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What is Bacterial Skin Infection?

Pyoderma can occur on the surface of the skin, within the skin, or under the skin of your cat. It can affect any cat despite their age or gender, and it can be found on any part of their body. Staphylococcus pseudintermedius and Pasteurella multocida are the bacteria most known for causing this condition.

Pyoderma is a bacterial infection that occurs when lesions and pustules develop on the skin. The infection usually occurs when the immune system cannot prevent bacteria from growing on skin that has been cut or wounded.

Bacterial Skin Infection Average Cost

From 493 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,800

Average Cost

$350

Symptoms of Bacterial Skin Infection in Cats

The symptoms of pyoderma can range from hair loss to pain. It is important to contact your veterinarian if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Rash and redness
  • Crusting and scaling
  • Draining sores
  • Pustules
  • Itching
  • Hair loss
  • Foul odor
  • Painful skin lesions
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Causes of Bacterial Skin Infection in Cats

Pyoderma is usually caused by an underlying disorder; any disorder that irritates the skin can lead to this condition. The following disorders can cause pyoderma:

  • Allergies
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Bug bites
  • Bite wounds
  • Burns
  • Chemical irritation
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • Demodicosis
  • Feline acne
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Immunosuppression
  • Ringworm
  • Scratching
  • Seborrhea
  • Diabetes
  • Tumors
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Diagnosis of Bacterial Skin Infection in Cats

You can expect the veterinarian to perform a physical exam and ask questions about the lesions on your cat. Your veterinarian will use the symptoms, physical exam and a series of tests to make a diagnosis.

Your veterinarian will start with a blood test to get a complete blood count and check for disorders or diseases. Allergy tests and food trials may be performed to see if allergens are contributing to pyoderma. 

Vets can often diagnose pyoderma from evaluating the skin in person.

However, the veterinarian may need to order further testing. Your veterinarian may order a cytology test to examine the cells within a pustule and identify the infection. Skin scrapes, fur plucks and cultures will check for parasites and infections. A bacterial culture is especially important so we know which antibiotics would be approproiate.

Sometimes, a biopsy is also done to diagnose pyoderma in your cat. The staff administers a local anesthesia or sedation and removes a small piece of skin for testing. 

It is important to take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as you notice the signs of pyoderma. Early diagnosis means an early treatment for your furry friend.

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Treatment of Bacterial Skin Infection in Cats

Treating pyoderma involves taking care of the underlying cause and the infection itself. It is important to treat the underlying cause so the infection does not return.

Special Diet

If the underlying cause is a food allergy, then your cat will have to go on a hypoallergenic diet to avoid the allergen. Your cat will also need to go on a special diet if the skin infection is caused by diabetes.

Flea Control

Your veterinarian will suggest you treat your cat, other pets and your environment for fleas. You need to get rid of all the fleas before they hatch more eggs around the house.

Prescription Medication

Prescription medication may be administered to treat the underlying cause. 

Your veterinarian will prescribe an antifungal medication to treat ringworm or any other secondary fungal infection. Anti-parasitic medication may be prescribed to treat feline demodicosis or ear mites. You may also need to use a medicated antiseborrheic shampoo on your cat every three days until you have the infection under control.

Treating Feline Acne

Feline acne can be treated by keeping the area clean and using metal or glass bowls.

Treatment of Pyoderma 

Your veterinarian will prescribe oral antibiotics to treat the skin infection. The oral antibiotics are usually prescribed for three to four weeks. It is imperative the full course is finished. You may also need to use an antibiotic shampoo or topical antibiotic to soften the crust on their skin.

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Recovery of Bacterial Skin Infection in Cats

The treatment can lead to a full recovery of the skin bacterial infection, but you still need to schedule a follow-up appointment with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will make sure the treatment is working on your cat.

You may need to change your cat's diet or environment during the treatment and recovery process. The changes you make will depend on the underlying cause of the infection.

 

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Bacterial Skin Infection Average Cost

From 493 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,800

Average Cost

$350

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Bacterial Skin Infection Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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American medium hair cat

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Ten Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Pyoderma

What litter would you recommend to avoid a future bacterial infection in the paws if my cat does not like pellets?

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up to handle urgent emails. Most cat litter should be okay to not cause infections, and it may just be a trial and error to find the right one. It may be best to ask your veterinarian what caused the problem in the first place, as they know more about the original problem.

Oct. 14, 2020

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Fruit

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tabby

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2 Years

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Serious severity

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6 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Open Leasions Oozing Puss Hair Loss

What is wrong with my cat? She is constantly digging, ripping her hair out, her fur in the infected area is soaked sticky and oozes red and yellow puss we have tried flea dips change In food, in shampoos, we have tried different litter

Aug. 12, 2018

Fruit's Owner

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6 Recommendations

At this point you would need to visit your Veterinarian to get a course of antibiotics and to see what the possible underlying cause is; it is possible that this is a secondary infection from a scratch, allergies or another injury which is getting worse. From your description, it is not likely going to respond to antibiotics so you will need to get a prescription from your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 13, 2018

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Bacterial Skin Infection Average Cost

From 493 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,800

Average Cost

$350

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