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Can Cat Scratch Fever Kill You

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Protect Your Children From Cats Scratches

Could Your Cat Kill You? (What Is Cat-scratch Disease?)

Children also are way more at risk of cat scratch diseases as they are more likely to play with cats.

Those who already have a repressed immune system from the illness like cancer, Hiv, or Flu are more at risk of contracting the cat-scratch disease. So, if you currently sick, be careful! keep your cat indoors this will help to prevent infections through other cats, avoid rough play, and take care of any scratch you might have.

Mouth Infections Associated With Bartonella

Veterinarians occasionally see cats with bad breath and severe mouth infections. This condition is sometimes called plasma cell stomatitis or plasmacytic stomatitis. There are some hints that bartonella might be one of the underlying causes of this disease. When these cats with oral lesions test positive for bartonella, they usually test positive for the cat AIDS virus as well. These cats often show improvement when they are given azithromycin antibiotic. However, azithromycin kills many oral bacteria, so it is not really proof that bartonella was the underlying cause of the cats mouth problem.

What Were The Basic Results

On average, there were 4.5 outpatient cases of CSD for every 100,000 people every year, and 0.19 cases per 100,000 people each year where patients needed to be admitted to hospital.;

Children aged five to nine years were more likely to get the disease, which was also more common among women than men. Older women aged 60 to 64 were most likely to get the disease.

The number of cases fell over the years by about 1;per 100,000 from the start to the end of the study period.

However, the numbers being admitted to hospital as outpatients stayed the same.

The disease was more common in the south of the US, and the researchers found peaks during the autumn and in January.

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Bartonella Infection Steals A Life Long Before It Kills

My daughter has struggled with a Bartonella infection for nine years, so I feel compelled to challenge the ignorance is bliss message Elizabeth Licorish delivered in “Please don’t freak out about Cat Scratch Disease.” Drama is never an apt response, but knowing the potential consequences of a Bartonella infection and taking precautions is advisable.

First, heres a better analysis of the CDC report on Cat Scratch Fever from Galaxy Diagnostics Inc. There are at least 15 known species of Bartonella which have been implicated in connection with serious health issues in humans. Diagnosing which species of Bartonella is responsible for an infection is difficult; accurate diagnostic tests are still being developed.

Ms. Licorish called her Bartonella infection not a big deal. But others have suffered with persistent Bartonella infections following a CSD infection, or independently of a CSD infection. Theres incomplete data on this non-reportable disease.

Sue Ferrara

North Carolina State Universitys Ed Breitschwerdt, DVM, a leading expert on Bartonella, calls the bacteria a stealth pathogen. Bartonella can hide undetected in the body for years after the initial transmission and before someone becomes ill. So when Ms. Licorish writes about being scratched by her newly adopted kitten and declares months after Cat Scratch Diseases 14-day incubation period, Im totally fine, she might not be fine in the future.

Dont let ignorance destroy your health.

; ;

Should I Contact My Healthcare Provider If I Am Bitten Or Scratched By A Cat

Can Cat Scratches Kill You?

Contact your family healthcare provider if you notice any of the following problems:

  • A cat scratch or bite that does not heal in the usual length of time.
  • An area of redness around a cat scratch or bite that continues to get bigger for more than 2 days after the injury.
  • Fever that lasts for several days after a cat scratch or bite.
  • Painful and swollen lymph nodes for more than 2 or 3 weeks.
  • Bone or joint pain, abdominal pain or an unusual degree of tiredness for more than 2 or 3 weeks.

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How Do Cats Become Infected With Bartonella

Cats can get infected with B. henselae through contact with fleas, most commonly through direct skin contact with infected flea feces fleas defecate the bacteria right onto your cats skin as they bite and feed. The Bartonella bacteria enters the cats system through small cuts or breaks in its skin but alsosettles under or around a cats nails after they scratch at the itchy flea bites on their skin.

Fleas Can Be Passed On

Flea infestations do not count as diseases, but we decided to include them here because of how common they are. Any stray cat with fleas is very likely to pass those fleas on to every other animal it comes in contact with. The cat can even pass them on to you, if you are lucky.

A flea is a flightless insect that survives mainly due to its parasitic nature. Fleas are found all over the world in both natural and domestic settings. In fact, there are some 2,500 different species of fleas discovered by science thus far. They attach themselves to mammals and birds alike, feeding on the blood of their hosts.

As fleas are flightless, they have to jump from one host to the next. But make no mistake: they are excellent jumpers in every sense. Even casual contact between animals can transmit fleas from an infested cat to an otherwise healthy dog. Also note that fleas are prolific breeders. It only takes a few fleas in your home to end up with a full-blown infestation in a matter of weeks.

All the other diseases aside, fleas are the first thing to worry about when you encounter a stray cat. The last thing you want is to be a carrier back to your own home. If you do notice that a stray has fleas, make sure none have made the jump to your clothing or skin before going back into the house.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Cat Scratch Disease

Cat scratch disease symptoms usually appear between seven and 14 days after infection, though it can take several weeks.

Symptoms in cats include:

  • Swelling or infection around the scratch or bite
  • Lumps around the bite or scratch

While cat scratch disease itself isnt hugely dangerous to people, it can lead to complications particularly in those with a compromised immune system.

Can A Stray Cat Make My Dog Sick 8 Things To Know

Cat Scratch fever – Everything You Need To Know – Dr. Nabil Ebraheim

There are plenty of reasons to be wary of a stray cat that doesnt appear to be in the best of health. Among them is the risk of the animal passing on whatever ails it to other pets in your house.

Can a stray cat make a family dog sick? In a word, yes. Though the number of diseases that can be freely passed from cats to dogs is relatively small, those that can be passed are passed pretty easily. All are very treatable if they are caught in time.

As with most things pertaining to stray cats, paying attention to the little things can help mitigate the risk of your dog getting sick after interacting with a stray.

Here are 8 things to know about stray cats possibly passing diseases on to the family dog:

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What Is Cat Scratch Fever Caused By

4.4/5Catscratch diseasecausedcat’scatscatsscratchesin-depth answer

Known as ‘catscratch disease‘, the illness can cause an intense fever, pustules and – if complications develop – can even result in death. Caused by bacteria transmitted from cat to cat by fleas, humans risk contracting the disease by kissing or nuzzling cats, or by being scratched or bitten.

Furthermore, how long does cat scratch fever last? Once a cat has the cat scratch fever infection, it can carry the bacteria for several months. During this time, it can pass on the infection. Cats with the bacteria often have no symptoms, but they may have a fever that lasts for 4872 hours.

Keeping this in consideration, what are the symptoms of cat scratch fever in humans?

Common symptoms of cat scratch fever include:

  • a bump or blister at the bite or scratch site.
  • swollen lymph nodes near the bite or scratch site.
  • fatigue.
  • headaches.
  • a low-grade fever, which is above 98.6°F but below 100.4°F
  • body aches.

How does a cat get cat scratch fever?

In cats, the disease is generally transmitted through contact with flea feces. The bacterium is excreted through the flea and into its feces, which it leaves on the cat’s skin. The cat, through grooming itself, ingests the bacteria, thereby becoming infected with the Bartonella strain.

Cat Scratch Disease Treatment

Treatment of cat scratch disease in humans involves thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the affected area, including removing the pus to encourage healing, if necessary. Antibiotics may be prescribed to reduce the risk of infection.

Bartonellosis usually resolves itself quickly in cats ;in many cases you may not even realise your cat has had the condition. In more severe cases, your vet will thoroughly clean the site of any wound, treat your cat for fleas if necessary, and may also prescribe antibiotics.

While cat scratch disease itself isnt hugely dangerous to people, it can lead to complications particularly in those with a compromised immune system.

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What Is Cat Scratch Disease

Cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection caused by Bartonella henselae bacteria. ;Most infections usually occur after scratches from domestic or feral cats, especially kittens. CSD occurs wherever cats and fleas are found. The most common symptoms include fever; enlarged, tender lymph nodes that develop 13 weeks after exposure; and a scab or pustule at the scratch site. In the United States, most cases occur in the fall and winter and illness is most common in children less than 15 years old.

What Kind Of Research Was This

Can Your Indoor Kitten Give You Cat Scratch Fever?

This epidemiological study used records from a US insurance companies claims database to look at how many people had been diagnosed with CSD between 2005 and 2013.

Database studies can show overall trends, but can’t explain what’s behind the trends. They are only as good as the accuracy of the records held in the database.

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Length Of Time Matters

The next thing you need to know is that the length of time a cat has been a stray matters in terms of potential diseases. It is a simple exercise in math. Bearing in mind that strays are former household pets that either wandered away from home or were abandoned by their owners, it is reasonable to assume that strays are in relatively good health at the point they first find themselves alone.

Provided a stray eats properly and stays away from other infected animals, its heath should remain fairly stable for the rest of its life. But the chances of that happening are not good. The longer a cat remains living as a stray, the more likely it will contract some sort of disease. It is one of the realities of nature.

How Can My Bartonella+ Cat Be Treated

Although ninety percent of these cases get better without treatment with antibiotics, a cat may take several months to eliminate the disease organisms from its body. Currently, the most reliable medicine we know of is azithromycin antibiotic. It eliminates bartonella in about eighty percent of the cats after about 3 weeks of administration.

Doxycycline, erythromycin,ciprofloxacin, trimethoprim/sulfa, clarithromycin and rifampin antibiotics are also effective in some cases.

Some treated cats are still subject to relapse and some might becoming carrier cats that are free of symptoms but still harbor the organism.

Read Also: Can You Become Allergic To Cats

What Is Cat Scratch Fever

When a dog is bitten by fleas, sand flies, or lice, bacteria enters the blood and results in cat scratch fever. Bartonella will invade and damage cells, causing your companion to become ill. If your dog appears to be suffering from malaise and is lethargic or depressed, you may want to take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Weight loss and appetite reduction may be apparent as well, though some dogs may not reveal the clinical signs associated with this condition. Because of this, any small sign of your pet being unwell means a veterinarian visit is necessary. An illness, even though it may seem mild, can escalate and lead to serious complications for your pet.

Dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors, who live in rural areas, or who like to roam in fields or along the waters edge can be exposed to sand flies, ticks, fleas and lice on a regular basis.

Dogs are infected by the Bartonella spp bacteria through fleas, ticks, lice and sand flies. This zoonotic disease can be transmitted from dog to pet owner.

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

Trench Fever Bartonella Quintana


Trench fever is transmitted by the human body louse. Because of its association with body louse infestations, trench fever is most commonly associated with homelessness or areas of high population density and poor sanitation. Trench fever received its name during World War I, when many soldiers fighting in the European trenches;were infested with infected body lice and became sick with the disease.

Trench fever occurs worldwide. Cases have been reported from Europe, North America, Africa, and China.

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Safely Caring For Your Pet

Here are some tips to help your family safely care for pets:

  • Always wash your hands, especially after touching your pet, handling your pet’s food, or cleaning your pet’s cage, tank, or litter box. Wear gloves when cleaning up after an animal’s waste, and if you have a bird, wear a dust mask over your nose and mouth when cleaning the cage to prevent inhaling urine or fecal particles. Don’t have kids clean cages or litter boxes unless there is supervision or until they know how to do this safely and responsibly .
  • Avoid kissing or touching your pet with your mouth because infections can spread through saliva. Also, don’t share food with your pet.
  • Keep your pet’s living area clean and free of waste. If your pet eliminates waste outdoors, pick up waste regularly and don’t allow kids to play in that area.
  • Don’t allow pets in areas where food is prepared or handled, and don’t bathe your pet or clean aquariums in the kitchen sink or bathtub. Wash your pet outdoors or talk to your veterinarian about professional pet grooming.
  • Avoid strange animals or those that appear sick. Never adopt a wild animal as a pet.

And, finally, spay or neuter your pet. Spaying and neutering may reduce your pet’s contact with other animals that may be infected, especially if your pet goes outdoors.

Cat Scratch Disease Bartonella Henselae

People can get CSD from the scratches of domestic or feral cats, particularly kittens. The disease occurs most frequently in children under 15. Cats can be infested with infected fleas that;carry Bartonella bacteria. These bacteria;can be transmitted from a cat to a person during a scratch. Some evidence suggests that CSD may be spread directly to people by the bite of infected cat fleas, although this has not been proven.

CSD occurs worldwide, wherever cats live. Stray cats may be more likely than pets to carry Bartonella. In the United States, most cases of CSD occur in the fall and winter.

Ticks may carry some species of Bartonella bacteria, but there is currently no causal evidence that ticks can transmit Bartonella infection to people through their bites.

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Is Cat Scratch Disease Contagious

Cat scratch disease is not contagious from person to person. The bacteria spread by the scratch or bite of an infected animal, most often a kitten. They also can;spread if the animal’s saliva comes in contact with a person’s eye or through broken skin. Sometimes more than one case happens in the same family, usually through contact with the same infected animal.

Having one episode of cat scratch disease usually makes people immune for the rest of their lives.

Causes Of Cat Scratch Fever In Dogs

7 Signs You Might Have Cat

Bartonellosis or cat scratch fever is a condition resulting from Bartonella, the bacteria associated with the disease. Bartonella has various subspecies and with each of them there are different symptoms. The endothelial and red blood cells are affected in most dogs.;

Some of the causes include:

  • Tick and flea infestation in the past
  • Exposure to lice, flea, sand flies and lice
  • Infection of Bacterium Bartonella
  • Rural or stray living environment

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Who Is At Risk For Cat Scratch Fever

Anyone who owns or interacts with a cat is at risk of contracting cat scratch fever.

The CDC reports that cat scratch fever is most prevalent in the southern part of the United States and most common among children between the ages of 5 and 9 years old. People who were hospitalized were more likely than outpatients to be male, though the majority of people who are diagnosed are female.

You have an increased risk of becoming seriously ill from cat scratch fever if you have a weakened immune system. People who might fall into this category include those who are pregnant or who are living with:

  • rash
  • prolonged fever

A bump or blister may develop on the skin at the site of infection 3 to 10 days after exposure. Other symptoms, such as swollen lymph nodes, may not occur for several days or weeks. Swollen lymph nodes typically occur between one and three weeks.

Conditions that may be mistaken for cat scratch fever include:

  • lymphadenitis, an inflammatory disease that results in swollen lymph nodes
  • brucellosis, an infection transmitted from livestock to humans that presents with flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes
  • lymphogranuloma venereum, a sexually transmitted infection that results in a skin lesion at the site of infection; the lesion may become a raised bump or blister and is followed by swollen lymph nodes
  • Lyme disease, a tick-borne infection that has an initial symptom of a bulls-eye rash before flu-like symptoms develop

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