Just like humans, cats can be allergic to just about anything. One of the most common allergic reactions found in cats involves fleas, more specifically, flea saliva. If your cat is allergic to flea saliva, they will be miserable. Flea bites are itchy enough, but an allergy can make them even itchier. An allergic cat may also develop red, crusty bumps called miliary dermatitis. These bumps are painful and can lead to further complications, such as hair loss, a yeast infection, or a staph infection. If you have noticed miliary dermatitis on your cat, you should be aware of the following complications that may arise.
Hair loss is one of the first things you will notice if your cat has a flea allergy. While not all cats lose their hair, most do. You will notice hair loss at the base of the tail, groin, and stomach. Hair loss can be caused by incessant scratching and biting, but it is usually caused by inflammation in the skin. The rash and bumps associated with an allergic reaction inflames the skin, making it difficult for hair to grow. Hair will usually grow back once the flea problem is taken care of. However, if the hair follicles have developed scar tissue, the hair may never grow back.
Yeast is always present in your cat. It is most often found in the mouth, nose, ears, intestinal tract, and genitals. While some yeast is perfectly normal, too much yeast can lead to a yeast infection. A yeast infection can cause even more skin irritation as well as open sores. Cats who have an allergy to flea bites are susceptible to a secondary yeast infection because yeast thrives on traumatized and inflamed tissue.
A staph infection is a serious condition that can jeopardize your cat's life. Cats who have this condition may develop abscesses on their skin. However, the infection rarely confines itself to the skin alone. It can inter the blood stream and become systemic. A staph infection can occur when lesions on your cat's skin become infected. If you suspect that your cat's skin is infected or if you see signs of pus, take your cat to the vet immediately.
If your cat has an allergy to flea saliva, they are at risk for developing secondary conditions. Cats with secondary issues are often treated with antibiotics and/or steroids. If your cat shows signs of an allergy, get rid of the fleas. Then, monitor their skin for signs of a secondary infection until you're sure that they're completely healed from their allergic reaction. For more information, contact vet clinics like All-Pets Hospital.