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Washed cat scratch with antiseptic cream. Is it necessary to get medical treatment?

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General & Family Physician
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My father has called me from his holiday in Greece where he has been scratched by a cat. It was a small scratch and he washed it out and applied antiseptic cream. The island they are on us small and they don't have a car so it's a big deal to get to a medical centre. Should he wait until Saturday when he returns to the uk or should they seek medical attention now?
Posted Wed, 10 Oct 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 2 hours later

Thanks for your query.

A cat scratch can cause a condition called "Cat scratch disease".This condition is due to infection by a bacteria named Bartonella henselae. However not every scratch can cause disease. I wanted to inform you.

The condition presents with Bump (papule) or blister (pustule) at site of injury (usually the first sign),Fatigue,Fever (in some patients),Headache .If he has any of the symptom within a week of the scratch then he would be needing medical attention.

Washing the wound under the running water for 5 minutes immediately and cleaning the wound with antiseptic soon after the scratch is for the good and is the only preventive method.This reduces the chances of infection.If he does not develop any of the above symptom then there would be no need to worry.He can wait till Saturday there would be no danger in that.

Hope I answered your query.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Washed cat scratch with antiseptic cream. Is it necessary to get medical treatment? 1 hour later
I am worried about rabies!! Please can you tell me how quickly my father needs to see a doctor to get a rabies jab!!
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 46 minutes later

Thanks for writing back.

There is no risk of rabies involved with a scratch.Its the animal bite with infected saliva via which the rabies can spread.

There is no need for rabies vaccination , also there is no need to worry or visit the ER as of now.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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