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Old February 15th, 2009, 07:01 AM
aarontt aarontt is offline
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Unhappy Rashes off and on for 3 months

I have 3 cats. They range in age from 7.5 yrs to 9.5 yrs of age. I moved from Alaska to Tokyo in October. My cats lived in a boarding facility for 1.5 months until I moved into my house. Shortly after moving into my home, I found a bump that looked like a pimple on one of my cat's chins. We already had a veterinarian appointment for quarantine so I asked my vet and she said that it looked okay, to leave it be. The next thing I noticed was black specks on my other cat's chin. I cleaned him and his skin did not look irritated or anything. My 3rd cat started losing hair on his chin but he did not have any bumps or the black stuff that was on the other cat. I took them to another vet because my usual vet was not open. The new veterinarian pulled out hair to look at, used the black light, did a skin scrape and looked confused. She said if it were one cat she would think maybe allergies or acne but all 3 of my cats have differing symptoms but all are in the same area. As a precaution, I changed to glass dishes. The vet had me clean my cat's chin everyday and apply a antibiotic and steroid cream twice per day. It did seem to clear up some but not completely. The cat with a balding chin now has hair but he also has black specks. The cat who originally had only black specks still has them but also has lumps in different areas of his body. I took them back to my vet. She too took hair samples and scrapes. She said it was feline acne in all 3 of my cats. The lumps on my 3rd cat she could not diagnose. She did a fine needle aspirate, said the cells looked abnormal and is sending the sample to a cytologist. the lumps are easily moved, about the size of a pencil eraser and are popping up like crazy. In one week we have gone from 1 lump to 7. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on the rash or if the lumps could be related. The skin now looks irritated on all 3 of my cats. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old February 15th, 2009, 08:59 AM
Hazmat Hazmat is offline
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Just a long shot guess would be fleas. I have one cat that is very sensitive to flea bites. One bite will set her off on a weeks worth of scratching. The scratching leads to hair loss and scabbing. Most of which show up on her neck.

Short term solution is to keep their rear nailes trimmed to minimize damage.

Longer term is to flea treat all the animals on the same day each month. In my case the two dogs where on a different schedule than the three cats. Once I started treating them on the same day each month my cat itching went away.
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Old February 15th, 2009, 10:32 AM
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krdahmer krdahmer is offline
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Acne is a tough one... all 6 of mine had it for a few months, the lumps might just be infected pimples. My cat Buddy still gets them often because he is a messy eater. I too have changed to using no plastic bowls at all, only glass or stainless steel (ok and one crystal water bowl ).... that made a huge difference, although not immediately it took a while. I've also found that with Buddy it helps to comb out under his chin with a flea comb... this catches some of the larger black pimples and helps to keep them from getting clumped in the fur. He had a really big one the other day, which he let me squeeze and clean my little teenager! I also changed to a better food. What are you feeding?
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Old February 15th, 2009, 06:31 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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It certainly sounds like acne and blackheads to me, with the bigger bumps just being more inflamed or infected. I'm also curious about what they eat, which can be a factor.

As for treating them, can you wipe their chins a couple times a day with a warm washcloth (especially after eating)? After cleaning, a compress using a cotton cosmetic pad dampened with colloidal silver can help keep bacteria growth at bay.
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Old February 15th, 2009, 07:09 PM
aarontt aarontt is offline
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They all eat Science Diet Senior. They have eaten Science Diet all of their lives. There is also no evidence of fleas. The lumps all over my cat's body are not anything like the acne under the chin. These lumps do not open like the lumps under the chin. They are much harder as well. There is no discharge or any of the dirt like material that they get under their chins. Any ideas on these lumps?? The vet said one week to get the cytologists report.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 12:36 PM
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catlover2 catlover2 is offline
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It sounds like feline acne....I used to have a cat that was prone to it, and it would come and go from time to time, though none of my other cats got it. I do know that the more feline acne is scraped off, only causes more irritation and then a bacterial infection can set in as you've experienced. I think it was related to the cat's immune system...if the cat was stressed it was worse, just like human acne.
I had another situation where I had a new kitten and was using the food recommended by the breeder. Everything was fine until a month later and then these strange lumps appeared under the chin, and then more appeared along it's neck. The vet thought it looked like some kind of allergy. I consulted with the breeder, and because she also worked in a pet food store, learned that the brand of food I was feeding had a recent change in formulation. So I switched to a different brand, and within a week or so the lumps disappeared and haven't returned.

It would be worth it to try a change of food from Science Diet Senior, to a more "natural" food that contains no grains (such as corn, wheat or soy), such as Wellness (don't know if available in Tokyo or not), as in these mature cats the Science Diet may be gradually depressing their immune systems. In my experience I haven't found Science Diet to be very good. There may be other brands that are similar to Wellness that are availabel in Tokyo. Change to a new food gradually over a few days to avoid digestive upset. It might make a difference. Good luck! Keep us updated.
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