Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Cat Scratch Disease Treatment

Most cases of cat scratch disease resolve with minimal treatment. Painful, swollen lymph nodes can be drained with a needle, in order to provide relief. Antibiotics are rarely necessary. Antibiotics may be required for those who have severe symptoms, or in those who have illnesses that weaken the immune system, such as AIDS.

Treatment for cat scratch disease may include:

Needle aspiration includes:
  • The skin is sterilized using rubbing alcohol or an antibacterial soap.
  • A needle is inserted through the skin and into the swollen lymph node.
  • Pus is drained from the lymph node.

Cat Scratch Disease Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat cat scratch disease:

Continue to Cat Scratch Disease Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 3, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cat Scratch Disease References
  1. Chian CA, Arrese JE, Pierard GE. Skin manifestations of Bartonella infections. Int J Dermatol. 2002 Aug;41(8):461-6. [12207759]
  2. Lamps LW, Scott MA. Cat-scratch disease: historic, clinical, and pathologic perspectives. Am J Clin Pathol. 2004 Jun;121 Suppl:S71-80. [1529815]
  3. Rolain JM, Chanet V, Laurichesse H, Lepidi H, Beytout J, Raoult D. Cat scratch disease with lymphadenitis, vertebral osteomyelitis, and spleen abscesses. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2003 Jun;990:397-403. [12860662]
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