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A poster on another board was missing for quite awhile

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
and here is why: So heads up all of you with feral cats and kittens

"I've been scrolling down and darn it, I still recognise a lot of names! Sure seems like I've been gone a long time, though. Here's the reason why.

I took a litter of 6 orphan kits in for 2 weeks last Sept. to bottle feed. The couple who had them had to travel suddenly to Germany for a family emergency. They were adorable little dolls - 3 weeks old and full of pep. I got some good growth on them through the 2 weeks and even managed to littertrain them. All in all, a most enjoyable time with babies for me... until I found out at the end of October that I had contracted cat scratch disease.

This stuff has really been nasty. I was quite sick at the end of Sept. and through mid Oct., but was still managing to get to work. Then I found a lump in my left elbow and the Drs. couldn't figure out what it was. Once it had been removed, pathology showed it was a lymph node the size of a pingpong ball. The pathologist thought CSD was a possibility and so they did blood work. Bingo.

9 weeks of Bactrim and two courses of Zith over the holidays were not enough to kill those little beasties. I couldn't even stay awake long enough once I got home from work to cook, let alone get online! I'm finally sleeping less this spring, but am still on mandatory rest until mid-June.

Anyway, I'm posting this here because the infectious disease specialist I saw has been seeing a little more of this stuff going around, and most everyone had either had a deep bite wound or had handled young kits under 8 weeks old. So, a word of caution. Make sure you trim those little paws early on and keep them trimmed. Wrap kits in a towel if you can, or try to wear long sleeves. Take care when handling dirty towels, litter, and other 'cleanup' items from littlies. Keep a good quarantine between small kits and older cats. And remember, antibacterial soap does NOT kill all types of microbes! I kept a good quarantine and always washed past the elbow with antibacterial, but I either took a direct poke into a capillary bed or the strain was resistant to my soap.

According to the specialist, kits will kill off most of the microbes they carry when their immune system fully develops. His research has come up with the 10 to 12 week old mark. After this, they best chance they have of passing this on to you is through a deep bite wound. And you really DON'T want this stuff. At my last appointment I was told I could expect to be back to 100% next September - a full YEAR after I contracted the infection!!!!!!!

So if you have handled young un's and suddenly develop a case of the flu when it is not flu season, a quick trip to the dr. might be the order of the day. Other than flu symptoms you might experience pain in the extremities, nausea and vomiting, a low-grade fever that you can't seem to shake, extreme fatigue, and swelling in the armpits, elbow or groin area (infected lymph nodes).

Believe it or not, I still plan to bottle feed if I'm needed by my vet or any others in our area this spring....

Hugz to everyone!
post #2 of 4
Wow, that's pretty scarry stuff!
post #3 of 4
Wow, my godness, I'm glad this person seems to be doing much better now!
post #4 of 4
Wow! Hissy thanks for posting this! I really didn't know much about this...and it IS very scary!! I am glad to be better informed now, so in case I ever have any of these symptoms I will know!! Thanks!
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