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Our cat has a rash on his face. is it ringworm? If so what…

Customer Question
Our cat has a rash...
Our cat has a rash on his face. is it ringworm? If so what should we do?
Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 1 minute by:
1/6/2018
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 6 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,846
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Just a moment. I'll send you a link to some photos
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Photos are here: https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0sGtec4XGs3keg
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
We started using this product last night but the rash seems about the same, maybe a little worse:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0180A1EXI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 6 months ago

I am sorry to hear that your kitty has a rash on his face. I assume that it is itchy.

Thank you for the pictures.

Ringworm can be seen on the face, but it is usually seen on the paws and ear tips. It is more common in cats that go outside, and in young kittens. Ringworm generally is a very scaly, dry, sometimes dark, crusty looking lesion. Your kitty's lesions look a bit red, raw and oozing. It looks like he has been scratching/rubbing and traumatizing those areas.

Cats more commonly get another type of lesion in response to allergic stimulation called miliary dermatitis. We usually see crusts, scabs and hair loss along the back, and on the face, especially in the thinly haired area between the ears and eyes.

Facial and ear itchiness and secondary sores and scabs can be for several reasons.

The most common reasons tend to be secondary to flea bite or food allergies, a mite called Demodex gatoi, sarcoptic mites, mosquito bite hypersensitivity (usually affects the bridge of the nose and ears but can cause itchiness all over the face), inhaled allergies, ringworm, solar dermatitis which is an extreme form of sunburn (usually very light skinned cats with pink skin are affected) and rarely autoimmune condition conditions such as pemphigus.

If he has a dark haircoat then solar dermatitis is unlikely.

But if he goes outdoors ringworm, flea bite and mosquito bite hypersensitivity and demodex or sarcoptic mites are possible.

If he isn't improving with the suggestions I give you I would recommend having your veterinarian examine him to look at a skin swab to look for Demodex Gatoi mites, a skin scraping for signs of sarcoptic mites, or evidence of fleas. A fungal culture should be checked for completeness.

In the meantime you may wish to consider a true hypoallergenic diet such as Royal Canin Duck & Green Pea or Hills z/d to test him for food allergies. This must be the only things he eats for at least 8 to 12 weeks, no treats or flavored medication. I know that you have tried diet changes but unless it was a prescription food it may not have been restrictive enough. The trouble with "limited ingredient" or "low allergy" pet store brands is that the same machinery is used on multiple lots of food without sterilization cleaning in between. So for example even if a food says it has salmon and rice if the previous batch had beef and corn then you will get traces of those ingredients in your bag of food. Not a big deal if your cat isn't allergic but a waste of money thinking that the food was hypoallergenic and not good for your cat if those happen to be allergens for your cat. The veterinary brand true hypoallergenic foods are more expensive because it isn't cheap to thoroughly remove all traces of a previous food mixture from the machines used to process food. Generally what I recommend is trying to clear the skin and ears and then adding one food item (chicken, beef, corn wheat etc) every month to see what they react to. Then we can find a regular food to try. I do tend to stick with Purina Pro Plan brands or Nature's Recipe as I find those rarely if ever have cross contamination.

You might also wish to try a combination of antihistamines and omega 3 fatty acids to help with inhaled, flea, or mosquito bite allergies. You can use either:

1) chlorpheniramine 4mg at half to one full tablet orally every 12 to 24 hours

OR

2) Benadryl (diphenhydramine) at half of a 25mg tablet per 8 to 15 pound cat every 8 to 12 hours (1mg to 2mg per pound of body weight every 8 to 12 hours). Benadryl is very bitter and some cats will drool excessively or may even vomit because of that. That doesn't mean it is making him ill, he just hates the taste. If that's the case with him try a different antihistamine.

3) Zyrtec (Cetirizine hydrochloride) at a dose of 5 mg per cat given orally every 24 hours. (Make sure it is NOT the formulation with a decongestant (such as Zyrtec-D) because cats cannot tolerate decongestants.)

Antihistamines can cause sleepiness or hyperactivity in some cats but those effects usually wane with repeated use.

Good brand name omega 3's to try are 3V Caps or Derm Caps. I recommend a dose based upon the EPA portion (eicosapentanoic acid) of the supplement as if we do that the rest of the supplement will be properly balanced. Give him 20mg of EPA per pound of body weight per day. For example an 8 pound cat could take 160mg of EPA per day. Together antihistamines and omega-3 fatty acids work synergistically. These should help reduce the itch.

If he is excessively rubbing or scratching his face you may need to place an elizabethan collar (lampshade collar) so he cannot reach his face.

You can clean his lesions with a little warm water and liquid antibacterial handsoap on a cotton ball, then rinse with warm water on a cotton ball.

The product you are using may be a bit irritating and doesn't really address the underlying itch, which the antihistamine should help.

If he is not improving with these measures then then the diagnostics I mentioned above and possibly a skin biopsy would be the best way to get a definitive diagnosis and direct treatment.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thanks. Yes the patches are getting red but i don't think the redness is due to abrasion. He has not been scratching or pawing at his face. However, he has been scratching his neck a lot.I don't think its fleas because he is an indoor/outdoor cat and we've been dealing with fleas for years. But nothing like this has ever happened.It looks to me like many ringworm pictures I have seen on the web. Would you still rule out ringworm?
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 6 months ago

I"m sorry I missed your response earlier.

I cannot say for sure that this isn't ringworm, but it certainly is not the typical presentation.

Most ringworm cases I see have a lot of crusty, skin debris building up. If the crusts are removed there may be raw areas under the crusts, but raw, weepy lesions are not the usual presentation.

Your kitty's lesions look weepy, and red without any signs of crusts.

If he has been scratching at his neck then he is itchy, and ringworm is very rarely itchy.

These look like lesions secondary to some sort of allergic reaction to me.

The only way to know for sure is to culture the lesions.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 6 months ago

Here is a link to a picture of a cat with a more typical ringworm presentation: http://www.catster.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ringworm-in-cats-01_0.jpg

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 6 months ago

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your kitty. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

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