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Inflammation from a cat scratch occurs when a person bites or scratches a cat infected with Bartonella Hensely’s bacteria. Infection usually does not cause serious complications. Nevertheless, it is possible that the pronounced nature of inflammation can occur in people with a weakened immune system. Knowing the causes and symptoms allows a person to quickly get adequate treatment.
Cats can transmit several types of infections to humans. Some of these diseases can be very serious. Conducting routine care of a cat often reduces the risk of many of these diseases.
People often get inflammation from cat scratch in the fall or winter, when they play at home with their cats. Children get scratches more often than adults, since they play with the cats more roughly, which increases the risk of getting scratches.
Symptoms of inflammation from cat scratch
Usually, during the first few days after the person received a scratch, no manifestations are noticeable. At this time, the bacteria multiply in the body.
After 3-10 days, you can see a small bulge or blister on the affected area. Doctors call this “graft damage.” After a few weeks, as a rule, the lymph nodes near the lesion increase and swell. Lymph nodes are responsible for filtering bacteria and other particles, as well as creating cells of the immune system.
If a person has been bitten or scratched on the arm, lymph nodes near or near the elbow may be particularly sensitive. Sometimes, the lymph nodes can be warm to the touch, filled with pus or red.
Lymph nodes can remain swollen for 2 to 4 months after the primary infection.
Most people have only an enlarged lymph node, as a symptom.
Other symptoms associated with inflammation from cat scratch:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Joint pain
- Rashes on the skinInflammation from a cat scratch usually does not cause serious symptoms and does not require emergency medical attention. But there are always exceptions.
A person should consult their doctor if they experience the following symptoms:
- Scratch does not heal;
- The red area around the bite or scratches expands;
- High temperature, which lasts more than 2 days after a bite or scratch;
- High level of pain.
Treatment of inflammation from cat scratch
In most cases, inflammation is mild and does not require special treatment. Sometimes, with moderate severity, antibiotics can be prescribed. At home, we recommend bed rest and pain medication if the lymph nodes are painful or especially sensitive.
Prevention of inflammation of cat scratch
It is recommended to practice the following preventive methods:
- Regular prophylaxis of fleas in an animal;
- Avoid rough, aggressive games with a cat or kitten;
- Do not allow the cat to lick wounds or open skin areas;
- Never stroke stray or wild cats;
- Compulsory washing of hands and affected skin after playing with the cat;
- Often vacuuming at home to avoid fleas;
- Prevent cat contact with stray animals;
- Regularly prunate claws;
- Regular check-ups with a veterinarian.
Other possible diseases that can be obtained through cat scratch:
- Toxoplasmosis. Pregnant women should be careful.
- Campylobacteriosis: an intestinal infection caused by bacteria.
- Cryptosporidiosis: A parasite that causes diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
- Tinea corporis. Especially likely in kittens.
- Toxocariasis. It can be associated with serious complications, such as blindness.