Cat and Eczema
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Pier Pavoni
Posted on: September 29, 2006

My cat has some eczema on its nose over the last several months. It is possible that I have some irritant herb in my small backyard?

My first question would be whether your cat truly has eczema or an irritation of some sort. Eczema is described by Black’s Veterinary Dictionary (1995) as a "reddening of the skin, with the appearance of papules (small blister-like spots) and later, scabs." Other symptoms include "an intense irritation or itchiness... frantic licking... in the acute form..." It goes on to describe some of the causes which include a hypersensitivity to flea bites, a hay fever type allergy, contact with chemicals and food allergies.

My second question would be to ask if your cat has had a change in its life around the time the condition appeared: change in food, people or animals in the house, litter change, change in sleeping areas, stress, new house, etc? Any of these could have an impact on your cat’s overall health. Perhaps also see if there is a pattern to your cat’s condition. Is it worse when it comes in from outside? Was it near a particular plant? Is it better or worse at different times of the day, etc.? You might also want to begin by slowly changing your cat’s food to a good, homemade diet. Information and recipes may be found in Richard Pitcairn’s, "Natural Health for Dogs and Cats", "The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat" by Juliette de Bairacli Levy and "The Barf Diet" by Ian Billinghurst.

Also please see the posting on this website ( entitled, "Dog and Allergies" for other suggestions.

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