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Merck Manual

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Skin Disease History Checklist

Skin Disease History Checklist

When you bring your cat to your veterinarian for a skin problem, you can help your veterinarian diagnose the problem by having information about the following:

  • The primary complaint—what is bothering your cat?

  • The length of time the problem has been present.

  • The age at which the skin disease started. Some diseases are more common to particular ages of animals.

  • The breed. Some breeds are prone to specific diseases.

  • Behavior of the cat, such as licking, rubbing, scratching, or chewing of the skin.

  • How the problem started and how it has progressed. For example, problems that began with itching may lead to self-trauma that develops secondary skin wounds or infections.

  • The type of skin problems you saw develop and when.

  • The season when the problem first started. Some skin diseases are related to the season of the year.

  • The area on the body where the problem was first noticed.

  • Any previous treatments and how your cat responded to treatment. For example, if your cat did not improve if given antibiotics, this helps your veterinarian exclude certain diseases.

  • The presence of fleas, ticks, or mites.

  • The health of other animals with which your cat has been in contact.

  • The environment of your cat. Changes in the animal’s environment can influence the development of certain skin diseases.

  • The presence of any additional signs (such as increased thirst or urination, change in appetite or energy level, or increased panting). The skin can be the first place that signs of a body-wide illness are noted.