Bacterial skin infection in cats is a common ailment that can be treated through a variety of methods. The most important factor in treatment is to identify the source of the infection and to treat it aggressively. In many cases, antibiotics are necessary to clear up the infection. Other treatments may include topical ointments or creams, shampoos, or oral medications. If the infection is severe, hospitalization may be required for intensive treatment. With proper care and treatment, most bacterial skin infections in cats can be cleared up within a few weeks.
One of the most common causes of bacterial skin infections in cats is Staphylococcus bacteria. These bacteria often live on the surface of an animal’s skin without causing any problems, but under certain conditions they can cause an infection. Infections caused by Staphylococcus bacteria are typically characterized by redness, swelling, and pus drainage from the site of infection.
Treatment for a bacterial skin infection generally depends on its severity and on what type of bacteria is causing it. In general however, antibiotics are used to clear up an infected area quickly. Topical ointments or creams may also be prescribed in order to help keep the area clean and dry and promote healing.
If your cat has a serious case of bacterial skin infection that requires hospitalization for intensive treatment then you should expect a bill upwards $1 thousand dollars . However with timely diagnosis , effective home care ,and some luck your cat’s condition will improve dramatically within days.
Examine the cat’s skin
A bacterial skin infection can occur anywhere on a cat’s body, including the face and nose. Carefully check the entire body of the animal by running your hands over its fur. Check the skin for itchy red lesions, pustules (pimples), alopecia, open sores that leak fluid, and epidermal collars (a round-shaped skin lesion with a round rim of scales or flaky skin).
- A bacterial infection can also develop in the folds of the skin. If the cat has creases, be sure to check those too.
- Bites and scratches from other animals can also lead to skin infections and boils. Keep a close eye on their condition.
Pay attention to when the cat itches
Try to determine if your cat started itching before or after the infection. If the cat began to itch before the infection, then the cause of the disease is most likely in the environment. If the cat began to scratch the affected area of the skin after the onset of infection, then the cause of the infection lies in internal factors.
Check if the cat has a fever
Cats with pyoderma (a severe skin infection) may have open sores that ooze pus and have a fever. Symptoms of fever in cats are loss of appetite and depression, lethargy, calmness, and withdrawn behavior. A cat with a fever may or may not be warm to the touch.
- Other symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, pale gums, and weakness.
Consult your veterinarian. Since a bacterial infection is quite difficult to distinguish from a fungal infection, take your pet to the vet if you notice that he is unwell. The veterinarian will be able to determine whether the infection is caused by internal factors or the external environment. The doctor will not be able to prescribe the necessary medicines until he examines the cat.
The examination may include:
- Histological (microscopic) examination of pustules and/or pus.
- Antibiotic susceptibility testing and tank culture to determine the bacteria causing the infection. Your veterinarian may also do a skin scraping or fungal culture to rule out fungal infection and microscopic parasites.
- Food check and allergy test to rule out food allergies as the cause of the disease.
- Check skin and coat for fleas and lice with a flea comb.
- Blood test to determine the internal causes of the disease.
Trim the hair around the affected area
This is necessary to maintain the cleanliness of the affected area and its treatment. Take scissors and trim the fur around the wound to 1 cm in height. Remember to wash your scissors with soap and water before and after use.
- Many veterinary clinics will gladly cut the coat before the visit.
Give topical antibiotics
First, wrap your cat in a towel. Sit on the floor and place the cat between your knees. Gently but firmly place one hand on the animal’s head. The thumb should rest on one side of the jaw and the rest of the fingers on the other side. Slowly give medicines in small intervals so that the cat has time to swallow everything.
- Depending on the severity of the infection, the doctor may prescribe topical antibiotics, oral antibiotics, or a combination.
- Be sure to complete the entire course of treatment until the end, unless the doctor instructs otherwise.
- Veterinarians commonly prescribe oral antibiotics such as amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (Amoxislav), cefoxitin, clindamycin, and cephalexin.
Fiprofort for cats
Fiprofort for cats is a flea and tick preventative medication for cats. It is available as a topical solution that is applied to the skin on the back of the cat’s neck. Fiprofort kills fleas, ticks, and chewing lice on contact and prevents their eggs from hatching. It also protects against heartworm disease. Fiprofort comes in both a prescription and over-the-counter formulation, but it should only be used according to your veterinarian’s instructions.
Wash your cat with medicated shampoos
Dilute the treatment shampoo in water, in a ratio of 1:5. Then take your cat, put it in a tub or basin, and gently wet it with a cup or hose. Be careful not to get water in his eyes, ears or nose. Gently massage the shampoo into the cat’s coat, applying it in the direction of hair growth, and then rinse the cat thoroughly.
- Medicated shampoos such as ApiSan or Elite and benzoyl peroxide shampoos are excellent for treating and washing affected skin areas in cats with a mild infection.
- These products will also help prevent future skin bacterial infections.
Think about what might have caused the infection
Bacterial skin infections may have come from the environment, such as through allergens, chemical toxins, fleas, parasites, and mites. They can also be caused by internal health problems such as food intolerances or allergies, hypothyroidism, hyperadrenocorticism, hormonal imbalances, cancer, and glandular disease. If the problem persists or comes back again, try to identify possible causes in the cat’s environment or diet. If the animal develops additional symptoms, consult your veterinarian about the possibility of another disease.
- Allergies to pollen, mold, pine needles or other substances have a very strong effect on skin health. Try removing them from your pet’s environment and see if his condition improves.
Monitor your cat’s recovery
Seek veterinary attention if her symptoms worsen, if any new symptoms develop, or if she does not improve within a week. Call the veterinarian and describe to him the symptoms and the entire recovery process. The veterinarian will likely ask you to come in for another appointment.
- He may conduct an additional examination, take a culture of microorganisms and conduct a blood test.
Skin Problems for Cats
Bacterial skin infections are a common problem in cats, and can be difficult to treat. In this video, Dr. Becker discusses the most common types of bacterial skin infections in cats, their causes, symptoms and treatment option