Ask the Vet Archive

Your chance to ask Dr. Mindy Cohan, VMD, our resident pet health expert, what's on your mind!

Topic: Feline Dermatitis

Question from Stacey in Norristown:
My cat has been licking at this one spot and has pulled out all of her fur there and scratched off what seemed to be a scab. Now it is red and irritated and she is constantly licking at the area. I found a single flea on her a month ago and she has been on Frontline since. She was also on prednisolone and amoxicillin. Is there anything I can do about the wound she has made on her side?

Answer from Dr. Mindy Cohan:
Your catís itchiness may have started due to an allergy to fleas. If she is currently only scratching and biting at one specific site, the problem now is more likely localized inflammation versus a flea allergy. In any case, you should continue to use Frontline, monitor her for signs of fleas, and be sure your home environment was treated to ensure the fleas are no longer a problem.

The medications prescribed (prednisolone and amoxicillin) should have helped resolve the skin infection and itchiness. If the area is not healing, further tests for mites and ringworm should be done. If no other underlying problem can be found by your veterinarian, the itchy-licking cycle must be broken. Preventing your cat from licking the area can be achieved with either an Elizabethan collar or a bad tasting topical spray. A recheck appointment with your catís veterinarian is recommended.

Posted February 4, 2007

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