What are Skin Diseases from Allergies?
Eosinophilic granuloma complex has three distinctive clinical forms recognized as eosinophilic granuloma, eosinophilic plaque, and indolent ulcer. A feline may one or more of these classified phenomenons, which must be addressed by a licensed veterinary professional.
Skin disease from allergies in cats is referred to as an eosinophilic granuloma complex. The skin disease is characterized by yellowish, oozing eruptions on the skin or large tumor-like lesions. These lesions commonly affect the feline’s lips, hind quarters, abdomen, and feet. Eosinophilic granuloma complex is believed to be caused by an unnecessary release of an inflammatory chemical produced by eosinophils. The eosinophils are cells produced by the immune system to help fight foreign invaders to the body, but in the case of feline skin disease, no invasion of foreign elements is found.
Symptoms of Skin Diseases from Allergies in Cats
Skin disease from allergies in cats can cause several skin symptoms:
- Tumor-like bumps
- Yellow/pink ulcerations
- Oozing masses
Lesions can be found on the lips, tongue, palate, foot pads, abdomen, hind legs, and just about anywhere else on the body. The dermal outbreak is highly pruritic, causing the feline to scratch, making the small ulcerations larger and hair to be lost.
An eosinophilic granuloma is characterized by a linear or nodular raised area of the skin that is often red in color. Common locations a feline may experience eosinophilic granulomas include the foot pads, hind legs, and mouth. These granulomas are highly pruritic, causing ulceration of the skin and hair loss.
Eosinophilic plaque is characterized by flat, demarcated swellings on the feline’s skin. A common location a feline may experience eosinophilic plaque is on the ventral abdomen. The plaque is red in coloration, highly pruritic, causing ulceration of the skin and hair loss.
Indolent ulcer is characterized by a raised, demarcated ulcer affecting a felines lips. The ulceration can become rather large in size, causing a visible swelling on the outer portions of the mouth.
Causes of Skin Diseases from Allergies in Cats
The exact cause of skin disease from allergies in cats is unknown, but experts believe it is an immune response similar to that of an allergic reaction. The body reacts to an invader by releasing inflammatory chemicals produced by immune system cells, eosinophils. Hypersensitivity to external parasites (fleas, ticks, mites), insect bites (bee stings, spider bites, mosquito bites), foods (wheat, lactose, soy), or the environment (pollen, grass) are all thought to be a possible link to eosinophilic granuloma complex. Other experts believe that the skin disease condition is caused by the feline’s genetics, an abnormal skin condition that was inherited from the cat’s parents, but this hypothesis is yet to be proven.
Diagnosis of Skin Diseases from Allergies in Cats
Diagnosis of skin disease from allergies in cats will begin with a review of the feline’s medical history and a thorough physical exam. Any history of allergies will be duly noted, as will the feline’s physical behavior. Your veterinarian will look for a pattern between your cat’s current condition and external elements. For example, a flea infestation followed by skin allergies could be the likely cause for the skin disease condition. The veterinarian will also thoroughly examine the feline’s hair coat and skin in search for any external parasites such as; fleas, mites, lice or ticks. An allergy test might be requested to look for a possible hypersensitive reaction to the skin, or a biopsy of the skin could be requested to search for cellular abnormalities.
Treatment of Skin Diseases from Allergies in Cats
The course of action a veterinarian takes to treat skin disease from allergies in cats depends on the underlying cause of the reaction and the extent of the problem. If an underlying problem has been pinpointed down to an allergy, the veterinarian is likely to prescribe an antihistamine to deplete the immune system’s inflammatory reaction. Corticosteroids are often paired with antihistamines to relieve pruritic responses and inflammation. If the underlying ailment has not been found, the veterinarian may resort to symptomatic treatments to improve the cat’s condition. Glucocorticoids, antihistamines, immunosuppressant drugs, and topical steroids are common drugs of choice for skin disease in felines, but are designed to manage symptoms rather than treat the condition.
Recovery of Skin Diseases from Allergies in Cats
Skin disease from allergies in cats is often managed with therapeutic drugs to keep the symptoms under control. Your veterinarian may advise a food change for the feline if he believes a food allergy could be to blame, or he may recommend a scheduled treatment plan to control external parasites.