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Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

* This is the Veterinary Version. *

Treatment of Skin Disorders in Cats

By Karen A. Moriello, DVM, DACVD, Professor of Dermatology, Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison ; Thomas R. Klei, PhD, Boyd Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Advanced Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine and Louisiana Agriculture Experiment Station, Louisiana State University ; David Stiller, MS, PhD, Research Entomologist, Animal Disease Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, University of Idaho ; Stephen D. White, DVM, DACVD, Professor and Chief of Service, Dermatology, Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital; Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis ; Michael W. Dryden, DVM, PhD, DACVM, University Distinguished Professor of Veterinary Parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University ; Carol S. Foil, DVM, MS, DACVD, Professor, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine ; Paul Gibbs, BVSc, PhD, FRCVS, Professor Emeritus, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida ; John E. Lloyd, BS, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Entomology, University of Wyoming ; Bernard Mignon, DVM, PhD, DEVPC, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases, University of Liège ; Wayne Rosenkrantz, DVM, DACVD ; Patricia A. Talcott, MS, DVM, PhD, DABVT, Associate Professor, Department of Food Science and Toxicology, Holm Research Center, University of Idaho ; Alice E. Villalobos, DVM, DPNAP, Director;Director, Animal Oncology Consultation Service;Pawspice ; Patricia D. White, DVM, MS, DACVD

Successful treatment of a skin disorder requires identification of the underlying cause. Not surprisingly, many treatments for skin diseases are applied directly to the skin surface. This may be the preferred method of treatment for some diseases or beneficial in addition to systemic drugs (medications taken by mouth or injected, then distributed throughout the body). Examples of products applied directly to the skin include antibiotic ointments, corticosteroid preparations, medicated shampoos, and topical insecticides. Most cats do not like to be bathed, so shampoo treatment is less often recommended for cats than it is for dogs. Instead, your veterinarian may recommend local warm packs or washing of the particular area involved (such as the chin).

Systemic drugs may be needed to treat some disorders. These include whole-body antibiotics, corticosteroids, and other anti-inflammatory drugs.

As with any treatment program, make sure that you read and understand all directions for using the prescribed product, including how to apply or give it, how much to use, and how often it should be administered.

* This is the Veterinary Version. *