Often also called Miliary Eczema, affected cats have a combination of numerous tiny scabs, hair loss, hypersensitivity to touch, scratching, excessive licking and irritation. The cause is usually an allergy to flea bites. Even just one bite from a flea will produce this terrible allergic reaction.
I avoid the use of drugs wherever possible as they generally get rid of the symptoms without addressing the underlying cause. Allergies are not cortisone or anti-histamine deficiencies any more than a headache is an aspirin deficiency! I use nutrition as the most important part of any treatment. However for serious cases, some form of anti-inflammatory may be necessary to control the symptoms and relieve the distress while you change the diet to prevent recurrence. Natural anti-inflammatories include Aloe Vera (I use Pukka, from the health shop), omega 3 oils and turmeric. All need to be used with care and preferably with the guidance of an holistic vet. Sometimes medication is required short term.
The foundation of health is nutrition, providing the nutrients needed for the body to continuously repair and regenerate used and damaged cells. Remember, the body is made of cells, each with its own special function. For example, liver cells are all clustered together in an orderly manner to form the liver, each cell performing its task in conjunction with the other liver cells.
If the nutrients consumed are of poor quality, the repair and regeneration of cells will be of the same poor quality, so the body gradually degenerates. The regulatory mechanisms also start to malfunction and all sorts of bizarre reactions result, allergies being one.
It is not natural for cats to have fleas nor is it natural for them to have a violent reaction to a flea bite, often leading them to lick off their own fur and scratch themselves raw. These symptoms are evidence that something is desperately wrong, so something has to change!
Treatment of Feline Miliary Dermatitis
Many severely affected cats are given steroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs to control the symptoms, but if the cat’s environment isn’t improved, the symptoms will recur as soon as the anti-inflammatory action wears off. So while your cat is less itchy, use this time wisely to make some changes to diet and environment.
It is essential to ensure there are no fleas either on the cat or in the environment. There are various products available. I tend to suggest dusting the cat with Diatomaceous Earth, thoroughly vacuuming the whole house and all furniture, especially the areas the cat frequents, then dust it all with Diatomaceous Earth. Billy No Mates is another useful product. I avoid the potent chemicals wherever possible, especially any oral treatment designed to treat a skin invader!
The first thing to do is to change the food. Feed your cats with raw meat and bone mixed with a teaspoon of liquidized greens (some cats just won’t accept the greens!) and 1/4 teaspoon of Pet Plus. Any remaining fleas will usually go. The cat’s immune system will gradually recover, the skin will be able to repair and the excessive scratching and licking will cease.
It takes time for this recovery to take place. The last cat I treated had been on steroids and various other anti-inflammatories for many months. With the last injection, the symptoms didn’t go away as effectively as on previous occasions, so the owner sought a different approach. She was licking herself all the time, but not damaging herself as some cats do. After 3 weeks, the owner noticed signs of improvement which continued until she had recovered completely in 2 months. Her fur is still growing back, so it’ll be a while before she looks completely normal, as she had licked off nearly all her fur over the many months of failing medical treatments, poor thing. Also, the owner couldn’t believe that such simple changes could make any difference, so she was a bit slow to get onto 100% raw food! Her cat was relying on the Pet Plus for the first few weeks as she was still receiving processed food. As soon as the owner saw the improvements in her cat after 3 weeks of adding the Pet Plus for Cats to the processed food, she changed her onto raw food with the Pet Plus.
Wouldn’t it be better to feed raw food and Pet Plus from the start and prevent these horrible ailments? Just do it!! You know it makes sense!
There are numerous frozen minced meat and bone mixtures available both online and from the pet shop. Natures Menu is one you can buy in pet shops. Cats tend to like the rabbit, chicken, tripe (just once a week!), fish and lamb. The tripe has no bone in it, but it is rich in other nutrients and really smells!! Great for the cat, not so good for the house! Online, you can get raw meat and bone minces from numerous raw food manufactures, for example: Nutriment , Natural Instinct and Honeys Real Dog Food, all great for cats!
They also thrive on raw chicken wings which you can give every day along with the minced meat and bone, liquidized greens (which some cats just won’t eat, mine included!) and Pet Plus. This helps to keep their teeth in good health. It’s good to give them some raw heart, liver and kidneys (offal) once a week too. Please see the dietary sheet for more details.