Pet Tips

Stud Tail and Cats – Pet tip 229

In order to be a diligent cat owner we must pay keen attention to any noticeable changes on our cat’s body. Sometimes it’s easy to spot a difference as in the case of a large growth. Other times though, you really have to look carefully to notice something unusual. Although we don’t always look near our cat’s private places, we need to, as problems can arise on any part of a cat’s body. The faster we notice something new, the easier it is to treat. This article will focus on a condition that regularly appears in intact male cats but can also appear in neutered males and spayed or unspayed females; the condition is called stud tail.

There is an organ at the base of a cat’s tail called the supracaudal organ. This organ contains glands that secrete oils which help to lubricate the skin in order to prevent dryness. When these glands over-secrete, stud tail (aka supracaudal gland hyperplasia) can occur. The male hormone testosterone seems to increase the production of these oils which accounts for a greater incidence of stud tail in intact males.

The signs of stud tail include a brownish oily waxy substance at the base of the cat’s tail. The hair around this area can be matted and you might notice flaking, scabbing and possibly even blackheads. Sometimes the hair is thin around the area and you may notice bald patches. A foul odor may also be present. Stud tail in and of itself isn’t the biggest problem for a cat and many cats just simply shrug it off. The problem is that this scabbing can cause an infection and other complications (like inflamed hair follicles which are painful) that can become problematic if left untreated.

Diagnosing stud tail is pretty straightforward and your vet will diagnose this condition with a simple physical exam. In order to treat this problem, your vet will likely recommend extra combing and brushing as well as the use of a medicated shampoo for cats. The vet may also trim the area so that the shampoo is easily applied. If there is an infection or a risk of infection, antibiotics are likely to be prescribed. If the condition is really severe, the vet may prescribe medication to curb the gland’s secretions. If the condition appears in an intact male cat, the vet will likely suggest neutering as neutering often reduces the symptoms and sometimes cures the problem completely.

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