Top 3 Cat Skin Disorders

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Feline Alopecia (or bald spots). This cat is itchy with a capital I. He’s probably biting at his hair — a lot — and may be experiencing behavioral problems. The causes are varied — a hypersensitivity reaction (a flea allergy or food allergy), parasites (lice or mites), fungus (ringworm) or psychogenic (experiencing a behavioral or psychological disorder that causes them to rip out their hair). Since the causes are varied, so are the treatments. You’ll have to get your cat to the vet who will run the necessary tests. That will determine the appropriate treatment and, hopefully, Kitty can get back to his fluffy, lustrous coated self.

Eosinophilic Granuloma. An eosinophil is a type of immune system cell that helps to kill bacteria. Granuloma is a swelling that gathers in an area where many eosinophils are concentrated. A granuloma tries to kill an infection, but doesn’t fully succeed. There are usually skin or gum lesions on the infected cat. Their skin may be red or have erosions or ulcers on the skin. The lesions aren’t itchy or painful however. This often happens in kittens 6 to 12 months old and sometimes clear up without medical intervention. To get a diagnosis, a blood test and skin scraping will be done. There is always an underlying cause for the eosinophils to overreact, but this is not life threatening for your cat. To help speed up the healing process, steroids or systemic antibiotics may be prescribed.

Miliary dermatitis. The “miliary” part stems from millet seeds because the skin lesions are tiny, round bumps that are often crusty and found on the cat’s back and resemble millet seeds. There are many causes for military dermatitis: lice, mites, an environmental sensitivity, food reaction or an immune-related component, even a reaction to medication. A skin scrape, fungal culture or allergy test can confirm the diagnosis. Treatments vary: immunotherapy, adding supplements, antihistamines or steroids.

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