Cat Dermatology and Skin Problems
Dermatologic (skin) disorders are the most common medical conditions that dog and cat owners seek veterinary care for. Skin allergies and ear infections (otitis externa) are at the top of the list of most common ailments we treat in our canine patients at the Animal Clinic of Billings and Animal Surgery Clinic. Both skin and ear problems can cause severe discomfort in cats and dogs alike.
At the Animal Clinic of Billings, our veterinarians have years of experience in diagnosing and treating various skin and ear conditions. Along with addressing the immediate dermatologic problem, we can also provide your pet with a treatment plan for long-term management of chronic skin and ear diseases. The treatment plan is tailored to each pet’s condition to ensure that every cat and dog receives the best possible veterinary care.
A typical dermatology visit consists of obtaining your cat’s history and performing a thorough examination of his or her skin and ears. After the examination, your doctor will recommend diagnostic tests such as:
- Food allergy trials
- Skin scrapes
- Skin cytology
- Skin cultures
- Skin biopsies
Once a diagnosis of the specific skin condition is made, we tailor an appropriate treatment plan for your cat. Treatment options include oral medications, supplements, medicated shampoos, and other topical medications. At the Animal Clinic of Billings, we carry a wide variety of these products for your convenience. Sometimes changing a pet’s diet will resolve skin and ear problems as well. Ask your veterinarian about any possible dietary restrictions your cat may have at your next appointment.
MOST COMMON SKIN PROBLEMS IN CATS AND DOGS
Dermatitis is one of the most common skin conditions that we encounter here at the Animal Clinic of Billings. This disease involves inflammation of the skin and is typically associated with allergies, but there are other causes as well.
Below are the most common causes of dermatitis in cats that we treat here at the Animal Clinic of Billings and Animal Surgery Clinic:
- Pyoderma (bacterial infections)
- Pachydermatitis (yeast infection)
- Immune-mediated skin disease
- External parasites (fleas, ticks, and mites)
- Lick granulomas
- Hot spots
- Skin tumors
SYMPTOMS OF CAT AND DOG SKIN PROBLEMS
- Red spots, sores, or scabs
- Dandruff/flaky skin
- Bald patches/hair loss
- Abnormal odor from skin or ears
- Scratching/pawing at ears
- Head shaking
- Tilting head to one side
- Holding an ear lower than the other
- Dry or oily skin
- Constant licking of paws
We recommend scheduling an examination with one of our veterinarians if you notice any of these symptoms listed above in your cat or dog.
IF YOUR CAT HAS A SKIN PROBLEM
Just as you humans get skin rashes or ear infections, your pets can too! However, because they are completely covered in hair, many skin problems often go unnoticed simply because we are rarely able to see the inflamed area until considerable damage has occurred. That’s why it’s so important to watch for tell-tale signs that your cat or dog is experiencing skin or inner ear discomfort.
Since your cat relies on you for their care, it is your responsibility to contact a veterinarian if you believe something is wrong. Unfortunately, your pet won’t understand their own discomfort if they are in fact suffering from skin problems, meaning they will itch, lick, or nibble the infected area until they can’t anymore. The more time your cat or dog is allowed to do this, the longer it gives them a chance to make it worse.
If you do not get help from a veterinarian for your cat, the constant scratching or biting at the irritation can break your cats skin, which results in a secondary infection, essentially creating more issues you will eventually have to treat. For these reasons, be on the lookout for any signs that your dog or cat seems unusually itchy or irritated on and around their skin or ears and contact us immediately if you feel that something is wrong.
The Animal Clinic of Billings also offers medicated baths and skin treatments for various skin conditions.
For an appointment with one of our cat veterinarians, or to inquire about our medicated baths for cats, call us during our regular business hours.
OUR DERMATOLOGY SERVICES:
- Allergy testing
- The skin and ears
- Allergen Specific Immunotherapy (oral drops and/or injectable allergy shots)
- Management of hormonal and autoimmune diseases that affect the skin and ears
- CT scans
- Video otoscopy and deep ear flush
- Local anesthesia for biopsies and mass removals
- Medical baths
ALLERGY TESTING AND TREATMENT
Our first step in identifying anything allergy related on cats starts with a simple exam room visit. Then if one of our veterinarians believes your cat is suffering from a potential skin or ear infection, we go from there. Treatment is simple and requires a few short tests to identify an infection.
After performing a few allergy tests on your cat, one of our veterinarians will confirm whether the infection is the result of an allergic reaction, and specifically, what is causing the reaction. Cat allergy tests also alert you and your vet of underlying infection or any rare skin or ear conditions. This will determine the length of the treatment and the seriousness of the issue.
Let our highly trained and experienced team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians help you keep your cat as happy and healthy as they possibly can be.
Call the Animal Clinic of Billings to schedule your cat’s next wellness examination with us today!
ANIMAL CLINIC OF BILLINGS AND ANIMAL SURGERY CLINIC
providing our region’s companion animals and their families what they need and deserve since 1981
1414 10th St. West, Billings MT 59102