There are no antibiotics effective against CSD, although they are often prescribed for children with severe pain or swelling. A severely affected lymph node or blister may have to be drained, and a heating pad may help swollen, tender lymph glands. Acetaminophen may relieve pain, aches, and fever over 101°F. In most cases, the illness fades after one or two months, and the cat does not need to be destroyed.

A rare complication is encephalitis, or cat-scratch disease of the brain, which appears about one or two weeks after the first symptoms of CSD. This usually resolves on its own without treatment. Signs of complications include: unusual spots or bruises on the skin, eye infections, unusual pain, high fever (over 103°F), stiff neck, severe headache, or severe vomiting.

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