Scaly Skin Average Cost

From 558 quotes ranging from $200 - 500

Average Cost

$250

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What is Scaly Skin?

Treating scaly skin is not just about finding out the underlying cause, but also alleviating itchiness associated with the condition to help make your cat comfortable.

Cats may have scaly skin for a number of reasons, some of which are minor, such as dry skin. Scaly skin often looks like dandruff, but can also consist of larger flakes that can be seen through your cat’s hair. If you notice your cat excessively licking or scratching certain areas of his body, check to see if you spot any signs of scaly skin.

Symptoms of Scaly Skin in Cats

Cat owners are often unaware of their cat’s skin problems because cats tend to groom themselves on a regular basis, so excessive licking may not seem unusual. But, it’s important for cat owners to make an effort to look for scaly skin symptoms, including:

  • Small or large flakes of skin
  • Itchiness
  • Hair loss 
  • Thinning hair
  • Red, irritated skin

Causes of Scaly Skin in Cats

Scaly skin is a sign of an underlying health condition. Although it can be caused by something as minor as dry skin, there are other more serious health conditions that could be affecting your cat. Some of these causes include:

  • Cheyletiella mange, caused by mites
  • Demodectic mange
  • Allergies, especially flea allergies
  • Ringworm
  • Seborrhea, or an excessive production of sebum
  • Sunburn
  • Yeast infections on the skin
  • Autoimmune disorders

Diagnosis of Scaly Skin in Cats

A vet will be able to spot scaly skin through a simple physical examination of the cat’s hair and skin, however in order to treat it, the underlying cause must be diagnosed. Be sure to give your vet detailed information on when the symptoms began, and what behaviors your cat has exhibited. If your cat has been diagnosed with any other health conditions in the past, be sure to bring this to your vet’s attention as well. Because scaly skin can be caused by allergies, tell your vet if you have recently changed your cat’s diet or exposed him to any potential allergens.

First, a vet may perform a complete blood count test and urinalysis to get a better picture of the cat’s overall health. Blood tests can also show if there is a serious cause of the scaly skin, such as an autoimmune disorder.

Skin scrapings, which test for fungus or bacteria on the skin, are usually done. The specimen will be examined under a microscope to determine if the scaly skin is caused by a fungal or bacterial infection or mites. A small sample of hair may also be taken and examined under a microscope to determine if there are excessive amounts of sebum on the hair follicle. 

A vet may also do a thorough physical examination to check you cat for fleas. Scaly skin can often be a sign of an allergic reaction to fleas, so if any are found, this could be the cause.

Treatment of Scaly Skin in Cats

Once a diagnosis has been made, the vet will discuss treatment options with you. If the cause is related to fleas, ringworm or mites, medication will be applied to the cat’s skin to combat the pests. The vet may also prescribe steroids or antihistamines to help alleviate the cat’s itchiness and skin inflammation. 

Cats will be prescribed antifungal or antibiotics if the cause is a yeast or bacterial infection. These are usually given orally, however some on-the-spot treatments may be required, depending on the condition of your cat’s skin.

Seborrhea is treated with special shampoos designed to control the production of sebum. Your vet may wash your cat in the office for you, and then ask you to continue using the shampoo at home. 

If the vet believes your cat has scaly skin because of an allergy, he may suggest allergy testing to determine what your cat is allergic to. Once you find out, you will need to reduce or eliminate your cat’s exposure to the allergen to help your cat heal and prevent further issues.

To treat autoimmune disorders, your vet will prescribe medication that suppresses the immune system and allows your cat’s body to recover. If the cause of the scaly skin is cancer, which is rare, your cat may need to undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

Recovery of Scaly Skin in Cats

Recovery will depend on the cause of the scaly skin. If the scaly skin was caused by fleas or mites, you will need to administer medication to your cat on a monthly basis to prevent the issue from recurring. 

Bacterial and fungal infections will usually clear up after you have given your cat the full course of medication. To prevent these infections from coming back, your vet may recommend you use special shampoos to keep your cat’s skin clear and healthy.

Scaly skin caused by allergies will usually clear up once the cat is no longer exposed to the allergen. However, if it’s impossible to completely eliminate the allergen from your home, talk to your vet about whether you can use antihistamines to treat allergic reactions.

Regardless of the cause, be sure to speak with your vet about an appropriate bathing schedule. Bathing your cat regularly is important to protect his skin, but if you do it excessively, it could dry the skin out and cause irritation.

Scaly Skin Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Shadow
Black
8 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Itching

My cat has rough patch of skin on his neck, he keeps scratching it which has made it worse, The skin rash is spreading all over his neck and getting deeper, I thought it was dry skin but its eaten away at his fur and skin and left a huge mark. What should I do?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1397 Recommendations
Thank you for your question. Shadow should probably see his veterinarian for an exam of that skin. If he isn't on flea control, he may need to be, but possible other causes for that skin rash are bacterial or fungal infections, or other parasites. If it seems to be spreading, and not improving, he should see his vet sooner rather than later, to figure what is causing that to happen, and to get treatment for it.

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Cheeky
Long haired calico
15 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

dandruff
Scaly Skin
Dry skin

My cat has recently started getting dry, flaky skin that looks scaly under her fur. Her skin is just white and doesn't seem irritated but when I touch her lower back where the scaly skin is she twitches and meows in irritation. Is this normal/ not serious, and can it just clear up by itself?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1397 Recommendations
Cats often develop dandruff as they age, sometimes due to a skin condition, and sometimes due to the fact that they can't reach those areas to groom as well as they used to. Cheeky may need you to brush and groom that area with a soft brush to clear off the dead skin for her. If that doesn't improve her skin condition, it would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian, as she may have other skin problems. I hope that all goes well for her!

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Gandlaf
Unknown
2 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Bleeding
Scaly Skin
Hair Loss

I have a cat that has dry and cracked paws when he was young, about two or three months ago he started getting scaly scabs all over his body, he itches and has lost hair anywAy, the scales flake off and show reddish spots underneath, as he itches it it will bleed

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2981 Recommendations
There are many different causes for skin lesions in cats which may be due to dermatitis, flea allergies, chemical irritation, autoimmune disease among other causes; you should bathe Gandalf in a medicated shampoo to see if there is an improvement in the scabs. Also giving cetirizine at a dose of 5mg once per day may help to control allergies; the list of possible skin problems is long and it would be best to have your Veterinarian take a look if you see no improvement. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Snowy
Persian
2 Months
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

I have a cat and she's been attacked by a wild cat it's been a month and she's better now but her hair are not growing on that part where the scar was and now she's having brown scaly skin there when I touched it she yell badly like it's paining her I'm very tensed please tell me sir .

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2981 Recommendations
Given Snowy’s age I would recommend you visit a Veterinarian to take a look as there may be an underlying infection or other issue at the scar site; Persians may have issues with skin trauma leading to layers of skin to separate leading to other issues, you should discuss this with your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thank you sir .

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Simba
Orange tabby shorthair
19 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

My cat is 19 years old and I have recently started to notice what feels like scabs on him. His diet is the same, his environment is calm and nothing's changed, he grooms himself but not as often as he should ( I think). I give him a thorough brushing and sponge bath with his eyes corners and ears getting cleaned as well, every weekend. The condition I'm noticing is more on the base of his neck and equally down his back.He only occasionally seems bothered by it and barely scratches (though he does at times). When brushing him,these "scabs" come off easily and he seems to be feeling relief not discomfort ( noted by laying down, nudging his head on me and purring). My main concern is that overall this " condition" seems to be getting more pronounced and a bit more frequent. I have thoroughly checked for fleas ( I'm allergic myself ) and there are none on him, our other cat whos 6 and no person has been bit. The skin underneath seems very mildly pink, but the "scabs" coming off are dark coloured and he's an Orange tabby. He will even allow me to brush his fur the opposite way to ensure I get the most stuff Off of him. I'm trying to do what I can at home for him as I think a trip to the Vet would be alot for this old boy to handle, but I will take him right away if you feel it's necessary. Thank you

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2981 Recommendations
There are many possible causes for scaly skin especially in an older cat like Simba; hormonal conditions, nutritional deficiency (malabsorption), mites, mild infections (more susceptible with age) among other causes. Without examining Simba, I cannot say for certain what the specific cause is; however benzoyl peroxide shampoos may help with scaly skin in some cases. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Luna lulubell blue
British shorthair b
3 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Dry flaky, patches, excessive lic

I recently adopted a cat. She was an ex breeders cat and apparently she arrived in a terrible condition. She was loosing patches of fur and was put on a diet and the skin cleared up, although the fur remained a little patchy. I got her in February and there were no problems until May when she licked herself so much that she took all the fur off her front legs and chest. She licked so much that the skin became infected. She has been wearing a cone since because as soon as it comes off, she licks herself all over and removes her fur. There are a few patches on her fur, her skin is flaky. She lives indoors and I treat her with flea treatment every month. We live in Hong Kong and it started to get hot around May. She allows me to rub her body (although her tail wags) but she will simulate licking. I hoover the house every day and wash the floors. Help! She can’t have a cone on her all the time. It’s not fair

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1397 Recommendations
Luna may have allergies or a bacterial or parasitic skin infection. I agree that she should not have to wear a cone and be itchy all the time, and it would be a good idea to have her seen by a veterinarian, as they can look at her, determine what might be going on, and give her any medication that she may need.

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