Published on January 17th, 2014 | by Debbie Martin0
Atopic Dermatitis in Cats – What You Should Know
Could your cat be suffering from atopic dermatitis? This is a type of skin condition that is caused by allergens. Although this condition can be caused by a number of different allergens, the symptoms will usually be very similar.
What Causes Atopic Dermatitis?
Your cat could develop dermatitis if its skin is sensitive to allergens that are present within the environment. These allergens could include pollen, plants, mould, dust, cigarette smoke, deodorizers, disinfectants or other substances.
What are the Symptoms?
If your cat is suffering from atopic dermatitis, he will likely develop a skin rash or signs of redness. Inflammation will show up specifically around the ears. Perhaps you might notice that your cat is frequently pawing at its face or rubbing its face against a surface to relieve the itch. After scratching the same spot excessively, your cat might even develop skin lesions.
If your cat has inhaled the allergens, it might have a runny nose and frequent sneezing. You might notice these symptoms more during a specific time of year.
How Does the Vet Diagnose the Problem?
When your take your cat to the vet, they will perform a very thorough physical examination so that they can evaluate the symptoms that are present. After taking a look through your cat’s medical history, the vet will perform a skin scraping test in order to rule out other skin conditions – such as infections or mange. Then, they will conduct an intradermal blood test in order to check for certain immune responses. Your vet might also conduct blood tests or fungal cultural tests so that they can look for certain antibodies.
How Can It Be Treated?
The way to treat your cat is to figure out what the allergen is and remove it from the environment. Also, there are immunotherapy shots that can be administered to your cat, which will help to reduce its hypersensitivity toward certain allergens. These injections can be administered as a serious of shots. There are also other options, including anti-biotic drugs, antihistamine medication and prescription only medications such as Atopica for Cats. If your cat is suffering from skin irritation, your vet might also prescribe a cream with hydrocortisone to soothe the itching and bring down the inflammation. It will also help to keep your cat’s bedding very clean and to perform regular grooming and flea control.
These are just a few important things that you need to know about atopic dermatitis so that you can keep your cat happy and healthy.