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Military dermatitis, scabs and itching all over her neck and…

Customer Question
Military dermatitis Veterinarian's Assistant:...

Military dermatitis

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the cat?

scabs and itching all over her neck and head

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the cat's name and age?

Phoebe 9

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Phoebe?

No she never had an allergy until year.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
12/28/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 35,493
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

Are you looking to know more about miliary dermatitis? I can post my entire synopsis of this skin condition for you. Please let me know.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I wanted to know how she got this allergy now after all these years and I treat with Frontline Advantage for cats, not sure what else to do.
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

Thank you. Please review my synopsis and then return to our conversation with additional questions or concerns if you wish. Please note that many populations of fleas are now resistant to the fipronil in Frontline.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Phoebe. You appear to be describing the pruritic (itchy) skin condition called miliary dermatitis - a papulocrustous (crusty bumps) eruption seen mainly secondary to allergic skin disease. In rarer cases we'll find the demodectic mange mite which can be found upon examining skin scrapings microscopically. A pyoderma (bacterial skin infection) is another consideration and under-diagnosed.

Whenever the area between the edge of a cat's rib cage to the tail is involved, a flea saliva allergy is most likely. Even if you can't find any fleas, it's best that you apply an effective over the counter flea spot-on such as Advantage/Advocate or a fipronil-containing product such as Frontline or one of the newer flea spot-ons available from Phoebe's vet. In severe cases we can either inject or orally administer a prescription antihistaminic glucocorticoid (steroid) such as prednisolone which often works wonders in these cats. Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton) aren't reliably effective against allergic skin disease but you might see how a dose of 2mg of an over the counter chlorpheniramine once or twice daily affects her. Please note that cats can be such effective groomers as to remove all evidence of fleas. It's important to still use the flea products.

Less commonly but still important, Phoebe's skin can result from a food intolerance or atopy (allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust and dust mites, etc.) Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that her immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from her vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (my preference). A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen.

Atopy is usually initially addressed by the same prednisolone I mentioned above and used to address a flea saliva allergy. Prednisolone can be used as a test when differentiating a flea saliva allergy or atopy from a food intolerance. Both a flea saliva allergy and atopy are usually quite responsive to prednisolone. Not so a food intolerance.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Most of the problem is around her head and neck. She also has some loss of hair around her tail and hind quarters. I apply Frontline monthly.
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

That distribution of skin lesions is consistent with all of the types of allergic dermatitis. It would be best to switch away from Frontline to one of the newer prescription flea products available from Phoebe's vet. You also need to consider atopy and food intolerance as posted above. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

Phoebe's vet

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
What other brands do you recommend?
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

As over the counter brands you can see how Advantage works. Some fleas have developed resistance against the imidacloprid in that product as well, however. The Seresto flea collar is an exceptional product which lasts 8 months.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you, I'll try a different flea control product and then if that doesn't work, I will ask my local vet about the prednisone.
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

You're quite welcome. Sounds good. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin
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