Signs of Cat Scratch Disease include:
- Non-painful blister or small bump that appears within days of being bitten or scratched by the cat
- Swollen lymph nodes appear within 1-2 weeks after injury.
- Mild fever, headaches, and loss of appetite are also reported
The incubation time is generally 3-10 days for initial signs to occur and generally it takes anywhere from 1-4 weeks until lymphadenopathy develops. In many cases, the disease is self-limiting and will resolve without any treatment at all. Antibiotics have been used in some cases. People who are immune-compromised run a higher risk of more serious complications of Cat Scratch Disease which include:
- Eye infections
- Internal organs may become infected including the liver, spleen, and bone marrow
- Lingering high fever
Routine hand washing and discouraging rough play with the family’s cats or kittens is the best method for preventing Cat Scratch Disease. There is no reason to get rid of your pet in the event that someone develops Cat Scratch Disease in your home. Talk to your veterinarian about any concerns that you may have.