When our pet cat bites, scratches or even licks us, we could get an infection if
that pet happens to be infected itself with the bacteria Bartonella henselae. Severe
complications from the infection don’t usually happen, but it’s possible that it could
happen with people who have weak immune systems.
Those loveable cats of ours can transmit several types of infections to humans
with some being severe. You can get scratch fever that is live in a cat’s saliva, if they
have the B. henselae bacteria. Some symptoms of cat scratch fever are a small bump
or blister on the affected area of:
• Head Scalp
You will usually see the lymph nodes near the lesion swollen or tender. These
nodes are responsible for filtering bacteria and other particles as well as creating
immune system cells and feel like small, spongy, round or oval bumps. The lymph
nodes under the arm or near the elbow may be especially tender if a person is bitten or
scratched on the arm.
Other symptoms associated with cat scratch fever are:
• Abdominal pain
• Loss of appetite
• Fever, typically no higher than 101 degrees
• Joint Pain
• Sore Throat
Contact your health care provider if you experience any of these symptoms:
• A cat bite or scratch that is not healing or is getting worse
• The red area around a bite or scratch is enlarging
• A high fever that lasts more than 2 days after being bitten or scratched
• High levels of pain
Other conditions that cats can spread are campylobacteriosis, which is an
intestinal infection caused by bacteria, cryptosporidiosis, a parasite that causes
diarrhea and abdominal cramping, plague isn’t common but can occur if the cat has
been taken to another country, rabies, ringworm, tapeworm, toxocara infection that can
be associated with serious complications like blindness and toxoplasmosis which is of
special concern to pregnant woman because it can cause complication like
miscarriage, affect fetal growth and eye problems. Cats get the infection from
scratching and biting at fleas that infect them or fighting with cats that are infected.
The bottom line is to be diligent about your cat’s health care.
See the vet and be certain that your loving pet has received all recommended shots and have periodic checkups. Use that flea treatment if your cat enjoys the outdoor. Treat your pet with
love, but care in handling your cat could save you from a nasty infection.
– Dr Fredda Branyon