Cat Scratch

mawheelJuly 7, 2011

While I was attempting to pick up my cat Maggie on Monday night, she protested and nicked me with a claw. It bled just a little and since this has happened before, I didn't think too much about it. However, by Tuesday evening, my left forearm was very red, rather swollen and hot. It didn't hurt, but itched. By Wed. morning, there were two streaks heading towards my shoulder. I called my doctor and was told that his only open app't. for the day was at 9:10--25 min. later. If I could get there, he could see me.

The trip usually takes about 30 minutes, but never knowing how traffic will be on the Interstate, and I live "across the river" in God's country, I knew I'd have to hustle. Looking pretty scruffy, I told DH "I'm headed to the doctor" and took off. I walked in the office at 9:10, exactly.

When he saw my arm, he said "I'm glad you didn't wait any longer". He put me on a very strong antibiotic and said if my arm hadn't shown marked improvement by Friday, I might have to go into the hospital! HOLY CATS!!! I got the prescription filled on the way home and have had three doses and will continue the med. for ten days. Thankfully, the arm is already less red, a little cooler and the red streaks have diminished.

I've always heard that cat scratches can be dangerous; sorry I had to learn the hard way. :>(

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rob333

I'm very sorry! It sounds very scary. He was right, if you had streaks that were moving, you were in real danger. But you're ok now. It sounds like. As long as they keep on being diminished. Whew. Too close!

I keep my cats claws cut at all times. Wonder how Tisha's cat claw covers are working?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 1:33PM
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endorphinjunkie(z7bAlabama)

Glad you are OK. Cat Scrtch Fever. I alway thought it was just a song by Ted Nugent. I guess not. Don't blame the kitty.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 1:51PM
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posieh(3)

Seems even our pets are dangerous sometimes...wow! You had a case of blood poisoning. Lucky you got to the doctor. Hope you're better by now.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 1:53PM
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mjmercer

Occupational hazard for me. Luckily all the cats I care for are pretty mellow. Well there was that b*tch Wrigley last month who bit me. Twice. But that's another talk show.

I've been fortunate to avoid serious complications. Some vigorous cleaning with antibacterial soap and some Neosporin and I'm good to go.

But yes, I agree with the others that you absolutely did the right thing. A bite of any kind followed by red streaks climbing up your arm should NEVER be ignored.

Feel better soon! And hugs to your cranky kitty.

Karen

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 2:45PM
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lilod(NoCal/8)

I am fortunate that I never suffered real damage from any cats I ever had and have. I do make it a point, if scratched accidentally, of course :) unless it's Taffy) I apply Hydrogen peroxide right away and make sure the scratched area doesn't close up too fast. Peroxide is usually my choice of first disinfectant for all nicks, cuts and scratches.
It is important to let the wound bleed for a bit, it washes out any bacteria introduced, one of my Doctors told me that a long time ago.
Hope you get better soon, this sounds as though it was more than just an ordinary case of cat-scratch fever

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 3:22PM
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gabriell_gw

A year ago I brought home a kitten. She is loving and good natured but accidentally scratched me often. When she was spayed she was also declawed. Front only. It is wonderful for me and my furniture.Since she is an inside cat I don't think this has hurt her in any way.I know cat scratches can be really serious.I'm glad you got help when you did.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 8:42PM
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don_socal

Missy had a similar injury earlier this year and we clip Possum's nails now. Please do not de-claw, look it up on the web to know why.

These are pictures of Missy's hand, I used thumbnails as they are pretty bad. Click on them at your own risk.

Here is a link that might be useful: Missy scratch Februray

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 11:09PM
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pamven(z5neastindiana)

If i had a nickle for every scratch,bite etc from my critters....id be a rich woman by now.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 9:19AM
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mawheel

Thanks to all of you for your kind words. The antibiotic my doctor prescribed is strong enough that when I called him, this morning, I was able to tell him that my arm was definitely looking and feeling better: the red streaks were gone, the redness faded to pink, and the affected area had shrunk to just a small patch. He said it sounded as if the medicine was doing its job, but, of course, I should finish the whole ten days' worth.

Hence forth, any scratches will be attended to thoroughly and promptly. Thanks, Lilo, for your advice.

And no, I'm not mad at Maggie; she's much too sweet for that; besides, she was just doing what cats do--letting her wants and desires be known. She definitely didn't want to be put to bed! :>)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 2:32PM
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lilod(NoCal/8)

Here is a story - now that you are better, I can tell it:
Taffy was bottle raised and never learned how to control his teeth or claws, only cat moms seem to be able to teach cat-manners.
One night he had come to cuddle on my bed and in the dark I pulled up the covers a little more, startled him and I'm sure he just reacted, he really laid into me. Trying to shake him off and reach the light or at least the flashlight was a real drama, turned out it was a blood-bath! My arm was dripping blood on the floor, got some on the bedding and I had to find some paper-towels to mop it up and to stop the bleeding. But letting it bleed was likely the best thing that could have happened - not the clean-up though.
We are still friends, but when a cat jumps on my bed I do talk to it before making any sudden moves :>)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 5:16PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

We had an acquitance who ended up in the hospital on iv's with strong antibiotics from her cat bite. She walked in front of the cat when he was having a staredown thru the patio door with the neighbor's cat. He chomped her on the ankle deep and hard. And if this comes out with lots of errors it is because I am typing between tail switches of the spoild brat cat, who like Taffy above, does not know how to oontrol his claws.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 6:35PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Cat scratch fever can be much different than an infection at the wound site. It is a specific strain of bacteria, spread from infected cat to another cat, maybe helped along by fleas. Humans can get this disease via scratches or bites from the infected cat.

Symptoms don't usually occur until several days or a few weeks upon exposure. Fever, flue-like aches, weakness, and usually very swollen and perhaps infected nymph glands, especially those nearest the site of the bite or scratch.

When I contracted the crummy illness many years ago, one of the glands under my chin became so swollen that it looked like I had mumps. It took an astute oral surgeon to figure out what the problem was and have me tested for it. I was sick for several weeks.

Boy, did I get sick and tired of my friends singing that Ted Nugent song to me every time they saw me.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 12:05AM
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