Cat and dog skin problems are a major source of discomfort to pet owners. They spoil the otherwise flawless coat of your pet and can also cause a fair amount of distress.
Many internal disorders that your cat may have can present symptoms like feline eczema. The veterinary medical term for feline eczema is military dermatitis. It is the skins reaction to infections, allergies and inflammation. Feline eczema is commonly known as ‘scabby cat disease’ or ‘blotch’ and is one of the common causes behind feline hair loss .
Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common known cause of feline eczema. There are also other kinds of infections that infect the skin and lead to feline eczema:
- Bacterial infections
- Fungal infections
- Yeast infections
- Parasitic infections
The allergies that can cause eczema in cats include:
- Hypersensitivity to flea bites
- Hypersensitivity to food items
- Atopy, or contact allergies
Autoimmune disorders, hormonal disturbances, deficiency of fatty acids in diet and a fungus known as ringworm can also cause cat eczema.
You can identify feline eczema by observing the infected part of the skin closely. It appears as multiple crusty wound-like protuberances on a cat’s skin with redness underneath. The lesions look like millet seeds that lend it the name - military dermatitis. Feline eczema can cover a large area of the body. The base of the tail, neck and head are the areas that are most commonly affected.
Eczema causes excessive itchiness. This causes the cat to scratch the infected areas excessively. The scratching can further exacerbate the condition and also cause hair loss. The excessive loss of hair can actually lead to a situation where you may see hair balls and fur in your cat’s vomit or feces. General restlessness and aggressive behavior are other symptoms of eczema.
Treatment of feline eczema depends upon the underlying cause. If the underlying cause cannot be established immediately, the veterinarian may temporarily resort to strong anti-inflammatory drugs, like steroids, for quick relief. While investigations are ongoing, you can provide comfort to your cat by using soothing creams and by ensuring that he remains in a cool environment.
Minor skin problems like cat dandruff and feline acne can be managed with the aid of proper grooming and pet care. Feline eczema, on the other hand, is one of those pet hair and skin disorders that can lead to more complications if the cause is not identified and attended to in time.
Since sensitivity to flea bites is the most common cause reason behind feline eczema, you can avert the possibility of feline eczema by adopting a comprehensive and consistent flea prevention program.