Skin of the cat is one of the largest organs in the body which has very important function. It acts as a barrier protect the body, maintain body temperature and include glandular secretion. Cats are susceptible to some skin disorders, which are a source of discomfort to cats, and their owners as well.
Causes of skin disorders in cats
There are many causes which make skin disorders in cats, we can classify into:
- Infectious causes.
- Non infectious causes.
What are the signs appear on cats with skin conditions?
There are many general signs can be detected on cats’ skin depending on the condition, and the causative agent.
- Redness of the skin.
- Shaking head due to irritation.
- loss of hair.
- Edematous lesion.
- lesions on muzzle, foot and foot pads may appear.
What are the types of skin conditions of cats?
Food allergies. (Food intolerance, Adverse food reactions)
The food allergies or food intolerance is abnormal reaction to ingested food, it classified to two types :
- Immunological reaction ( food allergy).
- Non immunological type (food intolerance)
Signs of food allergies
It is difficult to differentiate food allergies from other allergic conditions, but signs may appear on diseased cat are:
- Recurrent ear infections.
- Coughing and sneezing.
Treatment of food allergies
It is important to rule out other problems which cause similar skin conditions to food allergies then elimination diet trials.
- Feeding an animal novel source, of one protein and one carbohydrate sources which not given before for at least 12 weeks.
- Treatment of any other secondary causes as parasites, yeast and fungus.
- Start the diet for six to eight weeks then check for the clinical signs if no improve, adverse food reactions is in likely the cause.
- If dramatic improve start re-challenging with individual protein.
- If the clinical signs are worsen, protein is the probable cause.
- Re-challenging with other protein sources then mark it and avoid using.
Flea bites allergy
Flea bite allergy is defined as an allergic response to the injected antigen in the saliva of the Flea. It is one of the most famous cat dermatological conditions.
What are the Fleas?
It is a small insect with dark brown color has hind limbs help in jumping. It feed on blood from biting human and animals.
Signs of Flea allergy on cats
- Itching as flea allergy one of the most itchy diseases.
- Small bumps.
- Excessive licking or chewing of front ears and legs.
Diagnosis of flea allergy in cats
- Clinical signs which appear on diseased cat may be indicator for flea allergy.
- Intradermal allergy test.
- Serum test.
How do we can treat flea allergy?
- Environmental control is the most effective treatment, we must prevent flea bite by outdoor and indoor spraying by using highly effective flea control products.
- Treatment of diseased cat by using some drugs which detected by the veterinarian for the relief of a diseased cat as injectable, spray, dipping, or spot on treatment.
Ringworm disease ( dermatophytosis)
Ringworm disease is a fungal skin infection by dermatophytes, it transmitted by direct contact with diseased animal or contaminated objects.
Symptoms of ringworm
- Circular patches of alopecia.
- Itching is variable.
- Inflammation of the claw folds.
- Darkened skin and crusts.
How do we can diagnose ring worm disease ?
We can diagnose the ringworm disease in the veterinarian clinic by using some tests as:
- Wood’s lamp.
- Fungal culture.
Treatment of ringworm in cats
- Using topical anti fungal as shampoo and cream.
- Administration of systemic anti-fungal.
It is defined as a pathological hair loss in cats. Most cats with alopecia have underlying skin conditions. Depending on the underlying cause of your cat’s alopecia, other symptoms may be noticed as:
- Itchiness and irritation.
- Excessive grooming as cats show increase in licking and chewing more than usual.
- Skin redness.
- Presence of scales on skin.
- Patches of dark skin Causes of alopecia in cats Common causes which make alopecia in cats include.
- Fleas allergy.
- Food allergies.
- Ring worm disease.
- Bacterial skin infections.
- Skin wounds.
- Over grooming.
Treatment of Alopecia
Treatment of alopecia in cats depending on the causes of occurrence, if the veterinarian examine the infected cat he will advise you with the suitable effective treatment.
It is one of the most important common skin conditions in cats. It affect all ages of cats but in kittens more commonly.
Clinical Signs of ear mites include :
- Ear scratching.
- Head shaking due to irritation.
- Presence of dark granular substance in the ear canal of the cat.
- Itching and irritation.
Diagnosis of ear mites in cats
- Taking sample from the depris founded in the ear canal, it examined under the microscope to determine if the mites are present.
- Looking into the ears using otoscope to see the mites by eye.
- Skin scraping by using dull blades to scrape the skin, then examined under the microscope.
Treatment of ear mites
- Firstly ears should be cleaned very well to get out all depris and wax from the ear canal.
- Using fleas sprays, powders or topical preparations will be necessary to prevent mites from re infecting the ear.
- Administration of parasticides as ivermectin as injectable or oral medications, it is highly effective common treatment of cats mites.
Diabetic Dermatopathy (hepatic cutenous syndrome- Metabolic epidermal necrosis)
What is the mean of Diabetic Dermatopathy?
Diabetic Dermatopathy is a skin necrosis associated with metabolic diseases as liver disease, pancreatic tumor and Diabetes mellitus.
Signs which appear on infected cat
- Lesion usually in muzzle , foot and foot pads.
Diagnosis of Diabetic Dermatopathy
- Biopsy is the most diagnostic method.
- Hematology : increase in liver enzymes (Ast, Alt and albumin), hyperglycaemia, and increase bile acid.
- Abdominal radiography.
How does a case with Diabetic Dermatopathy is treated?
Till now no specific treatment is found, but antimicrobial drugs are administrated and also vitamins and minerals. High quality protein is given to the animal. Amino acid intravenous supplement, liver disease therapy is used in case of liver disease. Prognosis is very poor and the animal may die in five months or euthanized.
Prevention of cat skin disorders
Some of cat skin disorders can’t be prevented, but can be controlled by suitable care and treatment , we will discuss some items which can help the cat owner:
- Giving the cat balanced diet.
- Castration of the cat which decrease any involvement in cats fight and also has another benefits.
- Grooming cats regularly to remove any dead hair.
- Avoid exposure to cat allergens (objects which your cat is hyper sensitive to it).
- It is important to ask your veterinarian about any shampoo , cream or washes before using which can cause sensitivity and skin disorders.
- Cats Protection,“Itchy cats and skin disorders”.
- American Veterinarian, “Understanding Skin Disease in Cats”.
- Journals,“The feline skin microbiota”.
- The Ulster Society Prevention Cruelty to Animals (USPCA), “Caring For Cats & Kittens”.
- University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, “Skin Diseases in Cats”.
- Pet MD, “5 Common Cat Skin Problems”.