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Pruritis Treatment Related Questions

What is the definition of pruritis?

Pruritis or itching may cause a sensation that could cause the desire or possibly a reaction to scratch. Pruritis may not be classified as any type of sensory experiences. It is thought that this condition may have some similarities to pain since both have been unpleasant sensory experiences, however, the behavioral response pattern may be different. Pruritis may lead to a scratch reflex where pain may create a withdraw reflex. Un-myelinated nerve fibers for both itching and pain may start in the skin. However, information for pain and pruritis may be sent to different systems that use the same nerve bundle. When pruritis occurs, many questions regarding the causes of pruritis, the pruritis treatment and what is pruritis may arise. Read below for questions about the causes, treatments and possible symptoms of pruritus that has been answered by Experts.

Would pruritis cause a cat to lick the hair off its sides and belly?

When trying to find the underlying cause of grooming behavior, a veterinarian may perform a thorough, systematic and complete exam. The pruritis may be because of an infection that could be caused by bacteria, mites or fleas. Another cause of the over grooming may be because of allergies such as environmental or food. A cat may benefit from a hypoallergenic diet such as Hill’s Z/D which a veterinarian can write a prescription for. The use of Benadryl may also help relieve the symptoms of pruritis.

Why do cats itch when pruritis is present?

Pruritis may be an unpleasant sensation that could cause a cat to scratch, lick or bite itself. This condition may be caused by a chemical reaction that may occur in the skin causing the nerves to be stimulated. The condition may become worse by the scratching, which may then cause the skin to have an inflammatory reaction. Typically, pruritis is caused by any skin condition that causes inflammation. All cats may have a threshold to this condition, therefore once the threshold is met, the cat will respond to the stimuli and may itch by licking and scratching. The effects on the cat’s health may depend on the severity of the condition.

How is the cause of pruritis diagnosed?

A veterinarian may perform diagnostic test to help determine the cause of pruritis. A veterinarian may perform the following at the time of exam:
• A complete and thorough medical history may be needed
• A thorough physical exam may be performed
• Skin scraping may be performed to help rule out mange mites or other possible parasites and a possible tape cytology to help rule out yeast or bacterial infections
• Dermatophytes or ringworm may be ruled out with the use of a Wood’s lamp test and fungal cultures.

Diagnosing and addressing the underlying causes may help resolve the condition. Short term relief may be needed by the use of medications and topical therapies if no cause is found. However, the itch may return when the medications are no longer used.

What are the treatments for pruritis?

The treatments that may help provide relief from this condition may include antihistamines, fatty acid supplements, shampoos, corticosteroids and possibly immune-modulating medications such as cyclosporine. A cat may have this condition because of flea allergies, food allergies, inhaled allergies, topical irritants, endocrine disease or contagious causes. Therefore, the underlying cause may need to be found for the right treatment to be administered.

When pruritis is thought to be present in a cat, owners may have some questions or concerns regarding this condition. When pruritis is present, or symptoms are present, an individual may contact an Expert regarding the causes, and possible treatments.
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