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Dr. Katie
Dr. Katie,
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feline acne

Customer Question

My cat suffers from "feline acne", she gets black scabs on her chin and her eyes become red and infected. The Vet has been giving her steriod shots for a few years and recieved one 5 days ago. Her eyes will not clear up and I have put a baitracin prescription ointment on them, she is also taking Batrol, a antibiotic. It is not helping and we started her on a prescription diet to rule out allergies. I have a "lamp shade collar" on her to keep her from scratching her eyes. She is not getting better. I even put Neosphorene on her. HELP! It’s costing me an arm and a leg. She had a sibling that had the same disorder and the owner put it down. My Vet thought it was an immune disorder and we first ruled out plastic or dry catfood(mites). My email address [email protected]
Thank you.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Olivers Mom replied 11 years ago.

 Have you switched her food and water dishes to steel or ceramic - I know you ruled out plastic but just making sure :>) ?

Have you tried a different cat food (for more than 3-4 weeks at one time)?

Expert:  Tammy F. replied 11 years ago.

 The most common treatment for feline acne is Bactroban ointment used twice a day for three weeks.

I would not rule out demodecosis even though they have already scraped for mites.  It's sometimes hard to dianose by scraping the skin of cats.  Ivermectin can be successfully used to treat demodectic mange in cats.  You would have to check with your vet for a dosage.  With demodex, it's best to treat the patient from the inside out.  That means being sure that the cat is receiving the proper nutrion, extra fatty acids and vitamins.  It IS an immune disorder.  Your vet can help you find the ingredients to make the perfect "cocktail" for your pet.

Other possibile causes are ringworm, yeast infections, and allergies.

If you have not yet seen a veterinary dermatologist, you should probably do so.

We see this a lot in our feral cat communities and it's difficult to treat.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Oliver’s Mom's Post: I switched the dishes to ceramic a few years ago. She seems to get bored with one food so I have been alternating dry cat foods. I even tried no dry cat food becasue the Vet said she may be allergic to the mites in the dry cat food.
She came from a cat my daughter had and one of the kittens in that litter had the same condition and the people decided to put the cat down because it became too much for them. The Vet described it at one point as looking like a disease in the mange family like an immune disorder. I forgot what she called it but she showed a picture of it to me from a book she had. And said the only way to treat it was to give doses of the steriod and it was amazing how high a dose her cat tolerated. Today I am picking up an antihisitimine for my cat to see if it will help with clearing up her eyes. I would like to know what might cause this. Do you have any suggestions?
Expert:  Tammy F. replied 11 years ago.

 The disease is called demodectic mange.  It sounds remarkably like what you are experiencing.  It ban be detected by scraping the skin but the scrapes are not always conclusive.

New therapy for the condition implements the use of ivermectin (cattle wormer) to treat it.

All cats have mites on the skin, as do people.  Usually, our immune systems are strong enough to fight them.  If the immune systems is compromised, the mites can take over and you will see resulting hair loss, itching, red, flaky skin.  It also predisposes your cat to secondary fungal infections.  This condition is often hereditary, as is evidenced by the fact that the cat's sibling has it as well.

You should talk to your vet about the use of ivermectin to treat this.  Also, speak with him about the use of fatty acids and vitamin supplements to build the immune system.

Let me know if you still have questions.

Expert:  Olivers Mom replied 11 years ago.

 Sorry for my absense - thank you Tammy for taking over and replying to the questions.  I, too believe the vet should be more assertive in skin scrapings or skin biopsy.  Whatever mange it is, may take time to clear up however if it is properly diagnosed it can then be properly treated and cared for.  The choice for most is ivermectin. 

I don't understand the comment on the cat food causing mites or having mites?  Maybe I'm misunderstanding.

If the possibility of a food allergy is part of the problem, there are many allergen free cat foods on the market you could try - or supplements as suggested above.

I hope we have helped guide you and your kitty is on the road to recovery very soon!

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tammy Falkner's Post: Thank you this has been very informative. I have been trying the prescription diet and there is marginal improvement. So I will try the Ivemectin. If it is demodecosis would it affect more than just her chin and eyes? Would you see it more widespread on her body?
My Vet said that "over-the-counter" dry catfood contains mites which she thought was causing it so I didn't give her dry food for a month and that didn't make a difference.   
Right now her eyes are red and inflamed ~ she keeps scratching them. She is on an antihistime which is marginal.
Expert:  Dr. Katie replied 11 years ago.
Hi There,
I would come in with the 'big guns' and give her a steroid injecetion, specifically Vetalog. Also, the best antibiotic for the skin is Lincocin,or SMZ-TMP.
Good Luck,
Dr, Katie
Expert:  ZooCVT replied 11 years ago.
I would try switching to a stainless steel bowl. A veterinary allergist
I knew always recommended this. Being that the area affected in on her
face only I would be concerned she's very sensitive to what she
touches. With stainless steel, you are able to clean them better and
you don't have to be concerned with how porous. See if that helps

Expert:  MekaSair replied 11 years ago.

If all of these suggestions do not work, then you can try the following alternative remedies that I have found to be helpful in the past.



**Black Walnut Hull extract (kills parasites and bacteria)
**Wormwood extract (kills parasites as well)
**Red Clover Extract (cleanses)
**Aloe Vera juice (sooths skin ailments)

Rub this liquid concoction on the affected area every couple of hours. If this works for you, then you should begin to see some significant improvement within two or three days.

To help prevent this from happening again, please check the following two sites for very detailed information on what to do and what each herb does:

After using the above mixture, your cat should be a lot better and the source of her eye irritation should hopefully be gone. If it isn't, then you can use a drop or two of colloidal silver in the cat's eyes and then they should heal up just fine after that.

Here is a website of testimonials concerning colloidal silver:

I hope that helps you. The best of luck with your cat.

Mic Sayre
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Thank you for the detailed instructions ~ I will try them.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to's Post: I took my cat to the Vet and we have given her a big does of steriod and started her on lincocin and Vetalog. Her face and eyes are clearing up for the first time in such a long time that I can't remember when her face was clear! She has become very playful with her housemate and doesn't hide from me anymore!!! She knows she is getting her pills but is pretty cooperative. I give her a treat afterwards. Now she is going for ia biopsy in March. I want to thank you so much as this has made the vet more aggressive in treating her. Bianca thanks you as well.
Expert:  Dr. Katie replied 11 years ago.
Hi There,
Thank you for such a nice report!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm glad that everyone is feeling better !
Dr. Katie

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