Feline eosinophilic granuloma complex: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment


The feline eosinophilic granuloma complex (CGEF) is a dermatological syndrome progressive development whose underlying causes are very diverse. It is manifested either by itchy erythematous lesions or by ulcerations. Let’s take stock of this syndrome enough frequent but yet still poorly known at present and which mainly affects adult cats.

Feline eosinophilic granuloma complex or CGEF: symptoms

The main symptoms that can lead to suspecting a feline eosinophilic granuloma complex are skin conditions of different types. The animal may present one or more of the following manifestations:

  • Itchy patches on the skin
  • Oozing lesions,
  • The non-itchy, lateral or bilateral eosinophilic ulcer, especially present on the upper lip of the animal, near a fang, but can also appear on the palate, the tongue… Yellowish brown in color and shiny in appearance, it is not painful. On the other hand, it causes difficulties:
    • on swallowing,
    • chewing,
    • hypersalivation.
  • A granuloma that appears on the outer side of a cat’s thighs as a bulge of reddish-gray, hairless skin,
  • Itching of varying degrees of importance, mainly in the thighs and stomach.

Depending on the case, plaques and lesions can intensify or on the contrary disappear spontaneously.

CGEF: diagnosis and treatment

The diagnostic of the feline eosinophilic granuloma complex can only be confirmed or ruled out following a cytological examination. The principle is simple. It consists of a skin layer that the veterinarian performs on lesions in order to check for the existence of eosinophils, leukocytes (white blood cells) involved either in case of parasitism, or in case ofallergy. The skin layer also makes it possible to observe the intracellular bacteria just like the degenerate neutrophils (other leukocytes) and check their number. The veterinarian also performs a histological analysis by performing a scraping or biopsy to confirm their diagnosis with certainty.

Diagnosing a CGEF is not enough because to set up a treatment protocol adapted to the case by case. It is essential toaccurately identify the underlying cause of the feline eosinophilic granuloma complex. The veterinarian must therefore take into account the localization of lesions as well as form of the syndrome, namely if it manifests itself in plaques, in the form of a granuloma or even an ulcer.

The supported systematically begins with the administration of a radical flea treatment as a preventive measure since allergy to flea bites is the main cause of allergic dermatitis in cats. At the same time, the animal receives a first-line symptomatic treatment which is based on corticosteroid therapy.

In some cases, the choice is antibiotics, especially in case of bacterial superinfection and if the cat suffers from rebel form from CGEF, a corticosteroid which includes dexamethasone for its anti-inflammatory effect. If the animal’s condition improves, the chosen protocol is maintained until the symptoms disappear.

In the absence of improvement, the treatment is modified since it is then based on the short-term prescription of corticosteroids making it possible to prevent the reappearance of the lesions but also to treat those in progress. In some cats, immunosuppressants are prescribed. Note that antihistamines can replace corticosteroids, while for other cats the veterinarian may choose essential fatty acids but these require taking over the long term before they can see a convincing result.

Anyway, at thestopping treatment, if the CGEF recidivism, a food allergy research is systematically carried out. When the results are negative, additional examinations such as skin tests are carried out in order to carry out a desensitization if necessary.

Of regular control visits are required thereafter. But if it is impossible to move, it is advisable for the cat owner to photograph the lesions every 8 to 12 days and send them to the veterinarian so that he can objectively follow their development.

Feline eosinophilic granuloma complex: prevention

We can effectively act preventively against the feline eosinophilic granuloma complex by conducting a fierce fight against external parasites. Preventive and curative treatments against fleas should therefore be used regularly. At the same time, the affected animal may receive a homeopathic treatment helping to minimize the symptoms of CGEF.

Capable of training chronic conditions by dint of relapses, this dermatological syndrome is enough difficult to cure definitely. It is therefore strongly recommended to avoid any accumulation of immune system stimuli by opting for a diet free of allergens or hypoallergenic diet. This precaution considerably reduces the process of hypersensitivity in cats.

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