Diagnosis and Management of the Allergic Cat

Speaker: Mandy Burrows

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Diagnosis and Management of the Allergic Cat


Synopsis: Cats with overgrooming and pruritus are common in clinical practice and can be frustrating to treat. The diagnosis of pruritic disorders is not always easy in the cat. Cats often groom rather than scratch and in many cases, owners do not believe that the cat is pruritic. In addition, some owners fail to recognise excessive grooming as a sign of pruritus. Owners do not suspect that such problems are self-induced, particularly if the cat hides when it overgrooms. One of the challenges to the clinician is to persuade owners that such lesions can be self-induced and not a spontaneous problem. Four main types of reaction patterns are seen either alone or combined in pruritic cats; miliary dermatitis, self-induced, symmetrical non-inflammatory alopecia, eosinophilic dermatoses and erosive and crusting dermatosis of the face and neck. The webinar will explore the differential diagnoses for these reaction patterns and assist the practitioner in identifying and managing the common trigger factors. Additionally the webinar will review the management of acute flares of feline allergic skin disease; the treatment of chronic skin lesions of feline allergic skin disease and interventions to prevent disease relapses.

Learning objectives:

1. To recognise the four different skin reaction patterns and the common differential diagnoses causing pruritus cats.

2. Apply systematic knowledge and problem solving strategies to prioritise these differential diagnoses based on clinical history, signalment and physical examination findings.

3. Interpret the diagnostic testing required to confirm a clinical diagnosis of the pruritic cat.

4. Make recommendations for the diagnosis and therapeutic and management intervention of adverse food reactions in cats.

5. Make recommendations for the diagnosis and therapeutic and management intervention of atopic dermatitis in dogs and cats.