Monday, April 27, 2009
Ow! This has been a bad week for cat scratches. A few days ago I was sitting in the lounger with Simon and Jack warming my lap. A loud noise startled all of us and the boys instantly leaped off with claws extended. Even though I was wearing jeans, I was left with four long scratches on my thigh, and a scratch and a puncture on my ankle. I, of course, yelled loud and long. Since I am allergic to cats, the injuries stung for a long time, and were red and puffy for several days.
After I applied antibiotic ointment and several bandages, I got to wondering about infection. An internet search immediately came up with Cat Scratch Disease (CSD), also known as Cat Scratch Fever. CSD is a bacterial infection that is caused by cat bites or scratches. Up to 40% of cats may have the bacteria, but most are not affected by it. Signs of CSD are the formation of a small papule (raised bump) at the scratch site within 10 days, then fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. Most cases of CSD resolve on their own, with no specific treatment. That was good to know.
I was more worried about the puncture. That one hurt the worst. I think I need to update my tetanus shot.
Several days after the initial wounds, I was jabbed in the torso when Daisy, who was under the covers with me, was jumped on by Jack. Then Baby got me in the chest later with a small, 1 inch scratch.
I know as a cat owner, I will get scratched. I personally don't know anyone who has ever gotten Cat Scratch Fever. I'm sure I'll be fine.