Allergic Dermatitis In Cats

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Allergic Dermatitis In Cats. In-depth Information on Allergic Skin Disease in Cats As discussed, there are multiple types of allergies. In addition to different classes of allergy, there are a number of other causes of dermatitis that result in the same clinical signs. The following is a list of possible diagnoses in animals with itchy, red, crusty, scaly skin. Flea bite hypersensitivity- Animals with this type of allergy can have severe dermatitis even with a low flea burden. In some cases the fleas are not easily identified on the patient. This usually occurs in 3-6 year old animals. The distribution of skin lesions is predominantly on the back end of the pet. Atopy- This condition is also known as allergic inhalant dermatitis. Most patients with this disorder are 1-3 years of age. The face, feet, neck and armpits are the areas of the body most commonly affected by atopy. As the disease progresses, the signs may spread to the whole body.

Food allergy- Animals may develop an allergy to a certain component of their diet. This can occur at any age, and often occurs after an animal has been eating the diet for an extended period of time. In addition to dermatitis, some pets with food allergies will also develop vomiting and diarrhea. Drug allergy- Many drugs, especially certain antibiotics, have been shown to cause allergic reactions. The signs may range from scratching and redness, to hives, to severe illness and sloughing of the skin. If a drug allergy is suspected, the drug in question should be discontinued immediately. Contact allergy or irritant- Animals can be allergic to fibers in a carpet, finishes on a floor or topical shampoos or medications. Additionally, some substances may cause irritation even in animals that do not have an allergy. The dermatitis is often confined to ventral areas (along the underside of the body) or areas where there is a sparse haircoat. Pyoderma- A bacterial skin infection can occur alone, or in conjunction with allergic dermatitis. Many animals develop secondary pyoderma from chewing and licking at their skin. The normal skin has many bacteria, which will colonize an area of inflamed or irritated skin and worsen the clinical signs. Yeast infection- Infection with skin yeast can also occur secondary to allergy. Some patients will have yeast and bacterial ear infections secondary to allergies. Scabies- This is an intensely itchy disorder caused by mites. Human family members can contract this as well. Cheyletiellosis- This is another type of mite that may cause minimal to severe scratching. Humans may also be infected. Pediculosis- Lice infestation. (?)
allergic dermatitis in cats 1

In-depth Information on Allergic Skin Disease in Cats As discussed, there are multiple types of allergies. In addition to different classes of allergy, there are a number of other causes of dermatitis that result in the same clinical signs. The following is a list of possible diagnoses in animals with itchy, red, crusty, scaly skin. Flea bite hypersensitivity- Animals with this type of allergy can have severe dermatitis even with a low flea burden. In some cases the fleas are not easily identified on the patient. This usually occurs in 3-6 year old animals. The distribution of skin lesions is predominantly on the back end of the pet. Atopy- This condition is also known as allergic inhalant dermatitis. Most patients with this disorder are 1-3 years of age. The face, feet, neck and armpits are the areas of the body most commonly affected by atopy. As the disease progresses, the signs may spread to the whole body. Food allergy- Animals may develop an allergy to a certain component of their diet. This can occur at any age, and often occurs after an animal has been eating the diet for an extended period of time. In addition to dermatitis, some pets with food allergies will also develop vomiting and diarrhea. Drug allergy- Many drugs, especially certain antibiotics, have been shown to cause allergic reactions.

The signs may range from scratching and redness, to hives, to severe illness and sloughing of the skin. If a drug allergy is suspected, the drug in question should be discontinued immediately. Contact allergy or irritant- Animals can be allergic to fibers in a carpet, finishes on a floor or topical shampoos or medications. Additionally, some substances may cause irritation even in animals that do not have an allergy. The dermatitis is often confined to ventral areas (along the underside of the body) or areas where there is a sparse haircoat. Pyoderma- A bacterial skin infection can occur alone, or in conjunction with allergic dermatitis. Many animals develop secondary pyoderma from chewing and licking at their skin. The normal skin has many bacteria, which will colonize an area of inflamed or irritated skin and worsen the clinical signs. Yeast infection- Infection with skin yeast can also occur secondary to allergy. Some patients will have yeast and bacterial ear infections secondary to allergies. Scabies- This is an intensely itchy disorder caused by mites. Human family members can contract this as well. Cheyletiellosis- This is another type of mite that may cause minimal to severe scratching. Humans may also be infected. Pediculosis- Lice infestation.
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OverviewSkin problems are among the most common troubles for dogs and cats. They can be caused by a variety of diseases, one of the most common being allergies. Allergies that affect the skin are grouped together under the term allergic dermatitis.As with people, our pets can suffer allergies related to the food they eat and the environment they live in. Additionally, they can have an allergic reaction to the bites of fleas and other parasites.SignsMore often than not, allergic reactions in cats affect the skin.Signs include:Itchy skin, especially around the face and feetFoul odorRed bumps or scaly areasBumps that resemble acneDarkened skin that feels thicker than usualThinning or loss of hairStained fur due to excessive lickingFrequent shaking of headDiagnosis/TreatmentIf your cat is scratching incessantly, it’s time to visit your veterinarian! Because itchy skin also can be caused by conditions other than allergies, your veterinarian may want to rule out the other potential causes, such as parasites, bacterial or fungal infections, or systemic diseases.Tests can include a thorough physical examination; evaluation for external parasites such as fleas or mites; skin tests to rule out fungal, yeast, or bacterial infections; and others, such as blood tests and urinalysis, to determine if your pet has a systemic disease.Once your veterinarian determines that your cat has allergies, the next step will be to find out under which category they fall.Food allergiesFood allergies are common, can affect cats of any age, and represent approximately 10% of all allergic conditions. After performing food trials to determine what ingredient your cat is allergic to, treatment involves feeding a diet that does not contain that ingredient.

Environmental allergiesAnother common form of allergy is caused by exposure to environmental allergens your cat either breathes in or absorbs through the skin. In people terms, we call this “hay fever.” Common allergens include house-dust mites; pollen, grasses, and weeds; and a variety of molds. While allergies often give people runny noses, they usually make cats itchy.Your itchy pet may benefit from topical treatment including cool baths, medicated shampoos and conditioners, and soothing sprays. If your cat has mild allergies, she may be treated with antihistamines or omega-3 fatty acids. More severe cases may require stronger medications such as prednisone or allergy shots.Flea allergiesFlea allergy is the most common skin disease in cats (and dogs).  It is also called flea bite hypersensitivity because it is caused be an allergic (or hypersensitivity) reaction to flea saliva.  Fleas are very common and live both on your pet and in the environment.  All pets in a household where there are fleas will be infested. In addition to causing allergies in susceptible cats, they can also transmit other diseases. Treatment for flea allergies involves eliminating fleas from your cat and the environment using products recommended by your veterinarian that are effective against all stages of fleas-from eggs to adults.  To control itching your veterinarian might prescribe various medications including antihistamines, omega-3 fatty acids, prednisone and others.PreventionWhile there is no way to prevent allergic dermatitis, treatment is often very effective once the type of allergy has been determined. Check your pet often for fleas and watch for signs such as scratching or excessive grooming. If you suspect your cat may have skin allergies, contact your veterinarian right away. Early diagnosis and treatment will keep your pet’s symptoms from becoming severe.If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
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1 / 17 Cat Skin Problems If your cat’s dignified poses have given way to constant scratching and licking, a skin problem may be to blame. Cats are susceptible to skin infections, parasites, allergies, and many other conditions commonly seen in people. WebMD has compiled images of some of the most common feline skin problems. Swipe to advance 2 / 17 Feline Acne They may not have to worry about a prom night disaster, but cats get pimples, too. Feline acne typically appears on and around a cat’s chin. Possible causes include stress, poor grooming, a reaction to medication, an underlying skin condition, or even the plastic bowl you put out with her food or water. Your veterinarian may recommend a specialized shampoo or gel to clear up the breakout, or antibiotics if a bacterial infection accompanies the acne. Swipe to advance 3 / 17 Bacterial Infections In many cases, bacterial skin infections develop as a result of another skin problem. For example, feline acne can make a cat’s hair follicles more vulnerable to infection, resulting in folliculitis. Bacterial infections may be treated with antibiotics, but it’s important to address any underlying skin conditions to prevent a recurrence. Swipe to advance 4 / 17 Yeast Infections Yeast infections are caused by a fungus and are also more likely in cats that have other medical problems. The ear is one of the most common spots for a yeast infection. Symptoms may include a black or yellow discharge, redness of the ear flap, and persistent scratching of the ear. Yeast infections respond well to treatment with antifungal medicine, but be sure to get a diagnosis from a veterinarian before using anything on your cat.   Swipe to advance 5 / 17 Ringworm Ringworm is another type of fungus that affects cats, especially if they are under age 1. It may cause circular lesions on a cat’s head, ears, and forelimbs. The skin around these lesions is often flaky and bald.

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Ringworm is highly contagious and can spread to other pets in the home, as well as to people. Treatment depends on severity, but may include specialized shampoos, ointments, or oral medications. Swipe to advance 6 / 17 Sporotrichosis Yet another fungus — although rare — sporotrichosis produces small, hard skin lesions that may leak fluid. Sporotrichosis is considered to be a public health concern, because the fungus is known to spread from cats to humans. People with a compromised immune system are especially vulnerable. For these reasons, cats with sporotrichosis should be treated promptly, and caregivers should be meticulous about hygiene. Swipe to advance 7 / 17 Allergic Dermatitis Cats can have allergic reactions to grooming products, food, and environmental irritants, such as pollen or flea bites. Scratching the head or neck is a common sign of food allergies. Symptoms of other allergies include chewing on the paws or base of the tail, or scratching the ears. Allergies can also cause hair loss or skin lesions anywhere on the body, including the belly. There are a variety of treatments to soothe itchy skin associated with allergies, but avoiding exposure to the irritants is the best strategy. Swipe to advance 8 / 17 Shedding and Hair Loss (Alopecia) If you live with cats, you learn to cope with cat hair on your favorite sweater. But if you notice your cat is losing more hair than usual or has bald patches, see your veterinarian as soon as possible. Abnormal hair loss can be a warning sign of several illnesses, as well as fleas, stress, allergies, or poor nutrition. Swipe to advance 9 / 17 Fleas The idea of tiny insects feeding on the blood of your cat may make you shudder, but fleas are a very common problem. You can look for them or their droppings in a cat’s coat, especially where the fur is pale. Other signs of a flea infestation are persistent scratching, crusty skin lesions, and thinning hair above the base of the tail. To eradicate fleas, you’ll need to treat your cat, as well as your furniture, bedding, and rugs. A monthly flea prevention protocol is the gold standard for flea control. It not only kills fleas on your cat, but those in your home should eventually be eliminated as they fail to reproduce. Treat all pets in the home for this to be effective. Swipe to advance 10 / 17 Ear Mites Ear mites are tiny parasites that are drawn to the wax and oils inside a cat’s ear. As they feed, they cause inflammation that can lead to a serious skin or ear infection. Signs of ear mites include excessive scratching of the ears, head shaking, and a strong odor and a dark discharge from the ears. Suspect ear mites when both ears are affected. Mites can be treated with a topical product prescribed by your vet.

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Swipe to advance 11 / 17 Lice Lice are parasites that feed on dry skin. They are commonly found on young, neglected cats and often go unnoticed. Large infestations can lead to scratching, restlessness, unusual coat appearance, and hair loss. Like mites, lice can be treated with a topical solution. Because lice are species-specific, you do not need to worry about getting lice from your cat. Swipe to advance 12 / 17 Stud Tail Also called tail gland hyperplasia, stud tail refers to overactive glands on the top of the tail. These glands produce waxy excretions that result in hair loss and crusty lesions. In severe cases, the condition can make the tail vulnerable to bacterial infections. Neutering may eliminate the problem in male cats. Other treatment options include diligent grooming of the tail and the use of specially formulated shampoos. Swipe to advance 13 / 17 Eosinophilic Granuloma If your cat has raised ulcers or lesions on the nose or lips, she may be having a type of allergic reaction known as an eosinophilic granuloma. This reaction can occur anywhere on the body, but is most common on the face, pads of the feet, and thighs. Food allergies or fleas are sometimes to blame, but the lesions can also result from bacterial infections. Treatment depends on what is causing the reaction. Swipe to advance 14 / 17 Skin Tumors A lump in your cat’s skin is not necessarily cancer, but should be checked by a veterinarian.

Older cats and those with white ears and heads are especially susceptible to skin cancer. To confirm a diagnosis of cancer, a biopsy is necessary. If the lump is small enough, a vet may recommend removing it entirely. For tumors that have not spread, this may be the only treatment needed. Swipe to advance 15 / 17 Dry, Flaky Skin Like people, some cats get dry, flaky skin in the winter. It’s usually nothing serious, but have your veterinarian take a look. Persistent dandruff may be a sign of poor nutrition, inadequate grooming, or an underlying medical problem. Special shampoos and supplements of omega-3 fatty acids can help treat feline dandruff. Swipe to advance 16 / 17 Compulsive Grooming Cats are known to be fastidious groomers, but sometimes they overdo it. Compulsive licking, chewing, or sucking on the skin may lead to irritation, infection, and thinning hair (a condition called psychogenic alopecia.) Cats may groom compulsively in response to stress, such as moving into a new home, but may also overgroom due to a medical problem such as arthritis. If this describes your cat, talk to your vet about stress reduction and behavior modification strategies. Swipe to advance 17 / 17 When to See the Vet Check with your veterinarian as soon as possible if you find any oddities on your cat’s skin — flaking, scaling, redness, or bald patches. Even if the skin looks fine, your cat should be examined if she is scratching, licking, or biting herself excessively.

Allergic Dermatitis In Cats

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