of people experience spread to the liver, spleen, eye, or central nervous system4, and antibiotics may be effective in treating this condition. 21 In a research conducted in 1985, a single investigator evaluated 1,200 individuals with lymphadenopathy who were suspected of having CSD and discovered that antibiotics were rarely employed in their treatment.
In one randomized experiment, the results showed that oral azithromycin (Zithromax) was effective for mild to moderate illness when taken for five days (500 mg on day 1, followed by 250 mg daily for four more days for patients weighing more than 100 lb; or 10 mg per kg on day 1, followed by 5 mg per kg for four more days for patients weighing 100 lb or less).
When it comes to CSD, the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s guidelines are ambiguous concerning the routine use of antibiotics, 22whereas another panel of specialists advocated against the usual use of antibiotics in patients with moderate or uncomplicated illness.
24 Patients with bacillary angiomatosis and peliosis, which have high rates of recurrence, have benefitted from treatment with oral erythromycin or doxycycline over a prolonged duration of three to four months, according to research.
13,23 Although no studies have been conducted on the treatment of neurologic illness, case reports of neuroretinitis have shown that a combination of erythromycin or doxycycline with rifampin for four to six weeks may be useful in certain cases. 10
Display all of the author’s information The University of Arizona’s Stephen A. Klotz, MD, is a professor of medicine and the section’s chief of infectious diseases. A senior fellow in adult infectious diseases at the University of Arizona, VOICHITA IANAS, MD, is a specialist in infectious illnesses of adults. SEAN P. ELLIOTT, MD, is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Arizona’s Section of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. He received his medical degree from Harvard University. Contact Stephen A.
Campbell Ave., Tucson, AZ 85724 (e-mail: [email protected]) with any questions.
Disclosure from the author: There is nothing to share.
Display all of the references 1.Jackson LA, Perkins BA, Wenger JD; Jackson LA, Perkins BA, Wenger JD An examination of three national databases revealed that cat scratch illness is prevalent in the United States. 1993;83(12):1707–1711; American Journal of Public Health. 2.Zangwill, K.M., Hamilton, D.H., Perkins, B.A., and colleagues Cat scratch illness has been reported in Connecticut. Epidemiology, risk factors, and the assessment of a novel diagnostic test are all being investigated. N The New England Journal of Medicine, 329(1), pages 8–13, 1993.
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is the twenty-fourth member of the group.
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all references should be displayed J.D. Wenger, L.A. Jackson, B.A. Perkins, and L.A. Jackson Analyses of three national databases revealed that cat scratch illness was prevalent in the United States. 1993;83(12):1707–1711. American Journal of Public Health. Zangwill KM (first author), Hamilton DH (second author), Perkins BA (first author), and colleagues CT suffers from cat scratch illness. A novel diagnostic test is being evaluated based on epidemiology, risk factors, and other considerations.
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Lamas CC, Mares-Guia MA, Rozental T, and colleagues HIV-positive persons, their pets, and ectoparasites in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were found to have Bartonellaspp.
16-Koehler JE, Sanchez MA, Tye S, and colleagues Bartonella infection was shown to be prevalent in individuals with fever who were infected with the human immunodeficiency virus.
Fallacies and pitfalls of cat scratch illness serology: assessment of Bartonella henselae-based indirect fluorescence test and enzyme-linked immunoassay, respectively In 1997, the Journal of Clinical Microbiology published a 35-page article titled “1931–1937.” 18.Sander A, Posselt M, Oberle K, Bredt W., et al.
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The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has copyright protection for the year 2011.
A person who views the information online is permitted to print one copy of the material for his or her own personal, non-commercial reference purposes.
For issues about copyright and/or permission requests, please email [email protected]. December 2021: MOST RECENT ISSUE The most recent issue of American Family Physician may be seen online. The Issue should be read