Symptoms and Prevention of Cat Scratch Fever

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cat-scratch disease (CSD), most commonly known as cat scratch fever, affects nearly 12,000 people in the United States each year. This bacterial infection is spread to humans through a cat bite, scratch, or when an open wound is licked by a cat infected with Bartonella henselae. Our veterinary team at Paws & Claws Pet Medical Center is experienced in caring for the animals and exotic pets of Troutdale and can help diagnose and treat animals infected with CSD.

Causes of Cat-Scratch Disease

Cat-scratch disease is transferred to cats through biting at fleas that carry the Bartonella henselae bacteria and by fighting with infected cats. The CDC estimates approximately 40% of felines carry the disease.

Symptoms of Cat Scratch Fever

If you’ve been infected, you may not require medical attention. You will, however, exhibit signs of infection. A red sore, blister, or bump is the first sign. While it isn’t always painful, it is typically crusty and puss-filled. Within two weeks of this red bump, the following symptoms may appear:

  • Swollen lymph nodes near the infected site
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Headache

CSD Prevention

Avoid a trip to the animal hospital and your physician with these few simple steps:

  • Avoid contact with stray cats.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after contact with your cat; particularly if you’ve been bitten or scratched.
  • Since the bacteria are transferred to felines through infected fleas, flea prevention is critical. Consult with your veterinarian regarding the safest products for your pet.
  • Kittens under a year old are more susceptible. Individuals with weakened immune systems are encouraged to consider adopting a cat twelve months or older in age.

Schedule an Appointment with Our Veterinarian Today

If you suspect you or your pet has come in contact with the Bartonella henselae, contact the veterinary team at Paws & Claws Pet Medical Center right away. From emergency care to wellness and pain management, our Troutdale animal hospital can handle all your dog, cat, avian, and exotic pet needs. Call us at (503) 405-1476 or request an appointment online today.

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