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Bartonella a.k.a. Cat Scratch Disease, Cat Scratch Fever

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Older Mommy Still Yummy: Bartonella a.k.a. Cat Scratch Disease, Cat Scratch Fever

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bartonella a.k.a. Cat Scratch Disease, Cat Scratch Fever

Let me begin this post by saying, I LOVE all animals and we own two beautiful kitties......or maybe I should re-phrase that to read,  we have two beautiful kitties that own us!!

(Here they are,  that's 12 year old Emma on the right and 6 year old Kashmir on the left)

My grown son is also a lover of all animals and just recently took in a little stray kitten.  She was very thin, covered in scabs and had all kinds of matted fur.   After a few days of rest, lots of good food and TLC, in order to better assess her skin, he felt she needed a bath. He bought some special shampoo and set about cleaning her up.  Although he was very gentle, she didn't understand what was happening and in her effort to escape the bathtub, this happened -

 "Scout" recovered nicely, however, being a mom and a nurse, my son had to endure my lengthy monologue on how he should clean his arm and the danger of  Cat Scratch Disease.
Coincidently, I was just visiting City Mom and she had this amazing post on Bartonella (aka Cat Scratch Disease).  I asked her permission and she very graciously allowed me to reprint the information.  Be sure to drop over to City Mom and check out her amazing blog as well as her complete post on Cat Scratch Disease.

Cat Scratch Disease  

Cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection (Bartonella) that is usually caused from the scratch, lick, or bite of a cat.  More than 90% of people who contract it had contact with cats or kittens. Source:
The first signs and symptoms of Bartonella are very similar to that of the flu. That is why it can be particularly hard to detect in children for moms and dads. Any parent knows there a many times throughout the year that a child can exhibit cold or flu-like symptoms. And we become quite used to it and don’t get particularly alarmed.
Most people who suffer from Cat Scratch Disease don’t recall being scratched by a cat.  A number of days later a cut or bump may form where the body was in contact with the cat, but these are often mistaken for insect bites.


  • fever
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • poor appetite
  • an unusual, streaked rash
  • swollen glands especially around the head, neck and arms
  • lower abdominal pain
  • sore soles of the feet
  • enlarged lymph nodes
  • sore throat
  • soft, firm, tender, or painful lumps under the skin


If left untreated, Cat Scratch Disease can show itself in the following forms (these are very rare):
  • infections of the liver, spleen, bones, joints, or lungs
  • a  lingering high fever without other symptoms
  • eye infections
  • a small sore on the inner eyelid or lining of the eye
  • redness of the eye
  • inflammation of the brain or seizures


The good news is that many of the symptoms of Cat Scratch Disease will go away on their own. Diagnosis can be done through a blood test and there are antibiotics that can be prescribed for some cases.
Children with a history with cats and exhibit these symptoms will likely be tested for Bartonella so be sure to tell your doctor if you suspect this could be the case.



The material provided on this site is designed for information and educational purposes only. The materials are not intended to be a self diagnostic and/or self treatment tool. I encourage you to use this information as a tool for discussing your condition with your health practitioner.

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At November 7, 2011 at 8:24 PM , Blogger Kathy said...

Poor Jarod. Even though those are bad scratches, I'm glad it didn't turn out to be 'cat scratch disease'.
It's true the symptoms can be mistaken for a flu. Years ago my daughter had similar symptoms, but the enlarged lymph nodes in the neck were the give away and her doctor e knew just what to ask.
A course of antibiotics and she was fine. So to your readers, It's best not to try to self diagnose...see a doctor.

At November 7, 2011 at 9:25 PM , Blogger shelly said...

Those scratches looked horrible. He did take your advice to clean them, right?

At November 8, 2011 at 8:05 AM , Blogger Kelly said...

Wow his scratches look pretty bad! Interesting how timely my post was. Thx for the mention!

At November 8, 2011 at 11:37 AM , Blogger Patricia said...

Oh,my... that does look bad! Fortunately he has his own nurse that is available for "consults"! I have never heard of Bartonella disease before, so that is my "learned thing" of the day! It is also noteworthy, that occasionally a cellulitis(inflammation of the surrounding cells) develops after a scratch or bite from an animal If the area becomes swollen, it is recommended one see a physician soon. Treatment is same as stated in the blog. Now, must hop over and check out City Mom!!!


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