Scabby Cat Disease

Scabby cat disease is also known as eczema or miliary dermatitis. The condition manifests on the skin with swelling, redness and lesions which cause extreme itchiness. The condition can be treated by removing the offending agents and applying ointments and medication treatment.

Causes of Scabby Cat Disease

The causes of scabby cat disease are most frequently flea bites or mites. Some cats may be more sensitive to these parasites and they develop eczema. Other causing factors of scabby disease include:

  • Allergies
  • Fungal or bacterial skin infections
  • Ringworm infections
  • Dietary deficiencies
  • Sensitivity to medications
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Skin cancer

Symptoms of Scabby Cat Disease

A cat with miliary eczema will display red, swollen skin with crusty lesions that can be present on any area of the body. However, the lesions are more common on the back, head or neck area. The lesions may have the look of seeds and will cause itchiness. The cat will be scratching and licking the areas he has access to. If the condition is not treated in a timely manner, the skin can get more irritated and hair loss may occur. Secondary skin infections are also common.

Diagnosing Scabby Disease

The scabby cat disease may be detected judging by the symptoms and performing a few tests. The vet will examine the lesions to see if they can be diagnosed as miliary dermatitis. The vet will have to establish the causes of the scabby disease and will perform a few tests in this respect. The tests may include:

  • Skin scraping test to identify any skin infections
  • Intradermal or blood testing for allergies
  • Fecal exam to detect parasites
  • Skin biopsy if the cat is suspected of skin cancer
  • Fur samples to check for external parasites will be performed if the lesions are present in the tail area, which point to a flea infestation
  • Blood tests to detect any other possible medical condition that causes miliary eczema

Treatment Options

The treatment for the scabby cat disease will depend on the test findings.

  • If the cat has a skin infection, topical ointments containing steroids or antibiotics will relieve the symptoms. The cat may also get some oral antibiotics if the infection is more severe.
  • Allergies require medication management or a longer allergy shot treatment. A hypoallergenic diet may also be prescribed.
  • Internal parasites that cause the scabby cat disease should be eliminated from the cat's system with dewormer tablets. Creams should be applied on the lesions to relieve the discomfort.
  • External parasites can be eliminated with different rinses, shampoos, sprays or powders.
  • If the cat is affected by skin cancer, this will require chemotherapy. Surgery may not be a solution in the case of skin cancer, but may be applied if the cat has a hormonal imbalance caused by hyperactive thyroid glands.