Everything you need to know about the Cat Scratch Disease (CSD)

is available here.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • What is cat scratch disease?
  • Other names of CSD
  • What are the causes of CSD?
  • What is Bartonella henselae (B. henselae)?
  • How do cats transmit CSD?
  • How do humans transmit CSD?
  • Is CSD serious disease?
  • How many days will it take for the CSD to go away completely?
  • Which shot should you get after a cat scratch?
  • How does the infected area of the CSD look like?
  • Is CSD infectious?
  • What is the diagnosis procedure of CSD ?
  • What is the treatment of CSD?
  • How to prevent the infection in cats?
  • Do cats show any symptoms?
  • How can humans prevent the infection?
  • What is the incubation period of B. henselae?
  • How long will it take for symptoms of CSD to show?
  • How common is the infection of CSD?
  • Who is more prone to CSD?
  • What are the problems caused by CSD in rare situations?
  • Which cardiac or nervous sequelae have the highest mortality rate?
  • What is the most common ocular manifestation of the CSD?
  • Which is one of the atypical presentations?
  • What should be done if a cat scratches you and draws blood?
cat scratch disease

What is cat scratch disease (CSD)?

Cat scratch disease (CSD) is a disease that is infectious and a bite of a cat or scratch causes that.

What are the other names for cat scratch disease (CSD)?

Teeny’s disease, inoculation lymph reticulosis, subacute regional lymphadenitis, felinosis are the other names of CSD.

What are the causes of CSD?

Bacterium Bartonella henselae (B. henselae) causes CSD which is present in the cat’s saliva.

What is Bartonella henselae (B. henselae)?

It is a Gram-negative, intracellular and fastidious bacterium.

How do cats transmit CSD?

Fleas are the vectors and one of the major reasons for transmitting CSD in cats with B.henselae.
B. henselae can also affect cats through intradermal inoculation using flea feces.

How do humans transmit CSD?

Cat’s saliva or a contaminated cat scratch wound transmits CSD in humans.
Ticks can also occasionally act as vectors and occasionally transmit the bacteria to humans.

Is CSD serious?

No, CSD is not serious. In most cases, it gets cured without any specific treatment. In case you have a weak immune system, you might get a fever, headache, exhaustion so it’s a good idea to see a doctor.

How many days will it take for the CSD to go away completely?

It usually goes away on its own in 2-4 months even without treatment

Which shot should you get after a cat scratch?

A child may need antibiotics or a tetanus booster or a series of rabies shots (rarely).

How does the infected area of a cat scratch disease (CSD) look like?

The infected area contains pus, raised lesions, and swollen with red and round lesions . As time passes, the lymph nodes of the person who is bit or scratched by a cat can become tender, painful, and swollen.

Is CSD infectious?

Yes, it is infectious.

What is the diagnosis procedure of CSD?

Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms and the blood test is used as a confirmation.

What is the treatment of CSD?

Usually, treatment is not required as it’s self curable but in extreme cases, an antibiotic called azithromycin is preferred with the doctor’s advice.

How to prevent the infection in cats?

Cats can be prevented from getting infected by making them stay at home because they’re more likely to be exposed to fleas when they’re out.

Do cats show any symptoms?

No, cats are asymptomatic. Hence you won’t know the cause of your cats infection.

How can humans prevent the infection?

Washing your hands thoroughly after handling a cat or after handling cat feces is important to prevent potential cat scratch disease (CSD) transmission from infected cats to humans.

What is the incubation period of B. henselae?

B. henselae can take 2-6 weeks to incubate. Hence, it’s difficult to culture it.

How long will it take for symptoms of cat scratch disease (CSD) to show?

Symptoms of cat scratch disease (CSD) begins at 7-14 days or even two months following the infection.

How common is the infection of cat scratch disease (CSD)?

CSD affects about 1 in 10,000 people. Hence it is not a very major disease.

Who is more prone to cat scratch disease (CSD)?

Cat scratch disease (CSD) is more common in children.

What are the problems caused by cat scratch disease (CSD) in rare situations?

In extremely rare situations, cat scratch disease (CSD) can lead to the development of serious cardiac or nervous sequelae.
Meningoencephalitis, seizures, endocarditis, or encephalopathy are some of them.

Which cardiac or nervous sequelae have the highest mortality rate?

Endocarditis is associated with Bartonella infection particularly has the highest mortality rate.

Which is the most common ocular manifestation of a cat scratch disease (CSD)?

Parinaud’s syndrome is the most common ocular manifestation of CSD.

Which is one of the atypical presentations?

Optic neuritis is one of the atypical presentations.

What should be done if a cat scratches you and draws blood?

First aid is a great option for initial treatment.
Here is a step-by-step guide to follow:

  • Gently wash the wound/affected area with soap and water.
  • If there’s any bleeding, use a clean towel and press the injured area to stop the bleeding. 
  • Use a sterile bandage on the wound. 
  • Consult a doctor if you see any symptom.

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Check our article on Canine Parvovirus(PVC).

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