Cat Scratch Fever!

  1. This was the diagnosis they just gave my grandson! Finally found it listed under the 'rare diseases' category of the site I was searching.

    They said about 9 out of 100,000 will be infected - and the symptoms absolutely fit what he's been suffering - his was increasingly swollen lymph glands in the side of his neck.

    It's contracted from the lick, bite, or scratch of a cat, but can also come from cat fleas.

    I'd been worried - they had been running this test and that on him, and I had no idea what it was going to come back as.

    My DIL has cats - several of them - and I'm hoping that now they will cull the herd!
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   DTCC PreRN
    I have a close friend who got cat scratch fever when her cat bit her. She was asleep and the cat was on her pillow. She didn't know it and put her hands up over her head. Scared the cat, the cat bit and about a day later her hand was twice it's normal size. We all thought she was crazy when she told us what she was diagnosed with. Yep, it's real.
  4. by   cmo421
    Quote from banditrn
    This was the diagnosis they just gave my grandson! Finally found it listed under the 'rare diseases' category of the site I was searching.

    They said about 9 out of 100,000 will be infected - and the symptoms absolutely fit what he's been suffering - his was increasingly swollen lymph glands in the side of his neck.

    It's contracted from the lick, bite, or scratch of a cat, but can also come from cat fleas.

    I'd been worried - they had been running this test and that on him, and I had no idea what it was going to come back as.

    My DIL has cats - several of them - and I'm hoping that now they will cull the herd!

    My middle son had cat scratch fever when he was 9. The cat went nuts when a bunch of kids where playing video games. His arm swelled and was awful for weeks. But he did fine,and the cats went south. It happens!
  5. by   Jelli_Belli
    About five years ago I the right side of my neck starting swelling up. When I went to the doctor they ended up diagnosing me with cat scratch fever. I was on antibiotics for over 2 months but the swelling just kept getting bigger. finally my doc sent to get an MRI and it turned out I had a tumor on my thyroid. I always thought it was weird that he said I had cat scratch fever since I didn't even have a cat at that time, and I had no idea how rare it was. Go figure huh?
  6. by   GoldenLove
    Cat scratch fever is actually more common than you think...I have seen quite a few in peds. It is caused by a bacteria called Bartonella that cats carry in their blood. Fleas pass the bacteria from cat to cat. Infected humans usually have fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, fever but I have seen a few children have very few symptoms and was only discovered to have the disease through bloodwork. Antibiotics usually help for a speedier recovery.
  7. by   RN1989
    You can get "Cat Scratch Fever" without having a cat. It is a germ like any other and if it gets into the body and the immune system is low, you can get sick - just like getting the flu, a cold, e-coli, etc! Don't start blaming all the cats. The majority of people in this world are carriers of MRSA in their nose but it isn't until the right conditions are met that someone actually gets sick from it. When you consider how many hundreds of thousands of times a day someone is scratched by a cat and DOESN'T get Cat Scratch Fever, compared to the number that do - you are freaking out for no reason.
  8. by   CHATSDALE
    from the number of people that i have known [outside of nursing] that have been infected, i can't believe that it is all that rare
    this is usually found in young children but sx are usually worse in adults
    hope that gson is feeling better soon
  9. by   catlvr
    My Mum got it from a tiny nibble on her leg that JUST had a knee replacement. She was on antis in the hospital for a week (she didn't mind - said that she gets good service in the hospital!) and was fine after that. She still has Pepe - he's more a part of her than her new knees *smile*.

    Hope that your little one recovers quickly.

    e
  10. by   GoldenLove
    Umm..I would like to know what other causes there are out there for cat scratch fever?? It is a known fact that it is a flea borne bacteria and mainly infects cats, although it is "possible" to be transmitted through dirt maybe ridden with fleas and occasionally a dog. But the majority of this disease is spread through the scratch, bite or even lick of a cat. Identifying the exact species of the Bartonella bacteria determines the pathophysiology. I have been in peds a long time and have never seen a cat scratch fever diagnosis without a cat involved at some point, the disease can lie dormant for months before any symptoms present themselves. Anyone else know anything different? And it's ok to be "freaked out" because it's your baby and when they are sick...it is normal to freak out ...never take health for granted. It's rare but always has the potential to become serious. NOT SAYING THAT IS GONNA HAPPEN IN THIS CASE...but just sayin'....Good luck on a speedy recovery!
  11. by   Fuzzy
    Oh yeah, I've had Bartonella aka cat scratch fever. I got it while I was a pet groomer. I groomed cats as part of my job. Which means that I got bit and scratched often. I didn't think much about it until I started feeling like crap with a low grade fever, sub mandibular and axillary lymph node swelling. So I went to the doctor, then to another doctor, finally the third doctor figured it out. I told each and every doctor and nurse that I worked around animals, that I got scratched and bitten often, and that I had been vaccinated for rabies (they were more concerned that I had been exposed to rabies for some reason). The animals weren't dying but I wished that I would. I even asked the 2nd doctor if it could be cat scratch fever. She said that I didn't have all the symptoms. She didn't want to put me on antibiotics. Told me I had the flu to go home and rest. Finally the 3rd doctor believed me, put me on some antibiotics for a month. Within 3 days I was wanting to live. By the time the month was over, life was wonderful again. I have also been exposed to ringworm, Pasturella, Cryptococcus, and several other nasties from working with other peoples' animals.

    Fuzzy
  12. by   banditrn
    Thanks for all your replies! It's been practically since the civil war since I've heard of this! (Well, I exaggerate, but some days I feel that old! )

    And I agree - it's OK to freak out! I think it's taught us all to not ignore simple little cat scratches. I told my DIL that she just HAS to teach her kids to was any scratches or bites as soon as they happen!
  13. by   Jilaweez
    My daughter was diagnosed with cat scratch fever after being scratched on the leg by a cat. It was on a Saturday so we went to the urgent care (she was unable to walk and had a rash all over both her legs). On monday we followed up with her PCP and she diagnosed her with Henoch Schonlin Purpura. It has been over a year and we are still seeing a nephrologist for hematuria/proteinuria, they even tested her for Lupus. Anytime she gets a strep infection she gets a recurrence of the purpura and abdominal pain. I had never heard of cat scratch fever before that, except for a song. I guess it is more common than I thought. I hope your grandson is doing well.
  14. by   nursemptynest
    Hi...I am new here but have been following this board since deciding to become an LPN about 6 months ago. Although I am not officially a nurse and my class does not start until January, I would like to make a comment. It is very possible to contract Cat Scratch Fever through other means. My son went to a water park and fell and hit his head which caused him to pick up staph and numerous infections because the water was under- chlorinated. The Dr. told us that is was a result of all the other infections which brought the Cat Scratch Fever out. Anyone ever heard of this? He had a heart catheter for 6 months for Rocephen and we came very close to loosing him.

    By the way, what a wonderful group of nurses who without even knowing it have already helped me out so much...from finding white uniforms that don't show through to the best stethascopes for the long haul. I really like the amount of knowledge that has been collected here for everyone to benefit from...thanks so much!
    Last edit by nursemptynest on Oct 5, '07

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