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Cat Dermatitis

Michelle, it sounds as if your Kitty has what is also known as feline chin acne; the hair follicles become plugged, and the next thing you know, they develop into pimples. It can progress to white heads, black heads, and sometimes into a severe deep skin infection. It is not an uncommon finding in cats, and unfortunately, not always a curable condition, but a condition that continually needs to be managed for the pet's lifetime to keep it under control. It can be a once in a lifetime occurance, a persistent condition, or even randomly come and go. Some cases can be very stubborn to treat, and the flare-ups can be anywhere from very mild to very severe. The age, breed and sex of a cat does not matter. And, to top it off, the underlying cause is basically unknown. Possible causes may be secondary to stress (sound familiar), poor hygiene, a poor immune system, or even dirty food and water dishes. Medical conditions like mites, fungal or yeast infections or even fleas have been found as underlying causes. Treatments can vary depending on the underlying condition, and upon its severity. For mild cases, sometimes just keeping the chin clean with mild soap and warm water compresses, or even tea-bag compresses may help. Antiseptic cleansers that have chlorhexidine or an extra mild, diluted benzoyl peroxide solution (you really need to be careful with this one to prevent excessive drying and making the condition worse) may work too. If these don't help, then you will most likely need to make that trip back to your vet to get some stronger medications like oral antibiotics, prescription ointments, steroids or special shampoos. Hope that helps Michelle. Keep your chin up, you can manage this successfully for him.

Submitted by: Dr. Doug

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