Not Found
Locations

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

* This is the Veterinary Version. *

Dermatitis and Dermatologic Problems 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

Dermatitis is a general word for any type of inflammation of the skin. It is usually used until a specific diagnosis is reached. There are many causes of skin inflammation, including external irritants, burns, allergens, trauma, and infection (bacterial, viral, parasitic, or fungal).

The signs of dermatitis can include itching, scaling, abnormal redness, thickening of the skin, and hair loss. The usual progression of a skin disease involves an underlying trigger that causes boils, scabs, scales, or blisters.

Abnormal itching, called pruritus, occurs in many diseases and is often present because of secondary infections. As the inflammation progresses, crusting and scaling develop. If the problem reaches the deeper dermis, fluid discharge, pain, and sloughing of the skin may occur. Secondary bacterial and yeast infections commonly develop as a result of skin inflammation. If the dermatitis does not improve, early signs of inflammation (such as redness) become obscured by signs of chronic inflammation (thickening of the skin, color changes, scaling, fluid discharge). Often the skin becomes drier. If itching is not already a sign, it will often develop at this stage.

Resolving dermatitis requires that your veterinarian identify the underlying cause and treat secondary infections or other complications. A review of your cat’s history and a physical examination can more precisely define the problem.

Resources In This Article

* This is the Veterinary Version. *