Scabby Cat Disease Treatment

The cat disease more commonly known as scabby cat disease is known by the medical community as feline miliary dermatitis. This condition isn't actually a specific disease but a combination of conditions that have a variety of causes. The name feline miliary disease is derived from the fact that the lesions that accompany this skin condition strongly resemble millet seeds.

Symptoms of Scabby Cat Disease

The most obvious sign of this skin condition is the growth of crusty scabs over large parts of your cat's body. These scabbed sections are very irritating and the skin may twitch occasionally in attempts to relieve the irritation. You may also notice patches of fur missing, which is caused by your cat's frequent grooming and chewing to relieve the itching and irritation. You may notice hair in the feces or she may vomit hair balls often. The soreness from the sores and constant scratching may also make her irritable when handled.

Causes of Feline Miliary Dermatitis

Severe skin infections caused by infestations of insects such as mites, fleas and lice are the main underlying cause of feline miliary dermatitis.  Bacterial, fungal and yeast infections of the skin are also commonly seen. Diseases and conditions that corrupt the autoimmune system can also cause cat scabby disease. There have been instances where skin or internal systems' hypersensitivity to allergies, such as flea bites, food allergies, pollens and intestinal parasites, has led to this cat disease. The infection most commonly known as ringworm, which is actually a fungus, has also been noted as a causative factor in many cases of feline miliary dermatitis. The vast majority of cases of this condition are caused by a hypersensitivity to flea bites. However, there have been cases for which an underlying cause couldn't be determined.

Diagnosing Feline Miliary Dermatitis

Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination of your cat to determine the root cause of a case of scabby cat disease. If the lesions are located in the area of the head, the dermatitis may be caused by mites. If the lesions are in the area of the tail, the cause may be fleas. Your vet will take skin scrapings and hair samples to determine if there are any infections from parasites such as mites, fleas, fungi or lice.  If these exams don't point to a cause, your vet may perform a fecal examination to check for intestinal parasites. Other tests your vet may perform are a skin biopsy, biochemical profiles and allergy testing.

Treating Feline Miliary Dermatitis

Treat the underlying condition, and the scabby cat disease will go away. If the cause is fleas, rid your house and yard of the fleas and kill or neutralize all the fleas currently infesting your cat and she will heal. The same goes with any of the other underlying conditions that cause FMD, whether it is mites, lice, worms or a bacterial infection. Your vet may give you a skin cream to treat the skin irritation and heal the lesions. If allergies contributed to the condition, a specific diet may be prescribed. Secondary skin infections will often require the administration of antibiotics for a period of time.

If you notice any of the outward symptoms of feline miliary dermatitis, you should take your cat to the vet as soon as you can. Early diagnosis means early treatment and relief for your cat.