Cat scratch disease, until just recently known as cats scratch fever, is one of the largest mysteries in the modern medical field.
Known as a bacterial disease caused by bartonella henselae, which is an infection, this can be very discomforting infection to humans.
For years, children and adults have played with cats, been scratched, and either had no affects, or there was not a connection made to the cat at all.
The symptoms of cat scratch disease in humans are the enlargement of the lymph nodes, especially in the armpit area.
The affected lymph nodes, however, will almost always be found under tough, but very warm red skin.
The lymph nodes of the neck and upper limbs of the infected human, may experience a mild infection at the central point of the injury, or scratch, and will become swollen.
Other symptoms that may accompany this disease, or infection, will be headaches, a fever, sudden fatigue, and a loss of appetite.
What is the most confusing part of Cat scratch disease is that while there is an injury that appears to be infected by some type of bacteria, there were never any bacteria found.
However, this changed when the medical field finally found a small organism.
Proteobacteria, which is a major grouping of bacteria and could include several types, was finally discovered in early cat-scratch lymph nodes infections.
The questions than has to be asked by cat owners, can this bartonella henselae affect me?
The answer is a definitive yes.
Most people that get Cat scratch disease will get it from their cat, either by bites or by scratches.
Kittens are more likely to be infected with these bacteria and pass it on to their owners, but about 40% of cats will carry bartonella henselae at some point in their life.
Cats that carry this disease will show no signs of any apparent illness or symptoms, and it would be very difficult to tell which cat (or kitten) it came from, if you own more than one cat.
People that have had immune deficiency conditions, such as HIV, organ transplants, or cancer treatment patients, are more at risk in getting this disease from their cat.
This bacterium has also been found to be in fleas as well, but there does not seem to be any evidence that fleas are the major cause.
Most of these symptoms from Cat scratch disease will be caused by the claw or the tooth of your cat, especially, if it is a kitten.
What has been even more of a mystery is that most of these cases appear to happen in the late fall or the winter months and no one really understands why.
The question then has to be asked, do dog scratches carry the same potential risk?
There is no evidence at all that dogs carry this form of bacteria.
Most of the cases of Cat scratch disease will happen to young children, as they are most likely to play with kittens and older cats.
Although not a real serious disease, it is still something that you, as a cat owner, will want to watch for.
Swelling of the lymph nodes that are infected, will usually last between one and four weeks, and can take up to 30 days before any symptoms actually appear.
Again, Cat scratch disease is not a serious disease, and only about one third of the infected people, usually children or low tolerance patients, will actually feel sick.
Full and complete recovery usually follows, although there have been cases where swollen lymph nodes have lasted as long as one year.
Vitamin supplements can help with these bacteria, especially in building resistance on an everyday basis.
Vitamin C is especially effective with any type of toxin that can start to accumulate in your lymph nodes, as two-thirds of your immune system resides in your lymph nodes, and if your body is full of toxins, you become more vulnerable.
Vitamin C and its natural anti-toxic agents, or even a Vitamin C Flush, if monitored correctly, can help to clean out the toxic build up that is caused by this disease and other like bacterial infections.
However, this disease does have the potential for some other complications.
Parinaud syndrome or pink eye as it better know, can be caused by or accompanied by swollen lymph nodes.
Oculoglandular syndrome, a condition in which the brain tissue itself becomes inflamed and infected, is usually caused by mosquito bites, but has also been linked to this disease, as well as mumps and measles.
Reducing the risk of this disease is the best treatment. Building your system up with vitamins and mineral supplements will toughen your immune system.
But monitoring how you, or more importantly your children, interact with your cat will help prevent the chances of them accidentally getting this disease.
Avoiding rough pay where your cat may accidentally bite or scratch you, especially kittens, is the best defense.
If bitten, immediately wash the affected areas with soap and water, and by no means ever allow your cat to lick open wounds that you may have.
This may place you at a very high risk of getting this disease if your cat is indeed infected.
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