July 2011 Issue

Sensitive Skin and Diet: A Challenge

If your cat has an allergy, treatment will alleviate the signs — but don’t expect it to go away. Here’s why.

Nothing can be more frustrating for a cat owner — and annoying to a cat — than skin disorders. Nutritional deficiencies or food hypersensitivity; parasites; fungal, viral and bacterial infections; and environmental allergens can cause problems that range from dry, brittle hair and coat to baldness and open wounds. "Most skin diseases are simple and straightforward," says William Miller, Jr., VMD, professor of dermatology at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, "and common problems such as flea bite allergies, abscesses and ear mites are easily recognized, treated and resolved."

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