Information About Skin Irritations on Dogs & Cats
No matter what is causing your cat’s skin irritation, your bestcourse of action is to seek the advice of a professional veterinarian,as he will be equipped with the knowledge to help you choose the bestcourse of treatment. If you believe your cat has a skin irritation, youshould take him to the vet as soon as possible before it worsens.
Without proper nourishment skin problems in dogs and cats is just one of the possible reactions; the animal's entire body, not just its skin and coat, will be continuously in a state of stress. High quality meat-based dog foods seldom, if ever, create the kind of skin and coat irritation in most animals.
This kind of allergy is the most likely cause of a cat allergic reaction. Fleas inject saliva in the cat when it bites and there are many substances present that can trigger a reaction. Like humans, it is possible to trigger a reaction with a very small amount of irritant. Sometimes only one flea bite is all it takes. The usual symptoms include scabs, thin unthrifty fur in the area and bumps. The cat will want to scratch and bite the irritated area making the reaction worse. It may also lick or groom excessively. Areas most affected is usually at the base of the tail and the area around the lower back. The head and around the ears can also be affected. Sometimes the sores get infected.Flea Allergy Dermatitis (or FAD) is the name of the condition. The sores and scabs are sometimes referred to as Miliary dermatitis. This is a descriptive term used in veterinary medicine to describe a multifocal distribution of skin lesions, with no identifiable pattern. The term miliary means millet-like, as the feel of running one's hands through the coat of an affected cat is comparable to the feeling if a cat's coat contains millet seeds. (from Wikipedia) Although fleas are the most common cause, mosquito bites, ticks, and other insects can cause reactions.The irritation is fairly characteristics and recognizable. Diagnosis is often confirmed by treating the animal for fleas and seeing if there is an improvement. Along with flea treatment of the cat its living area must also be rid of fleas.If flea treatment is ineffective then biopsy or scraping of the affected area might be performed. Further investigation might include subdermal injection of selected irritants and observation of reactions. This is similar to human diagnostic techniques.If the cause is mosquito or other biting fly, removal from exposure will be a good indication of the cause. pageBesides treating the cat and its living quarters to get rid of fleas any side conditions will be treated. If infection has developed in the affected area, then antibiotics might be prescribed.Antihistamines or steroids might be used to deal with irritation and reduce itching. Hyposensitisation therapy might be used. As in human "allergy desensitization--allergy shots" a cat might be injected with gradually increasing doses of flea antigens. This treatment gradually desensitises the immune system and reduces the allergic reaction.Food allergy in cats is not uncommon. This might be triggered by grains in particular wheat, dairy products, eggs, or animal proteins such as fish and beef.To treat military dermatitis, you must treat the underlying cause. A simple, at-home solution is to give your cat a bath. Use a mild soap designed to moisturize your cat's skin, such as an oatmeal based pet shampoo, and allow the lather to sit on your cat's skin for a minimum of 2 minutes. Make sure the shampoo is worked down deep into your cat's fur to the skin to achieve the best results. If the underlying cause of the irritation is flea or tick bites, you need to treat the fleas and remove the ticks. Keep in mind that the use of a medicated shampoo on the sores caused by military dermatitis can further inflame your cat's skin. After bathing your cat with moisturizing shampoo, wait at least 3 days before applying a topical flea deterrent, such as Advantage, applying a flea collar or bathing your cat using a medicated pet shampoo.Being familiar with the signs of common skin irritations and diseases in your feline companion is important for your cat’s health. Certain skin problems could be sign of a more complicated underlying issue, such as physical pain, discomfort, or infection.Your vet will want to talk to you and determine what materials your cat has been in contact with. He might apply various substances to your cat's skin and observe the reaction. This is a common test for humans. The patch test is positive if there is irritation, redness or if the area shows swelling or blisters.