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How Do You Get Cat Scratch Fever

Related Questions Answered On Yanswers

Cat Scratch fever – Everything You Need To Know – Dr. Nabil Ebraheim
What are the symptoms of cat scratch fever?
Q: My cat just went berserk on me and I was wondering if anybody knew the symptoms of cat scratch fever. I have 2 claw holes on my hand.
A: An uncontrollable urge to listen to Ted Nugent.
Why do so many doctors think you must have convulsions to have cat scratch fever?
Q: Ive heard of many doctors who wouldnt test for cat scratch fever because the patient didnt have convulsions, yet when one person insisted on being tested, the results came back positive.KickassAli: Its a basic blood test, and theres an antibiotic that gets rid of it
A: Have no ideano one I know has ever looked for convulsions with cat scratch fever. However just because the antibody test is positive for cat scratch does not mean the disease is activecould represent immunity from a long ago exposure. Would need more specifics.

What Causes Sores On Cats Ears

Ear Mites. The most common reason why cats scratch their ears is ear mite infection. Ear mites are parasites that attach themselves to the pets body and feed on oils and tissue present in the ear canal. The pet excessively scratches his ears and causes open sores. These sores lead to ear infections that are often very severe in nature.

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How Does Cat Scratch Fever Affect Humans

Fortunately, cat scratch fever is rarely fatal and symptoms are usually mild. Common symptoms of catch scratch fever include tiredness, headache, high temperature and swelling of the lymph nodes near the scratch or bite. It usually takes between one and two weeks for these to show, although in some cases it has been known to take up to eight weeks. Symptoms usually resolve on their own following rest, although people with underlying illnesses may need medical attention.

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Can I Get Csd From My Cat

Yes, it is possible to get CSD from your cat. Most people get CSD from cat bites or scratches. Kittens are more likely to be infected and therefore able to pass the bacteria to humans than adult cats. Cats are the natural reservoir for the bacteria that causes CSD, and generally do not show any signs of illness. Therefore it is impossible to know which cats can spread CSD to you.

Fleas are responsible for transmitting B. henselae between cats and it is believed that transmission to humans occurs through contamination of bites or scratches with flea excrement. There is no human-to-human transmission of CSD.

What Are The Complications Of Cat Scratch Fever

How Do You Get Cat Scratch Fever? What You Need To Know

Most healthy people dont have complications from cat scratch fever. However, people whose immune systems are weak can have complications such as:

  • Bacillary angiomatosis. A skin disorder characterized by red, elevated lesions surrounded by a scaly ring. This condition may become a more widespread disorder that involves internal organs.
  • Parinaud’s oculoglandular syndrome. A condition that involves a red, irritated and painful eye similar to conjunctivitis , fever, and swollen lymph nodes in front of the ear on the same side

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Stop The Bacteria From A Cat Scratch

According to veterinarian Jeff Glass, of Stonecreek Animal Hospital in Irvine, California, because cat scratch fever is associated with bacteria and spread by contact with an infected cat via a bite, scratch or even exposure to fleas, its important to apply flea products approved by a veterinarian to feline members of the household.

Keeping cats indoors decreases their contact with fleas and prevents them from fighting with stray or potentially infected cats. Also, keep their nails trimmed, he adds. If you do get scratched or bitten, Dr. Nelson stresses the importance of washing the area right away with soap and running water. Seek medical attention if a fever, redness around the wound, a headache, poor appetite, fatigue or swollen, painful lymph nodes develop.

And never allow cats to lick your open wounds, she advises. And the last word comes from Pam. The best thing we can do is be respectful most cats require a personal space and need to feel you arent a threat. This is important to teach to children. Never pick up or pet an unfamiliar cat. The politest thing to do is to extend your index finger so the cat can sniff it. Dont stick your finger in his face, just extend it so he can make the decision of whether to engage or not.

Editors note: This article appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vets office? !

How Could My Cat Get Cat Scratch Fever

Cat scratch fever is caused by a bacterium called Bartonella henselae.

The Center for Disease Control states:

About 40% of cats carry B. henselae at some time in their lives, although most cats with this infection show NO signs of illness. Kittens younger than 1 year are more likely to have B. henselae infection and to spread the germ to people. Kittens are also more likely to scratch and bite while they play and learn how to attack prey.

Cats can get infected with B. henselae from flea bites and flea dirt getting into their wounds. By scratching and biting at the fleas, cats pick up the infected flea dirt under their nails and between their teeth. Cats can also become infected by fighting with other cats that are infected.

Generally speaking, if your cat goes outside, it will have a higher chance of carrying the disease. That said, just because it’s an indoor cat doesn’t automatically mean it’s safe. It’s possible that the disease may be contracted by humans directly from flea bites, but the CDC says this has not yet been proven.

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I Have A Medical Condition That Affects My Immune System Should I Give My Cat Away

If youre HIV-positive, are being treated for cancer, or have any other condition that might disrupt your immune system, you can keep your cat. Just keep the following points in mind:

  • Keep the cat indoors.
  • Avoid rough play with cats and situations in which scratches are likely. Declawing is not recommended to prevent cat scratch disease.
  • Promptly wash any cat scratches or bites with soap and water.
  • Avoid contact with fleas.

How Cats And People Become Infected

Prevent & Treat Cat Scratch Fever – Ask a Vet with Dr. Jyl

Cats can get infected with B. henselae from flea bites and flea dirt getting into their wounds. By scratching and biting at the fleas, cats pick up the infected flea dirt under their nails and between their teeth. Cats can also become infected by fighting with other cats that are infected. The germ spreads to people when infected cats bite or scratch a person hard enough to break their skin. The germ can also spread when infected cats lick at wounds or scabs that you may have.

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Is There A Vaccine Or Treatment For Cat Scratch Disease

There is currently no CSD vaccine available for cats or people. B. henselae is sensitive to a number of antibiotics. A combination of two different types of antibiotics is most often prescribed to treat infected humans. The disease is typically self-limiting, and the majority of mild cases will resolve without the need for antibiotics.

Diagnosis Of Cat Scratch Fever In Cats

The veterinarian will ask for a complete health history of the cat and whether the cat has had any recent exposure to ticks or flea infestations. There are several tests available to diagnose cat scratch fever in cats. Because the Bartonella bacteria isn’t always present in the bloodstream, the veterinarian may need to run more than one of the tests to get a definitive diagnosis. These possible tests include:

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Can People Get Cat Scratch Fever

The name of feline bartonella may lead you to believe that only cats can get it, but the rest of the family is also vulnerable. Unfortunately, bartonella is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transmitted from cats to humans by scratching, biting or petting. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that immunocompromised people, such as young children or the elderly, avoid playing with young cats, because these humans are more likely to contract the disease. However, all cats can carry feline bartonella, so if someone who lives in your home has a sensitive immune system, they should be cautious around possibly infected cats. Dogs don’t groom themselves like cats do and are at less of a risk, but they can still contract this illness from their furry sibling or pick up diseased ticks independently.

If anyone in your home is scratched or bitten by a cat, make sure they wash the area immediately and keep it clean. The name “cat scratch fever” or “cat scratch disease” can help you remember that the disease can be transferred from any broken skin. If a scratch turns red and swollen, seek medical attention.

This disease can still be transmitted without a bite or scratch. If you or someone in your house has any of these symptoms, they should talk to their physician and consider being tested for feline bartonella or any other strand of bartonella that may be common to your area:

  • Fever

Sexual Differences In Incidence

Cat scratch disease, cat scratch fever causes, symptoms ...

In some case series, CSD occurs more frequently in males than females , while others show equal rates between males and females. One hypothesis to explain a greater incidence among males is the tendency toward rougher play with kittens and cats and consequently an increased risk of bites and scratches.

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How Is Cat Scratch Fever Treated

Cat scratch fever usually isnt serious and generally doesnt require treatment. Antibiotics can treat people with serious cases of cat scratch fever or weakened immune systems.

Azithromycin is used to decrease lymph node volume quickly. Its typically prescribed for five days. Other antibiotics sometimes used to treat cat scratch fever infections include:

  • tetracycline
  • trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole

Treatment times and dosage of these antibiotics vary depending on each clinical case, but they can last from five days to two weeks. Talk to your doctor about possible drug interactions. Drug interactions are also possible if you consume alcohol.

The blister or bump may last between one and three weeks. The swollen lymph nodes usually take two to four months to disappear, but can last from six months to a year or more. They can also result in other complications.

How To Prevent Cat Bites And Cat Scratch Fever

You should never offer up your hand as a plaything for your cat and you should always provide them with a variety of stimulating toys to play with. Never leave cats alone with young children and avoid stroking or petting unfamiliar cats.

If your cat is showing signs of petting-induced aggression learn what the triggers might be. You can also take steps to stop your cat from developing bartonellosis by making sure theyre regularly treated for fleas and ticks.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Cat Scratch Fever

Symptoms dont usually show themselves until several days later, so you wont suddenly feel unwell after a scratch or bite. If youre sensitive to cat scratches you may notice itchiness and slight swelling that lasts a few hours or more. However, cat scratch fever is different.

Typically, youd see blisters or small bumps around the area your cat scratched you. These can last up to 3 weeks before they heal. This is often on your hand or arm as its commonly were a cat will grab you. Often an over stimulated cat with pent up energy is inclined to bite or scratch in playfulness. Your cat doesnt intend to hurt you, and doesnt realise how sensitive human skin is.

Swollen lymph nodes can appear up to 7 weeks after youve been scratched and take as long as 4 months before they go down. You may also suffer from headaches, sore joints, and have a temperature as well.

Causes Of Cat Scratch Fever In Cats

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Both fleas and ticks are known to spread the Bartonella henselae bacteria. Cats contract the disease through the feces of the fleas. When scratching the fleas or when grooming, the bacteria from the feces catches in the cat’s nails. The cat then passes on the bacteria when playing with humans or when protecting itself by scratching or biting a human.

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What Are The Clinical Features Of Catscratch Disease

A small red raised spot develops at the site of contact with an infected cat’s saliva. This changes into a fluid-filled blister that later forms a crusty sore. This usually heals without scarring in several days or months. It is often mistaken for an insect bite. Most are found on the hands, arms, face or neck as people often hold kittens close to their chest and face.

The nearest lymph glands then become swollen and tender, most often those on the head, neck and armpit. This is known as regional lymphadenopathy. The lymph glands may swell to 10-12 cm in the first two weeks of the disease. On questioning, patients often recall being licked, bitten or scratched by a cat in the previous one to eight weeks.

About 50% of patients will experience additional signs and symptoms including:

  • fever
  • conjunctivitis

Less common problems occur in about 10% of patients. These include:

  • Parinaud’s oculoglandular syndrome , characterised by an inflamed lump in the eye and swollen lymph glands in front of the nearby ear
  • bacillary angiomatosis
  • bacillary hepatitis and splenitis
  • erythema nodosum
  • encephalopathy
  • bacterial endocarditis

Encephalopathy is an uncommon complication of catscratch disease that occurs one to six weeks after the lymph glands swell up. The abrupt symptoms of fever, seizures and coma can be frightening. With hospitalisation and high doses of antibiotics, most patients recover completely.

What Is Cat Scratch Fever

Cat scratch fever is an illness or disease caught from being scratched by a cat carrying a bacteria known as bartonella henselae. As I just mentioned, around 40% of cats will be infected at some point, so its certainly a low risk. Only a tiny number of people ever need to visit a hospital, and its mostly those with a poor immune system who are most at risk. Young children are the most likely to get infected as theyre more likely to play with and pet kitties.

If you have children, you should teach them not to play rough with your cat as they can easily get scratched or bitten. Most kids love cuddling and playing with pets, and a strong bond of unconditional love can soon develop.

In order to help keep your cat free from carrying the disease, make sure you keep all vaccinations up to date. You should also worm and treat against ticks and fleas on a regular basis. Frequent grooming, especially if your cat has long hair, will help uncover any unwelcome visitors.

The bacteria responsible for cat scratch fever is often carried in these tiny mites. Doing your best to stop an infestation drastically reduces any risk of catching the disease in the first place. As infection can also be spread through contact with your cats saliva, even a small bite could result in catching cat scratch fever.

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How To Reduce Fever In Cats

This article was co-authored by Brian Bourquin, DVM. Brian Bourquin, better known as Dr. B to his clients, is a Veterinarian and the Owner of Boston Veterinary Clinic, a pet health care and veterinary clinic with three locations, South End/Bay Village, the Seaport, and Brookline, Massachusetts. Boston Veterinary Clinic specializes in primary veterinary care, including wellness and preventative care, sick and emergency care, soft-tissue surgery, dentistry. The clinic also provides specialty services in behavior, nutrition, and alternative pain management therapies using acupuncture, and therapeutic laser treatments. Boston Veterinary Clinic is an AAHA accredited hospital and Bostons first Fear Free Certified Clinic. Brian has over 19 years of veterinary experience and earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.There are 26 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 18 testimonials and 86% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 528,263 times.

Scab At The Scratch Site

How Can You Get Cat Scratch Disease

A scab or pustule at the site of the cat scratch is likely to be your first sign that it’s not healing as usual. Within about 3 to 14 days of the scratch, those infected with CDS might notice that it’s swollen, red, and otherwise getting worse instead of just fading to normal skin like you’d expect a superficial wound to do.

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How Is Cat Scratch Fever Diagnosed

If your doctor believes you may have cat scratch fever, they will perform a physical examination. Cat scratch fever is difficult to diagnose from the symptoms alone. A doctor can make an accurate diagnosis by performing a polymerase chain reaction blood test to see if the B. henselae bacteria are present in your body.

There are several possible, but rare, complications of cat scratch fever.

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