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Cat Scratch Disease


Cat-scratch disease (CSD) is an infection caused by bacteria in a cat's mouth. You can get CSD by being scratched, licked, or bitten by an infected cat. The germs usually spread after the cat licks its paws then scratches or bites human skin.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


  • Antibiotics treat a bacterial infection.
  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
  • Antipyretics help decrease a fever.


  • Blood tests or a tissue sample may show which bacteria are causing your infection.
  • An x-ray, ultrasound, CT, or MRI may show if the infection has spread. You may be given contrast liquid to help the infection show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.


  • Incision and drainage may be needed to drain fluid or pus from your lymph nodes.
  • Surgery may be needed to remove all or part of your affected lymph nodes.


If left untreated, the infection may spread to other parts of your body. CSD may affect your bones, lungs, heart, liver, and brain. People who have decreased ability to fight infection are at a higher risk for problems.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.