Cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection that a person can get after being scratched , licked, or bitten by a cat or kitten. In the United States, most cases happen in the fall and winter and usually affect kids, probably because they’re more likely to play with cats and be bitten or scratched .
If a stray cat bites or scratches you , wash the area thoroughly with soap and water right away. See your doctor or nurse immediately. Stray cats may come in contact with bats, raccoons and skunks which sometimes carry rabies. The rabies virus is in the saliva of a sick animal.
Tetanus boosters are required every 10 years, so it may well be you are overdue for one of these. Cat scratches do not normally require tetanus injections, but it is strongly advisable to be protected anyway.
In the U.S., cats are more likely than dogs to have rabies . 10 A bite or scratch (because cats lick their paws) can lead to rabies . If you’re exposed, wash out the wound with soap for at least 5 minutes and seek medical attention the same day for vaccinations, antibiotics, and immunoglobulin as needed.
Wash cat bites and scratches well with soap and running water. Do not allow cats to lick your wounds. Contact your doctor if you develop any symptoms of cat – scratch disease or infection. CSD is caused by a bacterium called Bartonella henselae.
Call your family doctor if you notice any of the following problems: A cat scratch or bite that is not healing. A red area 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.
Whether the bite is from a family pet or an animal in the wild , scratches and bites can carry disease. Cat scratches , even from a kitten , can carry ” cat scratch disease,” a bacterial infection. Other animals can transmit rabies and tetanus. Bites that break the skin are even more likely to become infected.
Symptoms can be varied and can take months to develop. Classic signs of rabies in cats are changes in behavior (including aggression, restlessness and lethargy), increased vocalization, loss of appetite , weakness, disorientation, paralysis , seizures and even sudden death.
Cat scratch fever usually isn’t serious and generally doesn’t require treatment. Antibiotics can treat people with serious cases of cat scratch fever or weakened immune systems.
Generally, cat – scratch disease is not serious. Medical treatment may not be needed. In some cases, treatment with antibiotics such as azithromycin can be helpful. Other antibiotics may be used, including clarithromycin, rifampin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, or ciprofloxacin.
Although tetanus can be seen in dogs and cats , it is uncommon in both species. Dogs and cats are less susceptible to the effects of tetanus toxin than humans and horses.
If your cat is strictly an indoor cat , her chances of developing bartonella or ” cat scratch fever ” (as it is often nicknamed) are low, but you should still be aware of the risks.
Rabies in cats is extremely rare. According to the CDC, domestic animals, including pets, accounted for only 7.6 percent of reported rabies cases in the U.S. in 2015, the last year for which statistics were available. There has not been a single confirmed case of cat -to-human rabies in the U.S. in the past 40 years.
You may need a tetanus shot if you have not had one in the last 5 to 10 years. You may also need to take antibiotic (an-ti-bi-ah-tik) medicine to help keep the wound from getting infected.
While you get infected with rabies when bitten by an infected dog or cat, it can be just as fatal when a rabid dog or cat with saliva-infested nails—say, one that has been licking its paws— scratches a human. Although it is highly unlikely to contract rabies from a scratch , it can still happen.