Bliss is a 10 year old cat who was recently suffering with a severe skin condition. She had been licking and chewing her belly and inner thighs until it was raw, painful and infected. Her loving owners brought her to Dr Vanessa Milborn at Vetwest Whitfords where her diet, parasite control and lifestyle were all looked at. She was closely examined and some swabs were taken of her skin. The results showed that Bliss was suffering from dermatitis as well as a bacterial skin and ear infection.

Causes of skin disease

There are many potential causes of skin disease in cats and it can take several tests and trials to figure out the root of the problem. For Bliss, the three possible triggers of her skin disease were flea allergies, adverse food reactions and Atopy. Flea allergy occurs in some cats that have an immune system reaction to the saliva of fleas. In these animals, it doesn’t take many flea bites to cause a severe skin reaction. Adverse food reactions can develop when a cat is reacting to one or more food ingredients such as fish or dairy. Cats with atopy have recurring allergic reactions to any other environmental allergen. Common causes are plants and grasses, human dander and dust mites.


Bliss commenced treatment with antibiotics, a skin anti-inflammatory and ear drops. She was also placed on a flea treatment trial. This involved a very strict flea control regimen to eliminate flea allergy as a possible cause. After just two weeks of treatment, Bliss had dramatically improved and the infection was clearing. She is now a much more comfortable cat and her hair is starting to grow back.

Skin rashes and scabs in cats can appear on any part of the body. Some cats require ongoing management with good flea control, advanced veterinary diets and sometimes ongoing medication. However, treatment can be successful in easing discomfort and therefore improving your pet’s quality of life.

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