Diseases of the skin in cats is always a big problem for their owner, so treating them can be very difficult. An animal is not a human being; it is extremely difficult to convince him of the necessity of wearing dressings and that it is not worth licking medical ointments from the skin. There are more complicated cases. Here, for example, atopic dermatitis in cats. Despite the many external manifestations, the roots of this disease are hidden deep in the body of the pet, and therefore it is difficult to fight it.
This is the name for skin inflammation that occurs against the background of a generalized allergic reaction. Today, veterinarians believe that this pathology is almost certainly a genetically determined disease that occurs only in initially predisposed animals. This disease specifically in cats is rare, where veterinarians often make the wrong diagnosis, taking for extreme cases of flea dermatitis as atopic dermatitis.
In addition (unlike dogs), the clinical signs in these animals are very blurry and not specific. Finally, many of the symptoms of atopic dermatitis in cats resemble those of Aujeszky’s disease. But first things first.
So, because of what does this type of dermatitis generally develop, what are the causes of the disease? Presumably, they lie somewhere in the genome of the animal. In many ways, this opinion is due to the early development of the disease, the first signs of which appear at the age of 9-10 months to two years. But not so simple.
The fact is that today Veterinarians anxiously record a constant increase in the number of animals suffering from allergic diseases. In human medicine, the same thing happens. The reason is simple - a sharp deterioration in the environmental situation and an incredible amount of food additives, even in cat food. So the disease may well arise due to the nature of the nutrition of the pregnant cat, in the body of which antibodies to completely "ordinary" substances and compounds are produced that do not pose a direct danger to her life and health.
This results in sensitization (inadequate sensitivity) of unborn kittens. In their "adult" life they encounter an antigen that has entered the body of their mother, as problems immediately begin. As a rule, it does not reach anaphylactic shock, but dermatitis can develop easily.
Some researchers also suggest that the development of the disease is almost certainly influenced by sex hormones, since the time of appearance of the first clinical signs clearly coincides with puberty. Interestingly, atopic dermatitis in some cats is somehow related to bronchitis or bronchial asthma. How these pathologies are "linked" to each other, scientists have not yet figured out.
It is not by chance that we mentioned above about Aujeszky's disease: at first the cat literally begins to chew and chew its limbs. At first, the attacks are rare, but gradually they become more frequent, the animal gnaws itself to the blood, greatly tearing the skin. Please note: such phenomena are divided into seasonal and non-seasonal.
If the cat begins to "tear and throw" in the summer or spring, then he was lucky. Most likely, he is allergic to the pollen of some plant. Though theoretically, but at the same time, a specific substance can still be identified and isolated from it your pet. In the case when the disease progresses year-round, the matter may be in the feed, the animal may develop an allergy to fleas, dust mites, or its body produces an abnormal reaction to the components of household chemicals, in a word, there may be thousands of reasons, to identify " "an allergen can be very difficult (or even completely unrealistic).
Soon, alopecia, i.e. foci of baldness, appears in various parts of the cat's body. The skin there looks absolutely normal, the hair at the edges of these zones (attention, this is important) does not break off and does not fall out. And this is important because the first signs of depriving are manifested in a similar way, only with dermatophytosis the hair becomes fragile and brittle. More often than others, the armpit zones, the neck, the front of the muzzle, the stomach and the genital area are affected. That is, places where the skin is the most delicate and delicate.
Often an eosinophilic granuloma develops, gradually ulcers appear on the skin integument, and a progressive inflammatory reaction begins. Affected areas are quickly seeded with pathogenic and conditionally pathogenic microflora, foci of suppuration occur.
Diagnostics and differential diagnostics
It is not surprising that with very blurry symptoms, diagnosis is of great importance. The disease should be distinguished from flea dermatitis, from Aujeszky's disease, from simple food and other varieties of allergies, demodicosis, lichen, ear tick, etc.
To find out the exact background of what is happening, you need an accurate medical history, medical history, information about the animal’s pedigree, about the nature of its nutrition (feed, changes in purchased brands). Then, blood, urine, feces are taken, scrapings are made from the skin, hair is taken for examination. It is extremely important to carry out an allergic test, since only it can give an answer to a very interesting question: "Which substance causes relapse of the disease and worsens the course of the disease?"
Unfortunately, the problem is that the reagents for conducting this test are a very expensive thing, and therefore this technique is not used in every human hospital, not to mention veterinary clinics. But if your veterinarian has the opportunity to carry it out, you should definitely use it, regardless of the cost. The results of an allergy test can help a lot when prescribing and treating your pet..
How is atopic dermatitis in cats treated? Firstly, it is extremely important to prevent the development of any secondary infection that further weakens the body. Broad-spectrum antibiotics and other antimicrobials are prescribed.
Secondly, it is necessary to stop the external manifestations of an allergic reaction due to the release of histamine into the blood. For this, standard antihistamines are used. The following drugs have proven particularly good:
- Good old diphenhydramine.
Fortunately, unlike dogs, in which antihistamines with atopic dermatitis work (at best) in 15-30% of cases, in the treatment of cats, the efficiency reaches 80%. As a rule, a positive effect can be observed after a couple of weeks after the start of treatment. Very good effect on the condition of a sick animal, the appointment of fish oil. It is rich in essential fatty acids, which, oddly enough, greatly alleviate excruciating skin itching. An individual diet is developed for each animal, which should not contain any allergens.
In all cases, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed. If the condition of the animal is alarming, immunosuppressants are prescribed that suppress the "independent activity" of the immune system. Cyclosporin has proven itself well.