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5 Common Skin Problems in Cats

5 Common Skin Problems in Cats

Cats are known as secretive beings and, as any cat parent knows, they can be very good at hiding the early signs of a medical issue. But even the most stoic cat can have a hard time hiding what’s plainly visible to the naked eye: skin disease . Here are some of the most common cat skin problems and what you can do about them.

1. Masses
Skin swelling represents almost a third of all the skin cases presented to veterinarians, according to one 2006 study. Masses and swellings are notoriously difficult to diagnose without tests such as aspirates and biopsies, but these tests are necessary in order to determine the cause.

Despite the constant fear of feline cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cause of skin swelling in cats is abscesses. A small bump or lesion can mask a large pocket of pus and debris under the skin. This can cause a disproportionate amount of pain for what looks like a small wound. If your cat is suddenly hiding, resisting your touch, or has any unusual behavior changes, she may be in pain. Have your veterinarian check out any strange lumps and bumps.

2. Sores on Face or Ears
Little red lesions may appear innocuous at first, but any persistent sore that doesn’t resolve on its own should be evaluated by your veterinarian. Sores on the upper lip may be what is known as a 'rodent ulcer', an ulcerative skin disease often associated with allergies.

There are many other causes of persistent sores, and all require medical attention. Some examples are infectious diseases such as: viruses, fungus or bacteria, autoimmune disease, or even cancer. Be especially vigilant if you have a white cat, as they have a higher incidence than others of squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer in cats, often noted on the tips of the ears, eyelids, and nose.

For the complete slideshow on 5 Common Skin Problems in Cats, visit petMD!

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