Animals can get acne? Why not? Feline acne is a very common type of acne problem which is frequently found among cats. So this skin menace does not seem to leave your pets alone too? Unfortunately it is so. As long as there are hyperactive oil glands in the skin, no matter whether it is you or your pet, acne is quite likely to appear.
Causes and Symptoms Feline Acne
The exact cause of this pet skin disease is still unknown, but dermatologists suspect a number of factors to be responsible for giving rise to this type of acne formation.
Poor grooming habits: Sometimes lack of proper grooming of your cat might also give rise to feline acne.
Plastic food bowels: People often use plastic food bowels for feeding their pets. However, dermatologists often think that this might be a major resource of malicious agents like bacterial growths which could easily get transmitted to the cat’s chin and adjoining areas. Besides, plastics might also cause allergic reaction on your cat’s skin.
It is sometimes confusing to identify the symptoms of feline acne since in many instances they resemble with the symptoms of other diseases like dermatophytosis or demodecosis. Therefore you need to visit your vet for correct analysis of the problem. The general signs of this type of acne are:
• Multiple comedones appear especially under the chin giving it an overall dirty look. They initially look like tiny black spots, much like blackheads. However, if left unattended, they might take more severe form.
• In its severe form, feline acne comedones get inflamed by bacterial buildup and the whole area might become very itchy. You might notice a frequent tendency in your cat to scratch the area. This might be accompanied by profound hair loss in the affected area.
Diagnosis and Treatment
You might be wondering as to what might be the solution for such a stubborn disease if it happens to your cat who cannot even speak about its discomforts. Well the wisest decision would be to visit your pet doctor as soon as you notice the onset of any kind of black spots appearing on its chin. The diagnostic processes used by the veterinarians usually include skin scrapings and biopsy in order to rule out the possibility of other skin diseases.
Like in human acne, a complete cure is yet out of reach. However, there are several measures to stop and prevent feline acne:
• Controlling comparatively mild forms of acne is within your hand. Wash the affected region with some good antiseptic soap. Also use antiseborrheic shampoo to wash the entire body to keep it free from excess accumulation of oil. Nevertheless, stay away from antibacterial handwashes since they often leave considerable amount of residue on the skin.
• It is recommended to dispose of the plastic bowels and start using stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowels for serving food or water. Also do not forget to wash the bowels every time you use it.
• If the acne is in moderately severe condition, then try some gel or ointment containing benzoyl peroxide or chlorhexidine.
• Severe inflammations are most often cured by veterinarians using topical or oral retinoids. Even sometimes a short course of corticosteroid is applied in order to alleviate extreme cases of inflammations. Sometimes antibiotics are also used to diminish intense inflammations.
• Flower essence or pheromone-based products might work well if your cat is suffering from feline acne due to emotional stress. And if the stress is generated by environmental conditions, then try to put back the previous environment which your pet used to like. For example, if you have replaced some furniture or changed its position then restore it to its former state.
Always remember that it is too difficult to communicate with an animal since they have no language to express their trauma. Therefore, if you own a pet then it becomes your responsibility to keep a close watch on any kind of disturbance it might be facing by studying and observing its behavior more precisely.