Miliary Dermatitis in Cats - Page 4

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Miliary Dermatitis in Cats

By: Dr. Mark Thompson

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Treatment In-depth

One or more of the diagnostic tests described above may be recommended by your veterinarian. In the meantime, treatment of the symptoms might be needed, especially if the problem is severe. The following nonspecific (symptomatic) treatments may be applicable to some, but not all pets with miliary dermatitis. These treatments may reduce severity of symptoms or provide relief for your pet. However, nonspecific therapy is not a substitute for definite treatment of the underlying disease responsible for your pet's condition.

  • Strict flea control is nearly always the first step in treating miliary dermatitis since flea allergy is by far the most common cause. Many cats respond to flea avoidance without any other treatment. A single fleabite is all that it takes to trigger the pruritus that leads to the symptom. Therefore, quick-kill flea adulticides that kill fleas before they bite are necessary for success.

  • Corticosteroids are often used to treat this symptom and are frequently successful due to their ability to relieve pruritus. However, unless the underlying cause is eliminated, the problem is likely to recur. In addition, side effects such as increased thirst and urination, liver and adrenal gland effects, and immune suppression make it important that these drugs be used carefully. They are most valuable as an aid to treatment that concentrates on eliminating the underlying cause.

  • Antihistamines are helpful in treating pruritus in some cats. Although they are effective in all cats, they are much safer than corticosteroids and therefore, are often tried. There are many of these type of drug that have been tried in cats and some may be effective even when others have not been.

  • Shampoos that soothe and moisturize the skin may be helpful if you can bathe your cat. These shampoos often contain colloidal oatmeal, which has a soothing effect on the skin. Some shampoos also have topical anesthetics or anti-inflammatory medicines for additional help.

  • Fatty acid supplements contain fatty acids that modulate the immune system to decrease inflammation.

  • Your veterinarian may treat for internal parasites or adjust the diet to help improve the general help of the cat. This may be particularly important in cats that are found as strays and have not had the benefit of good veterinary care or proper nutrition.

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