Cat Scratch Fever aka Cat Scratch Disease

Recently, our inside cat, Stewart, made a break for his freedom while I was napping and my fiancé decided to go out and get him. Frightened and mad, Stewart attacked the right arm of my fiancé and as an end result, my fiancé ended up with something that is commonly known as "Cat Scratch Fever."

He developed severe swelling in his arm; he could barely make a fist and his arm bled profusely. The next day, he started developing a high fever and weakness.

I did research and this is what is known about "Cat Scratch Fever" or "Cat Scratch Disease."

This is a controversial disease whose vector is not yet positively known. A bite or a scratch from a cat or a kitten that carries the bacteria normally contracts it. It is normally characterized by a brownish pustule or pimple at the bite/scratch site and by swollen lymph nodes. Most patients, about 80 to 90% are under the age of 17 and less than 50% of patients show malaise or mild fever. Most patients recover fully on their own as this is a self-limiting disease.

The exact vector of this disease is not known. Currently, science and medicine believe that the disease is caused by Bartonella henslae, possibly by Rochalimaea henslae. In the 1980's the disease was thought to be caused by the gram-negitave bacilli Afipia Felis, but this microorganism has been discredited.

Now doctors are unsure as to if these complications are a result of an infection with different strains of the same bacterial species, a result of the function of the dose of the bacteria you have contracted or determined by the route in which you were infected.

CSD can be contracted not only by the bite or the scratch of a cat, but by dogs, crab claws, barbed wire and crab claws.

But now one week after contracting the disease, my fiancé can make a fist, bend his wrist back again, and turn his arm to a 90-degree radius. Does he keep his distance from Stewart now? You bet he does, but the upside of this is that most cats outgrow this bacterium.

As for Stewart, he is keeping his distance from my fiancé as well. They have never really liked each other. My fiancé isn't a cat person and my cat has tried to gain his love but he realizes that he's not going to get it. So now Stewart is a "Momma's Boy."

We take naps together. Today, ironically, he got out again. My fiancé asked me what to do, I told him to leave him outside until he was ready to come back in. The last thing this family needs is another trip to the emergency room this week!

Published on October 14, 2006 in