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.
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
- Hair loss
- Foul odor
- Painful skin lesions
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:
- Autoimmune disease
- Bug bites
- Bite wounds
- Chemical irritation
- Cushing's syndrome
- Feline acne
- Type 2 Diabetes
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 are performed to see if allergens are contributing to pyoderma. 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.
There are several skin tests that can be performed on your cat to check for an infection, and this includes an adhesive tape prep, skin scrape, bacterial culture and skin prick test.
The veterinarian may need to order further testing to check for this condition. A fungal culture may be performed to check the infected skin for ringworm or fungal infections. The staff also performs an endocrine test to check for Cushing's syndrome or hypothyroidism. Your veterinarian may also order a cytology test to examine the cells within a pustule and identify the infection.
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.
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.
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.
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 may be administered to treat the underlying cause. Your veterinarian will prescribe an antifungal medication to treat ringworm or another 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.
Synthetic hormones are used to treat hypothyroidism. They replace the hormones that are not being produced by the thyroid gland due to this disorder.
Treatment of Cushing's Syndrome
If the underlying cause is Cushing's syndrome, your vet will check to see if there is a tumor involved. This could lead to a gradual withdrawal of corticosteroids, or your cat may need their adrenal gland surgically removed.
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. You may also need to use an antibiotic shampoo or topical antibiotic to soften the crust on their skin.
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.
Bacterial Skin Infection Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
Hello, my foster cat had ear mites and I applied Stronghold spot-on (selamectin) on her neck. Next day she lost her hair there and skin was reddish. Vet said it was a reaction to the spot-on and gave her antibiotic shot and orally corticosteroid (dexamethasone). But the wound just keeps getting worse and bigger, and I bought Tyrosur antibiotic powder to help heal the wound faster but it's not getting any better. She has no other symptoms other than the neck wound. Could she have gotten a fungal infection there aswell? How do I tell if it's bacterial or fungal or just an allergic reaction? Thank you.
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