How Your Duarte Vet Diagnoses and Treats Skin Conditions in Cats
Your cat's breed, gender, and lifestyle influence their risk of suffering a skin condition. For example, indoor cats are less prone to skin problems compared to outdoor cats that are constantly exposed to parasites and other cats with infectious skin diseases. In addition, roaming cats may fight with cats and other animals. The resulting scratch and bit wounds can initiate skin conditions by introducing bacterial and fungal pathogens into open wounds. Feline skin conditions rarely resolve themselves without treatment from your Duarte Azusa Animal Hospital veterinarian.
Clinical Signs of Cat Skin Disease
Loss of fur, sores, and scabs are definite symptoms of feline skin disorders. Cats will excessively lick, scratch and attempt to pull out bits of fur on areas of inflamed skin. Where fur loss is visible, you may notice small bumps oozing fluid or deeply red skin. Long-term skin diseases may experience periods of remission where skin seems to heal slightly but takes on a thickness resembling scar tissue. Also, folliculitis may develop as a side effect of skin conditions, causing pustules to emerge in hair follicles that form crusts, itch and promote hair loss.
Causes of Cat Skin Conditions
In addition to flea infestations, cats frequently develop skin problems due to:
- Food/seasonal allergies
- Contact dermatitis
- Ear mites/lice/ringworm
- Kidney disease
- Fungal infections
- Autoimmune disorders
In some cases, your Duarte vet may diagnose your cat with an idiopathic skin disorder or disorder without any known cause. Treatment for idiopathic skin disease involves supportive treatments to reduce itching, inflammation and hair loss.
How are Feline Skin Problems Diagnosed?
If a veterinarian can't diagnose your cat's skin condition upon visible examination, blood tests and evaluation of skin crusts/seepage will be ordered to determine what form of treatment to use. Skin cytology and fungal culture tests are especially helpful for pinpointing the exact cause of the skin disorder.
Treatment for Feline Skin Diseases
Flea infestations require the use of flea control and preventives to eliminate fleas from cats and their environment. If your vet discovers food allergies are causing skin issues in your cat, you will need to modify your cat's diet according to what ingredients are triggering allergic reactions. Anti-fungal medications are available to treat ringworm, candidiasis, sporotrichosis and other fungal skin infections arising from contact with infected soil or feces. Cats suffering kidney disease or diabetes are prescribed medications intended to stabilize blood glucose or improve kidney functioning.