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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Common causes of pruritus in cats.

Cats like any other animal do get itchy but unlike dogs the response of cats to various allergens varies so also does the type and site of of the lesions. The basis of diagnosis of pruritus in cats will lean much more on history, and lesion sites . A complete and detailed history of the cat's activities,disease-record,food,medication grooming,frequency of walks,nature of environment and basically the behavioral pattern. The history can reveal if the cat's pruritus is seasonal or not, if seasonal there is no need to perform a food trial but if the pruritus is not seasonal, you need to perform a food trial. Cats with allergies dont show pododermaitis as dogs would, rather cats showing pododermatitis have an underlying case caused by Pemphigus foliaceus. Age of the cat is also a factor in diagnosing the cause of the itch, kitten rarely have atopy and cats older than 6 months with pruritus usually have an underlying fungi or parasitic infection. Cats are sensitive to bites and stings especially mosquito bites,with hypersensitivity in some cases resulting in dermatitis in the paws,ears and nares. History of cats with hypersensitivity to mosquito bites is important to prevent misdiagnosis. The picture shows a cat with hypersensitivity to mosquito bites. Common causes of pruritus in cats are 1) food allergy; this can occur at any age,so do not rule out this in an old cat.If the itching is seasonal you dont need a food trial but if not seasonal you will need a food trial.A change of diet for about 12 weeks will resolve it. 2) parasites; cats that go outdoors a lot are prone to flea allergies,this is the most common cause of pruritus in cats with a lot of outdoor activities. The pruritus is usually on the dorsal and lumbar region. Keep the cats in doors,use topical flea control and clean the environment using flea control measures. 3)Pemphigus foliaceus this is an autoimmune disorder with lesions in nail-beds,nipples and ears.