Introduction by Safe Baby Healthy Child Founders Sandra Blum and Samantha Fox Olson

I found the most adorable kitten, about 2 weeks old, in a cardboard box at a grocery store. When I opened the box the cutest, blonde-haired, blue-eyed kitten looked up at me and I fell in love. Needless to say, I took her home and my family fell in love too. We bathed her little body, that fit into one hand, and dozens of fleas were removed.

One evening when I was massaging my 5-year-old daughter, I noticed some inflammation on her elbow but we didn’t know what it was or where it came from. Two days later that area was very swollen and warm to the touch. She had not fallen and there were no other symptoms but her inner elbow was very painful to the touch. We took her to the doctor about a week later (it seemed to be getting better, then not) and her doctor diagnosed her with Bartonella henselae/Cat Scratch Disease.

My daughter’s pediatrician put her on five days of antibiotics and at the time I was not aware of a homeopathic or more natural approach. Being frightened that this bacterial infection could turn into something much worse, we took the western approach. She recovered beautifully but I wish I had this expert advice from Safe Baby Healthy Child’s Expert Health Advisor, Dr. Murray Clarke, so I could bypass the antibiotic treatment.

The following is from Dr. Murray Clarke:

Cat Scratch Disease

Cat Scratch Disease, which is also known as Cat Scratch Fever, is a bacterial infection that is transmitted to humans by the scratch or bite of a cat. The bacteria that causes this infection, Bartonella henselae, is transmitted to cats by fleas. The CDC estimates that in the United States 12,500 people are diagnosed with Cat Scratch Disease annually. The majority of these cases occur in children ages 5-9 and is likely due to children being more likely to play with cats and kittens. Kittens, rather than adult cats, are more likely to carry the bacteria in their blood and are therefore more likely to transmit the disease.

Symptoms of Cat Scratch Disease

The symptoms usually begin to occur within two weeks of the scratch and most commonly include the following:

  • Bump or blister at the site of the scratch or bite (usually the first sign)
  • Lymph node swelling near the site of the scratch or bite
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Overall discomfort, achiness and tiredness

Typically, the infection is not serious or prolonged and most of the time a child will recover well by giving the appropriate homeopathic, herbal and nutritional immune support.

In some cases an antibiotic may be prescribed if the child is not recovering in a timely manner by themselves or with the natural immune support remedies.

girl-in-bed-achy-with-cat-scratch-disease-fever

Treating Cat Scratch Disease

Holistically, the approach is to provide your child with remedies that can provide extra immune support and particularly help the lymphatic system clear the bacteria from their system.

Homeopathic Remedy to Consider: Gelsemium Semp. 30c, one pellet 3x daily until all clear.
Herbal Immune Support with Antibacterial Properties: Olive Leaf Extract, Colloidal Silver and Echinacea.
Nutritional Immune Support: Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Colostrum.

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By giving the above remedies and immune support you can help your child’s immune system respond appropriately and clear the infection. In this way, your child’s immune system can learn and grow from the experience with the knowledge that every challenge that comes along can help make your child’s immune system stronger and wiser when treated in a supportive way.

If your child is prescribed an antibiotic then be sure to also provide immune support (Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Echinacea) and Probiotics with Colostrum during the course of the antibiotics and for at least 3 weeks following. This will help re-balance their intestinal ecology and strengthen their immune system afterwards.

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About Safe Baby Healthy Child’s Health Expert,
Dr. Murray Clarke, ND., D.Hom., L.Ac.

Dr. Murray Clarke

Dr. Murray Clarke is a doctor of naturopathic medicine with licenses and doctorates in homeopathic medicine and Chinese medicine (including acupuncture and herbology) and is a leading homeopathic physician for children in the Los Angeles area. He is also the founder of ChildLife® Essentials and author of Natural Baby-Healthy Child: Alternative Health Care Solutions from Pre-conception Through Childhood.

Natural Baby-Healthy Child utilizes diet, environmental detoxification, nutritional supplementation and holistic modalities including homeopathy, naturopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic and acupuncture to help parents–from pre-conception to pregnancy, to the baby’s first year through childhood–make the right health decisions for themselves and their child, naturally. Natural Baby–Healthy Child is an essential medical road map that will help keep children firmly on the path to robust, long-term good health and the realization of the full potential of body, mind and soul. For more information, please visit NaturalBaby-HealthyChild.com.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted in January 2012 and has been reviewed and updated for comprehensiveness.