© 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. Various treatment processes will heal the skin, but you need to correct the behavior that causes raw skin for the treatments to be effective. Erosions are shallow defects in the skin that only affect the skin's upper layers. Ringworm is another type of fungus that affects cats, especially if they are under age 1. Nonepitheliotropic skin lymphosarcoma may occur as either single or multiple tumors that are most likely to develop on the trunk of cats. The ulcer can eat away at the tissue, causing the cat to look like it has been bitten by a rat. However, they may include one or more of the following: 1. Scratching the head or neck is a common sign of food allergies. There are also products that can be given every other month as well as a collar that can provide protection for up to 8 months. Despite their name, there is no connection between them and rodents of any kind. The condition is often called gastroduodenal disease and the ulcers that are symptomatic of this condition are called gastroduodenal ulcers. Treatment depends on what is causing the reaction. Yeast infections are caused by a fungus and are also more likely in cats that have other medical problems. Atropine relieves the pain but also dilates the pupil widely. Most skin lesions are benign, but a small number can be cancerous, which is why it is always important to have any skin lesions checked out by a veterinarian. Possible causes include stress, poor grooming, a reaction to medication, an underlying skin condition, or even the plastic bowl you put out with their food or water. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter. Signs of ear mites include excessive scratching of the ears, head shaking, and a strong odor and a dark discharge from the ears. It not only kills fleas on your cat, but those in your home should eventually be eliminated as they fail to reproduce. Check with your veterinarian as soon as possible if you find any oddities on your cat’s skin -- flaking, scaling, redness, or bald patches. For example, feline acne can make a cat's hair follicles more vulnerable to infection, resulting in folliculitis. The healed surface skin traps bacteria under the skin, which will gradually fester and cause a painful swollen area and potentially a mass of pus. In some cases an underlying cause cannot be identified. Ringworm, a fungal infection, and minor bacterial infections can cause skin sores in cats. ", American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA): "Cat Care – Ear Care;" "Cat Care – Ringworm;" "Cat Care – Allergies;" "Cat Care – Shedding;" "Cat Care -- Fleas;" "Cat Care -- Cancer;" and "Cat Care -- Ear Mites. Ear mites are common in cats, especially for kittens who may have picked them up from … In severe cases, the condition can make the tail vulnerable to bacterial infections. It is a systemic infection that causes respiratory problems, generalized weakness, a poor appetite, and even blindness. Older cats and those with white ears and heads are especially susceptible to skin cancer. Overview. Large infestations can lead to scratching, restlessness, unusual coat appearance, and hair loss. First, make sure that your veterinarian approves of hydrotherapy as an appropriate treatment for your cat's condition. Abscesses occur when a puncture is made in the skin of the cat, this could be from another cats claw, or teeth while fighting. They are commonly found on young, neglected cats and often go unnoticed. Ear mites. Wondering if your cat has a skin problem? The sores may later crust over. Mouth ulcers are small, painful, round, white lesions affecting the mouth including the lips, tongue, and gums. People with a compromised immune system are especially vulnerable. Keeping eroded, or ulcerated skin clean and protected, with soap that is specially formulated for sensitive skin, will be key to effective and responsive healing. Usually caused by flea bite sensitivity, or food allergies, Pemphigus (an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the skin), Skin infection caused by Staphylococcus, characterized by the presence of pus (pyoderma), Deep fungal or mycotic (parasitic fungi) infections, such as sporotrichosis, cryptococcosis, histoplasmosis, Superficial fungal infections, like Malassezia dermatitis, and dermatophytosis, Actinomycetic bacteria, such as Nocardia, Actinomyces, and Streptomyce; indications of an actinomycetic bacterial infection are similar to a fungal infection, Feline cow pox; transmitted by rodent bite, Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) related conditions, Various skin disorders in which the skin is abnormal at birth (that is, a congenital abnormality), and that may or may not be inherited, Excessive production of steroids by the adrenal glands (hyperadrenocorticism), especially when complicated by secondary infections or calcium deposits in the skin (calcinosis cutis), Thermal, electrical, solar, or chemical burns. Cats can have allergic reactions to grooming products, food, and environmental irritants, such as pollen or flea bites. One of the first signs of the illness, however, is round, oozing sores on the skin. 5 Monitor for any inflammation or ulceration. Food allergies or fleas are sometimes to blame, but the lesions can also result from bacterial infections. Your veterinarian may recommend a specialized shampoo or gel to clear up the breakout, or antibiotics if a bacterial infection accompanies the acne. Persistent dandruff may be a sign of poor nutrition, inadequate grooming, or an underlying medical problem. Skin lesions are defined as any changes to the skin such as ulcerations, wounds, cysts, papules, plaques, nodules, blisters, erosions, sores, hives or scales. Monthly control, though, is not the only option. Identifying the reason for raw skin can be difficult; it requires careful observation. And remember: Treating all pets in the home is necessary for whatever plan you use to be effective. According to Vet West, a cat's surface skin heals quickly, which leaves the deep puncture unhealed underneath. Like people, some cats get dry, flaky skin in the winter. WebMD has compiled images of some of the most common feline skin problems. They are elongated lesions that are reddish-yellow in color. If your cat has raised ulcers or lesions on the nose or lips, they may be having a type of allergic reaction known as an eosinophilic granuloma. Home remedies for cats They can be the result of an acute condition such as some type of a bacterial infection, as well as some type of trauma that has occurred to your cat. Her skin should also feel smooth when you pet her. An in depth history, which you will provide, will be necessary for the true nature of the disorder to be made apparent. Bandages can be readily applied to the head, neck, chest, tail, or lower legs of a cat. Treatment for a skin ulcer can include protective bandages or splints, antibiotic cream or ointments, oral antibiotics as well as whirlpool baths. Skin Problems in Cats By Jessica Vogelsang, DVM Skin problems are one of the most common reasons cats are brought to the veterinarian. There are three types of Eosinophilic Cat Skin Disorders To confirm a diagnosis of cancer, a biopsy is necessary. This reaction can occur anywhere on the body, but is most common on the face, pads of the feet, and thighs. Like mites, lice can be treated with a topical solution. Allergies can also cause hair loss or skin lesions anywhere on the body, including the belly. This tool does not provide medical advice. Talk to your vet about what would be best for your cat. Never ignore professional veterinary advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. The skin around these lesions is often flaky and bald. An ulcer may be like a bleeding sore on the cat’s skin. Although it … Often, cat skin sores are the result of parasitic infestation by scabies, sarcoptic mites, or demodectic mites. Her hair coat had regrown completely and her lip, although scarred, had regenerated fairly well. Treatment for Cat Ulcers. Many of the causes have subtle differences in appearance and distribution. All rights reserved. However, they may include one or more of the following: Common causes for skin ulcers and erosions are burns, trauma, and skin infections, as well as more complicated conditions, such as drug reactions, certain types of cancers, and autoimmune diseases of the skin. At six month follow-up, the cat had gained a total of 3 pounds. Ear mites are also contagious to other animals. Your veterinarian will perform a histological skin biopsy -- an analysis of the diseased tissues -- as well as mycobacterial, and/or fungal cultures, and evaluations of fluid and pus from the lesion or blister. The tumors are thick patches or lumps that can have hair loss or skin ulcers.
Cats are susceptible to skin infections, parasites, allergies, and many other conditions commonly seen in people. Lesions, ulcers and blisters will need to be biopsied for an in depth analysis. Other signs of a flea infestation are persistent scratching, crusty skin lesions, and thinning hair above the base of the tail. Merck Veterinary Manual: "Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex. The ear is one of the most common spots for a yeast infection. Raw skin in cats may require long-term attention. In many cases, bacterial skin infections develop as a result of another skin problem. Dry skin on cats is a common condition — especially in winter when the weather turns cooler. (2-15) Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine(16) Tatiane Noviski Fornel / Flickr A wide variety of conditions can result in erosions or ulcers of the skin. Bandages or splints may be necessary at times if your cat has a wound or a broken bone. If your cat seems to be in more pain after the medication is used, discontinue it and contact your veterinarian. Cats may groom compulsively in response to stress, such as moving into a new home, but they may also overgroom due to a medical problem such as arthritis. Abnormal hair loss can be a warning sign of several illnesses, as well as fleas, stress, allergies, or poor nutrition. The wide variance of possible causes, and the similarities of many of the manifestations, make diagnosing and treating a dermatological skin disorder a challenge. Special shampoos and supplements of omega-3 fatty acids can help treat feline dandruff. Ringworm is highly contagious and can spread to other pets in the home, as well as to people. The ulcers do not cause any pain and are not itchy. "Small Animal Dermatology," Linda Medleau and Keith A. Hnilica . Indolent ulcers occur on the upper lip of cats … It's usually nothing serious, but have your veterinarian take a look. View our slideshows to learn more about your health. In the early stages, you’ll notice skin discoloration in the area. As they feed, they cause inflammation that can lead to a serious skin or ear infection. According to William H. Miller Jr., VMD, a professor of dermatology at Cornell Universitys College of Veterinary Medicine, the eruptions can include oozing masses, yellowish-pink ulcerations, or big tumor-like bumps, depending on their specific source. What has been the gold standard of flea control is a monthly flea prevention protocol. Crusty cat scabs on cat’s back, head, belly, legs or tail are caused by blood clots or fluids that form on top of a cut or wound when healing process is taking place. Calicivirus. Kathy Snyder, DVM, Internal Medicine and Emergency/Critical Care, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine. Suspect ear mites when both ears are affected. ", Merck Veterinary Manual: "Sporotrichosis. How to Identify a Problem Right Away. 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