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Ask the Veterinarian/feline dermatitis


Am desperate for help! My female cat is 4 yrs old and for the past 2 years I have made many many visits to the local vet. She has itchy crusts underside of chin and along sides of mouth and the skin around both eyes is red and inflamed and itchy. She bleeds. Feline acne has been ruled out. She has been on prednisone pills and injections off and on for almost 1 1/2 years. I have changed her food and treats to grain free. We have applied topicals from her vet. It will clear up following an injection and return after two weeks. She is an indoor cat but at times I take her outside on a leash. The vet and myself have never seen a flea. She is currently with both eyes red and inflamed and her chin is crusty with spots where she has itched the fur off. She has also had antibiotic injections and ointments. Not only is she uncomfortable but I am spending a fortune with no permanent results. I feel so bad for her discomfort. I would desperately love to hear suggestions from you. I cannot afford a Bx or a visit to a feline dermatologist at this time. Thank you in advance for any advice.

Hi there,
You could try doing a proper food allergy trial. Most cats are allergic to meat proteins rather than just grains if they have a food allergy, so putting her on a 'novel protein' diet may help. For example feed her a meat she has never had before like venison, kangaroo, rabbit, duck and combine it with a carbohydrate like sweet potato. Use 2/3 meat to 1/3 carbohydrate. Feed this for 8 weeks and see if there is any improvement. Make sure any skin infection is cleared up first (ie she may need some antibiotics from your vet first and to be checked for fungal disease).

Hope that helps a little


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Eloise Bright


I am a vet with a special interest in dermatology, particularly allergic dogs and cats, behaviour and acupuncture. I work mainly with dogs and cats. If you are wondering why your pet is still itchy, despite good flea control, or why your dog licks his feet, I may be able to give you some solutions. I'm currently very passionate about behaviour and am doing some further education in this area. So if you have a troubling behaviour with your dog or cat, such as barking, leash reactivity, anxiety or a dog who is a little wild and difficult to control, I may be able to help you with some solutions.


I work in an area of Sydney where we see lots of allergic pets. I think behaviour problems are very common and I help a number of owners find solutions that will restore peace to them and their pets. Currently I enjoy answering questions, providing advice and writing pet care articles for

I graduated as a vet from Sydney Uni in 2006 and have since been completing my Masters in Small Animal Practice and am also updating my skills with a behaviour course through Sydney Uni.

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