Cat Skin Problems Can Be a Challenge to Diagnose and Treat

Often Cat skin problems are caused by another health issue and it is simply a symptom, not a specific disease. Following are the different kinds of skin problems your cat may face.

Macule: This is an area where the skin color changes. It’s common in cases of injury and inflammation.

Papule: This is an elevated lesion that if big enough, is called plaque. It can be cancerous or non-cancerous.

Postule: This is an area of the skin that is filled with pus. The pus is composed of dead white blood cells that are battling a bacteria or fungus.

Vesicle: This is a lump under the skin that is filled with excess fluids.

Wheal: Often referred to as a cat hive, it is very itchy. It can be caused by an allergic reaction, allergy or insect bite and usually goes away on its own after a few minutes or hours.

Nodule: This is an elevated bump on the skin that is caused by abnormal cell growth. It can be benign or malignant and can be due to a bacterial or fungal infection.

Tumor: This is a large mass of tissue that is caused by an abnormal growth of cells or is due to inflammation.

Symptoms of Skin Disease

Skin disease can have many symptoms, including:

· Red, irritated looking skin called skin lesions

· Loss of hair

· A dry, dull looking coat

· Red patches of lumps on the skin

· Hot spots

· Scaly patches or scabs on the skin

· Excessive licking or scratching

Treating the Problem

Skin problems are addressed through a series of diagnostic tests that may include:

· Use of a Woods Light to see if there are fungal infections, such as ringworm.

· A biopsy to remove cells from any lumps to see if they are cancerous or simply a wart or cyst.

· A blood test to check for infections or nutrient deficiencies.

Treatment depends on the nature of the skin issue and its extent. Your veterinarian may recommend oral or topical medications. If your cat has scratched himself too much, an antibiotic may be administered to address an infection.

Lumps and bumps may require surgical removal if they are cancerous or seem to bother your pet, such as those lumps that restrict your cat’s range of movement. If it’s benign or not affecting your pet, your vet may just recommend leaving it alone.

You may also want to try some homeopathic products to improve overall skin and coat condition, such as a skin and coat tonic. A lot of these products contain vitamin A, which can promote the healing of skin.

Properly diagnosed and treated, your cat’s skin problems may not be serious or even long term. If you can’t get the problem to clear up on its own or by using home remedies or over the counter products, you may want to schedule a visit with your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to run specific tests to determine the root cause so he can treat the underlying disease that is causing the skin problems.