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Keep Your Cat's Skin Healthy With Preventive Care


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Healthy skin is critical to your cat’s health and comfort. It assists with elimination of waste products and protects her against infections, parasites, and the elements while maintaining the cat’s internal environment as it needs to be.

Unfortunately, veterinarians see and treat many cases of skin problems in cats. Common causes include food allergies, flea allergy dermatitis, ear mites, insect stings, and bacterial and fungal infections, such as ringworm, the most common contagious feline skin infection.

A CAT SUFFERING WITH A SKIN DISEASE WILL USUALLY DISPLAY, AT LEAST, SOME OF THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS:

Excessive licking and/or scratching behavior Lesions or red, irritated patches
Scabs Lumps
Scaly areas Dull, coarse coat
Hair loss  

Cat owners, looking at this list, will quickly realize that many of these symptoms have the potential of making their cat’s life miserable. They all signal a problem, so a visit to the veterinarian is warranted.

At the clinic the doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination, giving special attention to the skin. If a lump is present, a biopsy may be needed. Infections and the presence of skin parasites will be diagnosed through examination of samples taken from the skin. Food allergies are diagnosed through the use of special diets. Depending on the findings, treatment for the specific diagnosis may be oral and/or topical. Special shampoos and supplements may be prescribed. If there is a secondary bacterial infection, antibiotics and measures to eliminate external parasites, such as mites, ticks and fleas, will be necessary. Of course, proper nutrition is always important and a high quality diet will be suggested.

Keep your cat "purring like a kitten" by keeping a watchful eye on the condition of her skin and coat, and don’t delay in seeking help at the first sign of her distress.

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