How to Identify "Scabby Cat Disease"

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Veterinarians determine the treatment for miliary dermatitis based on its cause. If your vet feels that a flea allergy causes the problem, you will need to treat your pet for fleas as well as get rid of the pests in the cat’s environment. If a food allergy is determined to be the reason, your vet will probably recommend switching your pet to a hypoallergenic food. Daily antibiotic and antifungal medications treat bacterial and yeast infections.

To alleviate the allergic inflammation that causes the itching, many veterinarians suggest placing affected cats on a short-term corticosteroid such as prednisone. Animals on corticosteroids need to be weaned off them slowly to avoid such adverse reactions as liver damage and adrenal dysfunction.


Because the exact cause of miliary dermatitis differs from cat to cat, some veterinarians recommend adding supplements to your pet’s food to help with the persistent itching. A fatty acid supplement such as fish oil capsules, or extra biotin sprinkled on the food, often alleviates some of the symptoms of this disorder, advises veterinarian Holly Nash of the Pet website.

Consider placing an Elizabethan collar, or “e-collar," around your cat’s neck if the incessant scratching and biting create open sores. This prevents the wounds from getting worse and gives them a chance to heal during treatment. You can purchase an e-collar from your veterinarian, your local pet supplies store or online.

Cats can lose quite a lot of hair around their necks and head due to "scabby cat disease."

Known by laymen as "scabby cat disease," feline miliary dermatitis causes intense itching and tiny, scab-covered sores on the skin of cats. Some cats also lose a considerable amount of hair. The causes of the disease include an allergic reaction to flea bites, an autoimmune disorder, nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, parasitic infections of the skin, reactions to airborne allergens such as pollen or hormonal dysfunctions. Cats with miliary dermatitis need a complete examination and veterinary diagnosis to begin treatment of the cause and alleviate the symptoms of this disorder.

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Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.