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Allergic Dermatitis in Cats

By: Dr. Erika DePapp

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Optimal treatment for your cat involves a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical, especially if your cat does not rapidly improve. Administer all prescribed medications as directed. Alert your veterinarian if you are having problems treating your cat.

Re-exams by your veterinarian may be required every 2-4 weeks, at least initially, to monitor efficacy of the treatment plan. Once the dermatitis is well controlled, certain drugs may be tapered or discontinued. This decision should only be made by your veterinarian. If signs are seasonal, medication may only be required at certain times of the year. Any flare-ups of dermatitis should be addressed early, as clinical signs may worsen quickly if not treated appropriately.

For patients taking corticosteroids, certain side effects are to be expected, primarily increased thirst, increased urination and increased appetite. Though not very common in cats, adverse effects of this therapy also may include gastrointestinal upset and even bleeding or ulcer formation. This may manifest as vomiting, diarrhea, dark and tarry stools or general weakness. Any of these adverse effects should be brought to the attention of your veterinarian immediately.

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