Table of contents:
Video: Feline Miliary Dermatitis
Miliary dermatitis is called eczema and even feline scabies. This is a common feline illness. Dermatological veterinarians prefer to refer to this condition as a special skin reaction. Indeed, these are symptoms of many diseases. Cat's skin has a limited number of options for responding to various painful conditions. A small rash that feels like sandpaper to the touch and is accompanied by itching is not a disease, but a symptom of an illness.
Miliary dermatitis is a scattering of small pimples, or nodules, on the skin that is localized or covering the entire body. Usually, these pimples give way to a crust and turn into scabs that are easily felt through the coat when you pet the cat. The term "miliary" means "millet" - to the touch the nodules look like grains of millet.
Countless reasons. Usually, this skin condition is a sign of hypersensitivity, an allergic reaction of the animal to a variety of things. Most often it is a flea allergy, respiratory allergy, or food allergy. Hypersensitivity to skin parasites can cause the same symptoms.
Infectious diseases such as ringworm can also cause miliary dermatitis. Even bacteria, immune disorders, drug reactions and digestive problems can show up as crusts on the skin. One in six cases of miliary dermatitis is idiopathic, meaning the cause cannot be determined. To cure this skin condition, it is necessary to identify its cause and eliminate it.
Establishing diagnosis. The location of the rash on the body can often provide an indication of the cause. If the rash is on the head and neck, then it is most likely a food allergy. If the base of the tail is affected, it is most often a reaction to fleas. If a rash is noted all over the body, doctors suspect a respiratory allergy, atopy. Flea allergies and atopy are seasonal, while food allergies are common throughout the year.
Treatment for miliary dermatitis begins with a series of tests to determine the cause of the condition. Fleas are probably the most common culprit. Since even one flea bite causes an allergic reaction, and cats themselves zealously lick themselves, it can be difficult to find traces of fleas in a cat's fur coat. You can offer this method of checking for fleas: you scratch-scratch-scratch a cat's fur coat and put all the combed out dirt on a wet white cloth. If it is flea excrement, then the black specks turn red.
Respiratory allergies are often caused by pollen, mold and house dust, and diagnosis requires intradermal testing. The suspected allergens are placed inside the skin (not under the skin) by scratching the shaved area of the cat's skin, which has been given sedatives. In case of a positive reaction, the scratch swells and becomes redder after 5-15 minutes, with a negative reaction, there is no inflammation.
If miliary dermatitis is a food allergy, the rash will persist as long as the cat receives this type of food. To diagnose food allergies, the cat is put on a diet that includes ingredients it has never eaten before. If the symptoms disappear, then some component of the old diet is to blame for the disease. These old ingredients are added in turn to the new diet and monitored which one will cause an allergic reaction. This diagnostic feeding can last up to 12 weeks and should be supervised by a doctor.
Miliary dermatitis in the armpit
Nearly every cat with miliary dermatitis has several different skin scrapings taken to determine if there are skin parasites. The three types of Cheyletiella mites cause skin lesions, also called wandering dandruff, because white parasites are often mistaken for skin scales. These mites live in the stratum corneum (keratin) of the top layer of the skin. Cats become infected with them either through direct contact with infected cats or through indirect contact with other parasite carriers of this tick, such as fleas, lice and flies.
Otodectes cynotis, also known as ear mites, can also cause miliary dermatitis on the head and neck. Ear scabies accounts for about three percent of miliary dermatitis cases.
Demodectic mange, which is rare in cats, is known as glandular and is caused by the Demodex cati mite, which lives in the hair follicle (hair follicle). It can also cause miliary dermatitis.
Cats with head lice, that is, those infected with the lice, Felicola subrostratus, or chewing lice, may also show signs of miliary dermatitis.
Ringworm in cats can be caused by Microsporum gypseum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, or Microsporum canis, the latter being the causative agent in most cases. But any of the above parasites can cause signs of miliary dermatitis along with ringworm symptoms such as bald patches and redness of the skin.Therefore, when diagnosing persistent miliary dermatitis, it is recommended to do a ringworm test. Wool from the affected area is placed in a special nutrient medium (Sabouraud, Chapek agars) and incubated for at least 15 days.
Itching treatment is not a disease treatment. The symptoms of miliary dermatitis can be relieved with standard allergy treatment, but they will return if this treatment is stopped. It is necessary to constantly monitor the presence of fleas in a cat if she is allergic to fleas. There are a wide variety of products commercially available to safely remove fleas from both the cat and the domestic environment.
The best therapy for respiratory allergies, according to experts, is frequent bathing of the cat: you wash the allergen from its fur. A mild, non-drying shampoo or simply rinsing your cat with clean water is suitable for this. Some atopic cats benefit from immunotherapy. Once the causative agent of the allergy is identified, the cat is given a series of injections of a drug based on the allergen to increase the resistance of the animal's own immune system. The results appear slowly, this treatment usually lasts a year or longer. Maintenance, prophylactic injections can be repeated periodically to make the cat feel more comfortable.
Miliary dermatitis caused by food allergies resolves as soon as a suitable diet is found
With the exception of the Demodex mite, the skin parasites that cause miliary dermatitis are highly contagious, and if such an infection is found, all animals in the household should be treated. Treatment consists in weekly treatment of animals with appropriate drugs for three to four weeks. After this first treatment period, tests are done for the presence of parasites. If the test results are positive (that is, confirming the presence of the parasite), treatment continues with weekly screening tests until a negative result is obtained. After this, the treatment continues for another week to consolidate the effect obtained.
Many of the underlying causes of dermatitis are well treated with cortisone. Steroids and antibiotics are prescribed to relieve severe itching or kill an infection.
But the diagnosis of the root cause of dermatitis is very important, there is no point in treating itching by itself. The painful condition may worsen if ringworm is treated with cortisone. Current therapy for ringworm should include a new vaccine against Microsporum canis in combination with medical baths, topical ointments and decontamination of the environment.
Source: Galina Starostina