What is Nose Skin Disease?
Some nasal dermatoses may heal with time, but if the condition does not go away within a week, you should contact your veterinarian to find out what is the cause of the problem and if any special medication or treatment is necessary.
There are many types of skin diseases that may develop on the nose of a cat. Called nasal dermatoses, it may be a fungal or bacterial infection, cat acne, a bite wound or other condition that causes lesions.
Symptoms of Nose Skin Disease in Cats
The symptoms may vary according to the origin of the skin disease, but usually consist of:
- Ulcers with crusts and/or pus
- Loss of pigment
- Loss of hair
- Nodules that drain pus
Causes of Nose Skin Disease in Cats
Some of the most common nose skin diseases in cats are:
- Abscesses, which are the accumulation of pus in fluid-filled nodules may be caused by an infection due to a bite or wound. There may be a crusty area on the ulcer, and the cat may have loss of appetite, fever and depression. The nodules may open and drain.
- Aspergillosis, which is a fungal infection that usually enters the cat's body through the nose. It may cause ulcers on the nose that drain as well as drainage from the nostrils.
- Bee or wasp stings that may vary dramatically in severity. Immediately after the bite, you may see redness, swelling, and possibly itching. Draining ulcers may develop, and depending on the cat’s reaction, there may be hives or anaphylaxis.
- Sunburn is also called solar dermatosis and is common in cats that have white ears. There may be scales on the nose, and crusts and ulcers can develop later. There is often redness and hair loss.
- Cryptococcosis is a fungal infection that is usually transmitted through bird droppings. Cats with suppressed immune systems may be more susceptible. The nose may develop ulcers and other parts of the body may be affected.
Diagnosis of Nose Skin Disease in Cats
In order to correctly diagnose nose skin disease in cats, your veterinarian will ask questions about the medical history of the cat, including changes in your cat’s lifestyle, when the symptoms started and if you remember anything that may cause lesions such as sunburn or insect bite. The vet may take samples of skin from the nose to culture for fungi and bacteria testing or to do a biopsy. Diagnostic tests may be recommended to rule out some of the possible causes of skin disease, because some symptoms are seen in several different skin diseases. Other diagnostic tests may include examining hair and skin under a microscope, analysis of scabs, and blood tests for allergies. The doctor may also monitor how your cat responds to a trial of dietary modification or medical therapy.
Treatment of Nose Skin Disease in Cats
Once the veterinarian determines the cause of the skin disease, he or she can prescribe a treatment. In some cases, a combination of treatments may be recommended to relieve symptoms and discomfort. Some of the possible treatments are:
Surgery may be required to open and drain the abscesses and flush out the pus. If there is infection, the appropriate antibiotic will be prescribed.
The veterinarian may want to surgically remove lesions before prescribing antifungal medication. There are several different antifungal medications that may be used.
Bee or Wasp Sting
Antihistamines and/or steroids will be prescribed, and if the lesions are ulcerated, a wet dressing may be applied. The doctor will also protect the area so that your cat cannot self-inflict trauma.
Your cat must avoid further exposure to direct sunlight, especially between the hours of 9am – 3pm during the summer. In some cases, sunblock and steroids may be prescribed.
Since this is a fungal infection, antifungal medication is prescribed. Depending on the severity of the lesions, the doctor may want to remove them prior to administering fungal medication.
Recovery of Nose Skin Disease in Cats
Depending on the severity and cause of the nose skin disease, the predicted outcome of treatment is usually good. It may take a week or more for the medications to clear up the disease completely. It is recommended to take your cat back to the veterinarian after the nose heals to make sure all the symptoms are gone.
There are some things you can do to help prevent skin diseases, starting with feeding a balanced diet and providing good grooming. Make sure your cat is not exposed to known allergens such as certain foods, pillows, and plastics. Your doctor can help with this after diagnosing the nose skin disease. If your cat has white ears, nose and eyelids, keep it out of the sun during the peak hours of summer. It is also recommended to have your cat neutered because this will help keep it out of fights that could result in an injury on the nose.