Learn More About Cat Scratch Fever At The Veterinarian Hospital In Bowie

by | Oct 28, 2015 | Veterinary

Most cat lovers have probably heard of cat scratch fever, but few people have ever known anyone who actually contracted this disease. In fact, some people wonder if cat scratch fever actually exists. It’s a fairly uncommon illness. Less than 22,000 people catch cat scratch fever each year, or fewer three people out of 100,000.

Many Cats Carry Cat Scratch Fever

About 40% of cats will carry the Bartonella hensel ae bacteria that causes cat scratch fever at some point in their lives. It is seen most often in young cats or kittens. Cats do not suffer from the illness themselves but can pass it to humans through a bite or scratch. Children or people who have a weak immune system are most likely to develop symptoms.

Flea Control is Important

Fleas and ticks are really the culprits responsible for cat scratch fever. The bacteria is passed to the cats when they groom themselves, ingesting the flea’s excrement. Since the cat doesn’t get sick, there is no reason for their owner to think that the cat is infected with the bacteria. Visit the Veterinarian Hospital in Bowie to learn the most effective methods of flea control.

How Serious is Cat Scratch Fever?

In most cases, the illness is mild, similar to a bad cold. However, in rare cases, someone with a compromised immune system can become seriously ill. They could develop Parinaud’s Oculoglandular Syndrome, an inflammation of the optic nerve that can cause blindness. Another possibility is Bacillary Angiomatosis, a problem that can affect the sufferer in many different ways, including skin lesions and problems with various organs, including the liver and spleen. However, keep in mind that developing even the mild, most common form of cat scratch fever is uncommon.

What are the Symptoms of Cat Scratch Fever?

The first symptom will be a small swelling where the person was bitten or scratched. Within 3 to 14 days of the bite or scratch from an infected cat, these symptoms will appear:

1. Fever and headache;
2. Swollen lymph nodes;
3. Fatigue and little or no appetite:

Healthy people usually show no symptoms after a scratch. Even if someone does develop mild symptoms, treatment is not usually necessary.

The vets at the Veterinarian Hospital in Bowie treat both “normal” and exotic pets. They offer a complete range of services, including health, grooming and boarding. To learn more or contact a vet, visit GambrillsVeterinaryCenter.com.

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