Slideshow: Skin Problems in Cats

Feline Acne

Hair loss and Itching in a Cat

Cat disease and hair loss

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Cats are susceptible to skin infections, parasites, allergies, and many other conditions commonly seen in people. WebMD has compiled images of cat disease and hair loss of the most common feline skin problems. They may not have to worry about a prom night disaster, but cats get pimples, too. Possible causes include stress, poor grooming, a reaction to medication, cat disease and hair loss underlying skin condition, or even the plastic bowl you put out with her food or water.

Your veterinarian may recommend a specialized shampoo or gel to clear up the breakout, or antibiotics if a bacterial infection accompanies the acne. In many cases, bacterial skin infections develop as a result of another skin problem. Yeast infections are caused by a fungus cat disease and hair loss are also more likely in cats that have other medical problems.

The ear is one of the most common spots for a yeast infection. Symptoms may include a black or yellow discharge, redness of the ear flap, and persistent scratching of the ear.

Yeast infections respond well to treatment with antifungal medicine, but be sure to get a diagnosis from a veterinarian before using anything on your cat. Ringworm is another type of fungus that affects cats, especially if they are under age 1. The skin around these lesions is often flaky and bald, cat disease and hair loss.

Ringworm is highly contagious and can spread to other pets in the home, as well as to people. Treatment depends on severity, but may include specialized shampoos, ointments, or oral medications. Yet another fungus -- although rare -- sporotrichosis produces small, hard skin lesions that may leak fluid. Sporotrichosis is considered to be a public health concern, because the fungus is known to spread from cats to humans. People with a compromised immune system are especially vulnerable.

For these reasons, cats with sporotrichosis should be treated promptly, and caregivers should be meticulous about hygiene.

Cats can have allergic reactions to grooming products, cat disease and hair loss, food, and environmental irritants, such as pollen or flea bites.

Scratching the head or neck is a common sign of food allergies. Symptoms of other allergies include chewing on the paws or base of the tail, or scratching the ears.

Allergies can also cause hair loss or skin lesions anywhere on the body, including the belly. There are a variety cat disease and hair loss treatments to soothe itchy skin associated with allergies, but avoiding exposure to the irritants is the best strategy. If you live with cats, you learn to cope with cat hair on your favorite sweater. But if you notice your cat is losing more hair than usual or has bald patches, see your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Abnormal hair loss can be a warning sign of several illnesses, as well as fleas, stress, allergies, or poor nutrition.

The idea of cat disease and hair loss insects feeding on the blood of your cat may make you shudder, but fleas are a very common problem. Other signs of a flea infestation are persistent scratching, crusty skin lesions, and thinning hair above the base of the tail. A diabetics and deficient and vitamin b flea prevention protocol is the gold standard for flea control.

It not only kills fleas on your cat, but those in your home should eventually be eliminated as they fail to reproduce. Treat all pets in the home for this to be effective. As they feed, cat disease and hair loss, they cause inflammation that can lead to a serious skin or ear infection. Signs of ear mites include excessive scratching of the ears, head shaking, and a strong odor and a dark discharge from the ears.

Suspect ear mites when both ears are affected. Mites can be treated with a topical product prescribed by your vet. Ear mites are also contagious to other animals. Lice are parasites that feed on dry skin. They are commonly found on young, neglected cats and often go unnoticed. Large infestations can lead to scratching, restlessness, cat disease and hair loss, unusual coat appearance, and hair loss.

Like mites, lice can be treated with a topical solution. Because lice are species-specific, you do not need to worry about getting lice from your cat. Also called tail gland hyperplasia, stud tail refers to overactive glands on the top of the tail. These glands produce waxy excretions that result in hair loss and crusty lesions.

In severe cases, cat disease and hair loss, the condition can make the tail vulnerable to bacterial infections. Neutering may eliminate the problem in male cats. Other treatment options include diligent grooming of the tail and the use of specially formulated shampoos. If your cat has raised ulcers or lesions on the nose or lips, she may be having a type of allergic reaction known as an eosinophilic granuloma. This reaction can occur anywhere on the body, but is most common on the face, pads of the feet, and thighs.

Food allergies or fleas are sometimes cat disease and hair loss blame, but the lesions can also result from bacterial infections. Treatment depends on what is causing the reaction.

Older cats and those with white ears and heads are especially susceptible to skin cancer. To confirm a diagnosis of cancer, a biopsy is necessary. If the lump is small enough, a vet may recommend removing it entirely. For tumors that have not spread, this may be the only treatment needed. Like people, some cats get dry, flaky skin in the winter. Persistent dandruff may be a sign of poor nutrition, inadequate grooming, or an underlying medical problem.

Special shampoos and supplements of omega-3 fatty acids can help treat feline dandruff. Cats are known to be fastidious groomers, cat disease and hair loss, but sometimes they overdo it. Compulsive licking, chewing, or sucking on the skin may lead to irritation, infection, and thinning hair a condition called psychogenic alopecia.

Cats may groom compulsively in response to stress, such as moving into a new home, but may also overgroom due to a medical problem such as arthritis. If this describes your cat, talk to your vet about stress reduction and behavior modification strategies. Even if the skin looks fine, your cat should be examined if she is scratching, licking, or biting herself excessively. Continuing Education for VeterinariansMay This tool does not provide medical advice.

It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. Never ignore professional veterinary advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think your pet may have a veterinary emergency, immediately call your veterinarian.

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Cat disease and hair loss

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