Understanding Feline Miliary Dermatitis

August 27, 2011 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Diseases

Feline miliary dermatitis as many think is not at all a specific disease. It is a disease complex means that this disease is caused by myriad  factors.  The causative factor may be genetic, environmental or diet. This disease has so many names and few that are worth mentioning are feline eczema, military eczema, scabby cat disease and blotch in cat.

The affected cats suffer very much as this is a very serious skin problem.  The affected portion of the skin becomes red and crusty rash.  The skin around the back, head and neck of the cat is affected very much. The lesion thus formed on the skin will look like millet which is why this condition is called as military dermatitis.   


As discussed earlier the underlying cause is so many and this poses great challenge for the treatrment. the causes could be food allergy, pollen grain allergy, bacterial infection,  viral infection or yeast infection. The external parasites such as mites and lices can cause the military dermatitis. This condition could also be due to the hyper sensitivity reaction to the internal parasite of the cat. The causes don’t stop here, one should remember. Hormonal abnormality, auto immune diseases, nutritional disorders, ring worms etc also can cause military dermatitis.   


Though the causes are numerous, the symptoms are just the same. Small crusty bumps appear on the skin which resembles the grain millet. The lesion can be confined to one part of the skin or can be seen all over the body.  The bumps will be itchy. As the lesion grows all over the body, the itching also will be severe. The cats will start scratching which will result in further inflammation, infection and hair loss. 


The diagnosis of the feline military dermatitis is very important for the proper treatment. As the causes are many, one has to rule out the causes one by one to pin point the right one. Location of the lesion will give an idea. If the rash is located near the tail or near the back of the cat, then it could be because of flea bite. If the location of the rash is near the head and the possible cause could be mite trouble. It is advisable to take the cat to the vet. The vet will find out the flea trouble with the help of flea comb. The vet will examine the hair of the cat and the stool to find out the possible cause, whether it is mite or parasite. If these are not the cause then it could be either diet deficiency or food allergy. 


The treatment will depend of the cause which is for sure, but the exact cause needs to be ascertained. The shampoos will be used if the cause is mite, or flea or lice. If the lesions are very severe, then serious of dips should be tried. Rings worms can be treated with either tropical or oral medications. Antifungal treatment will be attempted for fungal infection and antibiotics will be tried for bacterial infection. For allergic reactions, steroid or antihistaminic treatment will be attempted.

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