Sometimes called eczema, dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that causes severe itching in cats. In the absence of treatment, the animal scratches a lot, which exposes it to the risk of superinfection. But in some cases, the cat can be the victim of asthma attacks related to allergic dermatitis. Spotlight on this dermatological disorder.
Dermatitis in cats: causes and symptoms
This damage to the outer layers of the skin can be caused by:
- An allergy to flea bites: we are talking about DAPP (Allergic Dermatitis to Flea Bites) which manifests itself rather in autumn.
- A contact allergy (plastic, nickel, etc.),
- A food allergy: fish, beef, chicken and dairy products are the main foods that can cause allergic dermatitis in cats,
- Parasitic dermatosis,
- Autoimmune dermatosis,
- An allergy to a drug,
- A hormonal imbalance.
The cat with miliary dermatitis develops skin lesions such as crusts or papules, most often in a very localized manner. The signs appear mainly around its mouth, on its legs or on its back, but can also appear in the neck. The cat licks itself frequently to relieve the itching and even pulls out the hair from biting.
The veterinarian can also identify a atopic dermatitis. This is more commonly called theeczema atopic. The cat scratches itself untimely to the point of inflicting lesions and we can see hot areas with red spots where the itching is virulent. Blisters then yellowish crusts then appear and finally, a film forms on the lesions. The skin then becomes very dry, and at any time in the event of chronicity of atopic dermatitis, the itching reappears.
Be careful, itching accompanied by oozing patches may be due to an eosinophilic granuloma. It is an autoimmune disease that is triggered by an external cause which can for example be the infestation of the cat by a parasite.
Feline dermatitis: diagnosis and treatment
Identifying the cause of dermatitis in cats is not easy, especially if the origin is a food allergy because the reliability of the tests is not 100% guaranteed. The veterinarian therefore sets up with the owner of the animal a predatory diet. This involves eliminating one food at a time to check whether or not the symptoms of dermatitis continue to appear. This diet should be followed for at least a month.
In general, to identify the cause of dermatitis, it is necessary proceed by elimination but one blood test may be necessary in order to check the immunoglobulin level, especially when atopy is suspected.
Treatment is in any case essential for heal lesions then for relieve itching. A pest control is prescribed when necessary.
For prevent dermatitis, it is very important to control any parasitic infestation. Vermifuge, flea products, regular cleaning of the entire environment of the cat, treatment of all of its domestic animals which can contaminate each other, are all precautions to be taken. If the allergy is food, you have to be patient because with an avoidance diet, you do not get convincing results quickly. And when you have to reintroduce the ousted food, it is very important to monitor your cat well in order to react as quickly as possible if the manifestations of dermatitis reappear.