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Could this be feline psoriasis?

by Christal P. Johnson
(Milwaukee,WI)

My cat had recurring bouts with hair loss, scabs, and scratching. None of my other animals have been effected. It doesn't seem to be cat mange. What do you think?


Editor Suggestions: Feline Psoriasis

Dear Christal,

Thank you for your question regarding feline psoriasis.

Cat skin or fur can be affected by several conditions, including infectious or non infectious conditions. Though these conditions can be differentiated on the basis of symptoms and pattern of disease, it is not always possible to confirm the exact cat skin problem using symptoms alone as the guide. Cat skin condition symptoms are mostly alike and in some infectious conditions like feline demodicosis (cat mange), it is possible that other cats that live with this cat might not be affected.

It is therefore always required that a cat be taken to a veterinarian for laboratory tests, and for an examination of skin scrapings. Other tests might also be required, but that depends upon the initial diagnosis. So, its better to go for a detailed diagnosis in order to properly treat the cat skin condition causing the problem.

Here, we can only help you in identifying the symptoms and possible condition, and also suggest some supportive and preventive measures, which will surely help to make your cat more comfortable.

If the condition is recurring and does not spread to other cats, it can be related to your cat's food, such as a cat food allergy. Some cats can be sensitive towards various components in their food. Soy, corn, dairy products and beef are the most common allergenic components in cat food. To confirm, you can try by eliminating these components from the food, for at least 14 days to 3 months. Try what is called a novel diet, where the food consists of 1 protein and one simple carbohydrate such as Hill's Prescription Diet D/D. Cat food allergy can appear even after a cat has been eating a particular food with no problems for a long period of time. Switch over gradually, by mixing new and old together to avoid any stomach issues.

A significant reduction in the severity of symptoms would indicate the success of the trial therapy. On the other hand, to reduce localized symptoms such as cat skin itching and irritation caused by scabs, you should try some antiseptic and anti itch preparation like lotions etc. such as Septiderm Lotion. Such lotions will surely help to heal and sooth the skin.

To improve cat hair regrowth and skin health, natural remedies can help. Skin tonics should be used on regular basis such as Skin and Coat Tonic.

If symptoms persist even after preventive measures and eliminating possible food allergens, you should go for a detailed clinical and laboratory diagnosis for confirmation and specific treatment. Supportive measures will be required as well, so you can follow the above aforementioned tips along with the specific therapy.

Please keep us up to date on your cats skin condition.

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