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"Harmless" cat scratch has some very alarming consequences

a few scratches caused lots of damage cat-wow
© heidigothere - Instagram

A seemingly harmless scratch from her pet cat left one owner with a swollen face, a big black eye, and an IV drip.

By Ashley Murphy

Published on the 23/05/2019, 17:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:46

Heidi Plamping, 42, from Alberta, Canada, decided to take her beloved cat Storm on a trip to stay with a friend.

Her best pal is the owner of two Great Danes, and the big dogs sent little storm into a panic. But as Heidi tried to comfort the cat, Storm scratched her owner's face.

What happened next was a big surprise

Heidi was left with seven scratches on her head and face. But, despite some discomfort, she seemed OK. However, when she woke up the next day, Heidi had a huge black eye and a very swollen face.


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The swelling got worse and even started to affect her hands. Heidi decided it was time to see a doctor. After a brief examination, the doctor prescribed some medication to reduce the swelling.

But it didn't work.

She returned to the doc, who quickly realised Heidi had contracted a bacterial infection commonly known as cat scratch disease.  It required a new course of antibiotics which could only be administered by an IV drip. Speaking about the incident, Heidi said:

“They put me on new pills and an IV that I would keep in my arm and come back to the doctors every day to get another dose of antibiotics. The next day, the swelling was going down, but a rash was spreading on my arm. The doctor outlined my arm where the rash was and told me to go to the emergency room if it spread any further that night.”

Cat-scratch disease (CSD) is spread when an infected cat licks a person’s open wound, or bites or scratches a person hard enough to pierce the skin.


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Cat Scratch Disease

The disease is caused by a bacterium called Bartonella henselae and symptoms include fever, headaches, poor appetite, and exhaustion.

Thankfully, the condition is rare and Heidi is now fully recovered.

The incident hasn't damaged relations between Heidi and Storm. We're pleased to report that the two are still very much the best of friends.


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