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Tip on Cat Scratches

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Cat-scratch Disease (CSD), is an infection in humans that most often occurs after prolonged contact with a young cat. When diagnosed in cats this disease is called feline bartonellosis. It is caused by a bacteria called Bartonella henselae.

All ages, breeds, and sexes of cat are susceptible; however, kittens under one year of age, kittens or cats infested with fleas, and feral cats or former strays are more likely to have the bacteria in their bloodstream. Fleas are believed to play a major role in cat-to-cat and possibly cat-to-human transmission. Cats can be infected with the organism for months, or even years, and never show any clinical signs.

There is no home care for bartonellosis. Preventive care is based on maintaining good hygiene. Wash your hands after handling pets and wash scratches or bites thoroughly. Never let a cat lick an open wound, and maintain meticulous flea control.

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