Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Cat skin issues

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by IsaK, Jun 9, 2018.


  1. IsaK

    IsaK PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2018
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    15
    Hello everyone!

    I have signed up to this forum in hope to find some clues about a skin condition our cat started having.
    His name is Tommy, he is nearly 3 years old, neutered and all vaccinations are up to date. He behaves completely normal, he eats, he plays, he drinks normal amounts and just generally is his normal and happy self.
    About 3 months ago he started getting random wounds on his face (I will try to attach pictures of the recent ones, the older ones weren't as bad) we took him to the vet and he was given a long-term antibiotic and a steroid injection - and they completely cleared those wounds up. Now about 3 days ago we noticed that even bigger wounds were developing - the same kinds. They came extremely unexpected and very fast overnight. So we had our appointment yesterday, he was given antibiotics and steroids again obviously he can't keep getting steroids because of the possibility of causing further issues long-term (diabetes etc.). We have a follow-up appointment in two weeks time. Sadly he has to wear a collar so he won't scratch the wounds open and make them worse.
    Tommy is also up to date with wormer and spot on (he got advocate yesterday normally we use advantage and drontal). The vet assumes those wounds are caused by him scratching because he is stressed or maybe a food allergy. She said it is very hard to test for food allergies. She also said it can't be ringworm because it is pretty rare.
    Is there anyone who's maybe had a cat with wounds like that? They are only on his face region, never anywhere else. He also does not overgroom. Any advice on this would be appreciated because we do not know in what direction to investigate - the vet is pretty chilled out about this issue (I know us as owners are always a little more worried) but we feel so bad for him having to stay in and getting these wounds all the time.

    Thanks to everyone for reading and any advice is very much appreciated! (He was given Dexafort and Convenia Inj 80mg/ml yesterday) IMG_20180609_135812.jpg IMG_20180609_135828.jpg IMG_20180609_135818.jpg
     
    Puddy2shoes likes this.
  2. Puddy2shoes

    Puddy2shoes PetForums Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2018
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    432
    Hi IsaK, oh my word, they look very sore, I have read in the past that head and face only can be fungus/mites/food reaction and other causes, as food is mentioned, have checked ingredients of his food though he could have ingested something outside of the home, IsaK stay tuned to this forum, there are some amazingly knowledgable people on here who give advice and information which I have learned so much from since my first accessing this site a week or two ago, people will be wanting to help you...
     
    IsaK likes this.
  3. IsaK

    IsaK PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2018
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    15
    Thank you, puddy! That is very nice to hear I hope someone can point us in the right direction. It is sad not knowing what's going on and he is very unhappy with the silly collar but the wounds have stopped oozing, they are looking much better than yesterday already so that is definitely a good sign. :)
     
    Puddy2shoes likes this.
  4. Lottiecat

    Lottiecat PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    127
    Ouch, that looks sore. I'd say they look fungal,bacterial. However, has he had any change in diet over the last six months, the odd new treat? If he's an outdoor cat, also wondering if anything has been sprayed in a local garden as his face would be the first thing that comes into contact.
     
    IsaK likes this.
  5. IsaK

    IsaK PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2018
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    15
    Thank you for your reply, Lottie! We did buy a new brand of treats for him and we thought those were the problem but we have not fed those again and sadly the wounds still came back - other than that there has been no change in his diet he is an extremely fussy eater so we stick to the foods he likes and never had issues with.

    Now that you're saying that, we have allotments behind the house where the cats are most likely walking around - I only have absolutely no idea how we'd be able to find out if it was maybe something that they spray on their plants? :(
     
  6. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    5,743
    Likes Received:
    5,083
    @chillminx is good with advice on this, especially in terms of food allergies so hopefully she will be along soon to advise.
     
    chillminx and IsaK like this.
  7. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    27,435
    Likes Received:
    24,545
    Hi @IsaK :) Those wounds do look very nasty and painful for your poor cat. :( I understand you being worried about him.

    Itching and scratching of the face and head can be due to a food allergy, if other likely causes have been ruled out by the vet e.g. ear mites, fleas, ringworm etc.

    The only 'tests' for food allergies are blood tests or skin prick tests and both those are expensive and not very reliable. The only accurate and scientific method to identify food allergies is by putting the cat on an "elimination diet" also known as an "exclusion diet". I have had 3 of my cats on this diet in the past and it has identified food allergies in all of them. One of the cats had severe feline dermatitis and this now been under control for the past 4 years with diet.

    Most feline food allergies are to grains or specific meat proteins (sometimes 1, sometimes more than 1)

    The elimination/exclusion diet consists of the following procedure:

    First Stage :

    1/ Discontinue all dry food, treats, cat milk etc.

    2/ For 8 to 10 weeks feed the cat a novel protein. "Novel" in this case means a meat protein the cat has never eaten before. In the UK these will probably be kangaroo, reindeer, venison, goat, horse. The food must also be grain free. Kangaroo tends to be the most readily accepted by cats. Feed the novel protein food and water, nothing else.

    You won't find the necessary foods of single protein on sale in the UK so will need to buy it on line from German suppliers. I do have some cans of the Catz Finefood Kangaroo and can send you one to try to see if your cat will eat it, if you would like. :)

    Cans of pure kangaroo can be bought from Zoo-bio Uk:

    https://www.zoo-bio.co.uk/catz-finefood/14440-purrrr-no-107-kangaroo-canned

    Cans of pure reindeer, goat, or horse can be bought from :

    https://www.vet-concept.com/für-die-katze/nassnahrung

    Cans of venison (deer) and of horse can be bought from ;

    https://www.fuettern-mit-spass.de/katzenfutter/nassfutter/ropocat/

    Second Stage:

    After 8 to 10 weeks on the diet of whichever one novel protein you choose, if your cat's skin is better you then start re-introducing proteins one at a time, but they must be single proteins, so again, foods sold in the Uk are mostly not useful and dry food is out of the question.

    The most common statistically of feline food allergens are beef, fish and chicken so I'd leave them until last. I'd start by reintroducing the proteins in this order, one at a time every 3 WEEKS, and keep a daily log of symptoms (scratching etc):

    a/ turkey
    b/ lamb
    c/ pork
    d/ rabbit
    e/ venison
    f/ chicken
    g/ fish, including oily fish
    h/ beef

    The following companies sell single protein foods :


    Granatapet pure chicken (Zooplus UK)
    Granatapet pure veal

    http://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/canned_cat_food_pouches/granatapet


    Macs Sensitive Lamb and Macs Sensitive Turkey (All tails UK)

    https://alltails.co.uk/cat/cat-food/page-6

    Catz FineFood Purrr Pork (Zoo-bio UK)

    https://www.zoo-bio.co.uk/catz-finefood/14441-purrrr-no-109-pork

    Catz FineFood Salmon (Zoo-bio UK)

    https://www.zoo-bio.co.uk/catz-finefood/14441-purrrr-no-109-pork

    Catz FineFood Chicken (Zoo-bio Uk)

    https://www.zoo-bio.co.uk/catz-finefood/14438-purrrr-no-103-chicken

    Rabbit, lamb and venison (deer) from Fuettern-mit-spass :

    https://www.fuettern-mit-spass.de/katzenfutter/nassfutter/ropocat/


    Please let me know if you have any questions. I am happy to guide you through the process and also to send you any samples of the single protein foods that I may have in my store cupboard. :)

    EDITED : to add that once you have identified the allergens, you exclude them from the diet permanently and feed all the other proteins on a rotated basis so your cat is not eating the same protein day after day.
     
  8. moggie14

    moggie14 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    10,086
    Likes Received:
    8,452
    Wonderful post by @chillminx :)
    However I wouldn't rule out fighting wounds, common on the head due to face to face combat. Keeping him indoors during the night might help, as most cat fights happen during dusk/dark.
     
    IsaK and chillminx like this.
  9. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    27,435
    Likes Received:
    24,545
    Very true moggie14. :) The very nasty wound in one of the photos did look rather like a fight wound I thought. One of my cats recently sustained nasty bite injuries on his face and around his ear, since my neighbour acquired 2 neutered young male cats who are very aggressive. :(

    @IsaK - cat bites from fights cause puncture wounds, which usually form abscesses. Has your cat had any abscesses on his head ? These would swell up into a painful lump due to infection and need antibiotic treatment as well as maybe lancing by the vet. if the sores on your cat's head have been oozing pus or swollen, it would suggest they are bite wounds.
     
    IsaK and moggie14 like this.
  10. Whompingwillow

    Whompingwillow PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2018
    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    13,403
    Aw poor boy, that does look a nasty wound! :-/ I know you have had amazing advice above, I just wanted to say I hope it heals nicely soon
     
    IsaK likes this.
  11. sandy-cat

    sandy-cat PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2018
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    1,145
    My vet has said that cats are more tolerant of steroids than other animals (and humans!). Obviously the lower the dosage the better and the less likely it is that there will be longer term side effects. My Sandy has allergies and is on a maintenance dose of steroids - probably for life. Sometimes he flares up - he seems to have a pollen allergy as he is definitely more prone to scratching when the pollen count is high. We have tried to take him off steroids without success. I have removed several allergens from his environment and it hasn't helped. It doesn't seem to be solely a food allergy either, though it's been difficult to tell as he refused to stay on the single protein diet (went off venison after about a week and has also gone off kangaroo - now refuses to eat either!). So in discussion with my vet I'd rather keep him on a maintenance dose and make sure he has a happy, comfortable life. That said, he's never had a steroid injection, just prednisone tablets.
     
    IsaK likes this.
  12. IsaK

    IsaK PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2018
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    15
    Since I can't seem to be able to post my answer quoting, I will try it this way.
    @chillminx
    Oh wow, chillminx! Thank you so much for your effort and time to explain all of this to me. I have actually never heard of this method - I am from Germany if I would have known I would have brought a few of those over. :)

    The only problem with Tommy is that he would not eat wet food at all. He would only eat either some cooked meats (but not even if we put it in the food processor to try to get him used to wet food) or dry food/filled pockets. We do try to stick to dry foods that are hypoallergenic (grain free etc.) which is difficult as well because he tends to not like them too much. :-( Do you think he would eat that sort of food not liking wet food at all? (We have really tried nearly every brand we could get hold of so far)

    (I am not sure if this answer will be posted because every time I click "post reply" it tells me I should change what I wrote because it could be spam containing or something inappropriate - very strange!)
     
  13. IsaK

    IsaK PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2018
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    15
    @chillminx
    I would say I am 95% certain that those are not fighting wounds. I know they normally develop into abscesses (even though sometimes you can't see them and they are deep under the skin) I have spent a lot of time at the vets with my parent's cats in Germany because they are little fighters and also get a lot of wounds. These look nothing like the fighting wounds I have seen so far. :-( When I first noticed them I could have sworn it was food allergy until we went to the vets and they shot me down immediately saying it is probably stress scratching. Although I do not know what he is doing outside but he is a quite confident and social cat and he gets on with his sisters really well.

    His wounds are looking really good at the moment, we try to keep the silly collar off as much as we can (and watch him) and dabbing silverwater onto the wounds as well to help it heal fast so he can go outside soon again since he is running up the walls inside at the moment. Poor boy, I just want him to be better. :-(
     
    moggie14 likes this.
  14. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    27,435
    Likes Received:
    24,545
    Hi @IsaK, your reply has been posted fine. :)

    You would be best to wean him off dry foods slowly. No sudden changes. I have never yet had a cat who could not be weaned off dry foods given enough time and patience. :)

    Start by buying a peppermill and grinding up a few pieces of dry food a time. Sprinkle the dry food on top of a small serving of wet food. Do not mix it in. Your cat will start by picking the dry powder off the top of the wet food but will gradually get used to the flavour and texture of the wet food and begin to eat it.

    Don't allow him to go hungry, but only serve dry food as a topping to the wet food. Eventually you may be able to switch to using crumbled pure protein treats (made by Thrive or Cosma) on top of his wet food.

    Measure out his allowance of dry food at the start of every day, so you know how much can be used as a topping. Be prepared for some wastage of the wet food while you are transferring him to a wet food diet. Always throw away any leftovers at next meal time and start with fresh wet.

    Keep the day's portion of ground-up dry food in a screw top jar, and keep the rest of the dry food in its bag inside an airtight container, so he can't get the scent of it all the time. Dry food is very addictive to cats because of the flavouring added to it, and when the cat can get a whiff all the time of the scent of the stuff they refuse to eat wet food.

    Be prepared for the process of transferring to take several months.

    Good luck.:)
     
    sandy-cat and IsaK like this.
  15. IsaK

    IsaK PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2018
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    15
    @sandy-cat
    Thank you very much for sharing your experiences! Our vet had us horrified thinking about steroid injections every time he's getting these wounds. But at the same time she did not contribute to any plans on how to find out what is happening. We were given the appointment in two weeks time only to check if the wounds have cleared up because they were rather big compared to the last ones. Every suggestion I make is being talked down a la "I am the professional, you have no clue lady so listen to me!". :-(

    It is interesting what you said about the pollen. I have my allergies myself (which are very itchy patches on my skin) only flare up during the warmer months (spring/summer) and the rest of the year I am actually fine. Tommy started having these around spring this year the first time. Taking into consideration what our vet said: "he is at the age where cats do develop allergies/are more prone to developing them)".
     
  16. IsaK

    IsaK PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2018
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    15
    That is extremely helpful, thank you very much, chillminx! No vet has said anything about his eating habits so far or explained how we could switch him over to eat wet food. I will be screenshotting and printing your advice. We are definitely determined to get Tommy to eat wet food but probably haven't been patient enough so far. He was always a little different since he was a kitten he wouldn't even touch the wet food back then either.

    In Germany I have also come across BARF which is the raw food diet for cats but they do have a lot of supplements that they add to the meats. I don't know if that would be any good for him maybe?

    EDIT: Having checked a few of the links you have posted, those foods are actually for BARF, that's really neat!
     
    chillminx and moggie14 like this.
  17. IsaK

    IsaK PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2018
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    15
    Hello everyone,

    I thought I would update you on Tommy's wounds. One has cleared up nearly completely and the others are looking much better as well.

    He is definitely not too happy about being kept inside - but I think 2-3 more days won't harm. I have now ordered a few different cans and we're starting to work with Tommy to get him to eat wet food - he is a very stubborn little cat though. :) IMG_20180612_123843.jpg IMG_20180612_123904.jpg
     
    SbanR and moggie14 like this.
  18. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    27,435
    Likes Received:
    24,545
    Poor Tommy, his face looks so sore. :(

    Only try him with one new food at a time, and remember to sprinkle a little ground up dry food on top. :) Do not introduce new wet foods more often than one every 3 weeks.

    Have you given any more thought to putting him on the elimination diet?

    Please let us know how he goes. Good luck :) x
     
    IsaK and Whompingwillow like this.
  19. IsaK

    IsaK PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2018
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    15
    Thank you, chillminx! :)
    We will definitely be sticking to your instructions when it comes to the wet food introduction. We are seriously thinking of the elimination diet with Tommy but would it be okay to start right away or should we wait until he is getting used to some wet food first? I'm not sure which way is the best to get started.

    I know cats are extremely good at hiding things, pain especially. But other than that he just doesn't give up on trying to get us to let him out, it is so frustrating and funny at the same time to see him finding new ways to trick us to let him out - mostly in a very very charming way rubbing against your legs as you are walking towards the door "oh look, I am so cute and I am rubbing your leg and walking towards the door with you so I could maaaaybe slip outside if you open it". The other way is just following us everywhere and just sitting next to us staring at us and meowing to be let out, poor Tommy. I hope everything clears up fast so he can go back outside, he is so desperate to get out. :Cat
     
  20. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    27,435
    Likes Received:
    24,545
    Once the sores have scabbed over it should be Ok for him to go out again. :)

    It may be a good idea to get him transferred on to wet food before you start the elimination diet. For transferring I might start off with one of the popular supermarket foods. They are not the best quality cat food but cats do like them (because of the flavouring added), and they are inexpensive, so if you have wastage at first it will not be as costly as if you had good quality foods.

    My 5 cats all came from Rescues eating a diet of cheap supermarket wet food and loads of dry food. Over a period of about 2 months I was able to get them all off the dry food and then gradually over a further few mths I moved them to good quality wet (plus some raw).
     
    sandy-cat and IsaK like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice