Cat Scratch Disease - Experience

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Serious but rare complications

People

Although rare, CSD can cause people to have serious complications. CSD can affect the brain, eyes, heart, or other internal organs. These rare complications, which may require intensive treatment, are more likely to occur in children younger than 5 years and people with weakened immune systems.

Cats

Most cats with B. henselae infection show NO signs of illness, but on rare occasions this disease can cause inflammation of the heart -- making cats very sick with labored breathing. B. henselae infection may also develop in the mouth, urinary system, or eyes. Your veterinarian may find that some of your cat's other organs may be inflamed.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: marise, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 15

I had cat scratch disease when I was in my 20s. A kitten scratched my foot and it swelled 3 times its normal size to the point of breaking the skin. I never had another problem till last night, at the age of 61, when my older cat poked me with his nail on my arm. The arm is discolored, swollen, and very painful to the touch. Calling doctor this morning.

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Comment from: karina, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 15

I was gouged on my thumb by my mother's cat trying to put her in the kitty carrier for a vet visit. I was bleeding profusely, so I ran water over the wound, peroxide, and dressed it with Neosporin and gauze. Two days later, my hand swelled like a balloon, and I was in the emergency room. Intravenous antibiotics were given and I was sent home with 10 days of two antibiotics. Two weeks later, my thumb aches, and I have a lump on the joint.

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