Feline Miliary Dermatitis In Cats

Feline Miliary Dermatitis is a general term and is often also called Miliary Eczema. Affected cats suffer from a combination of the following clinical signs :

  • numerous tiny scabs,
  • hair loss,
  • hypersensitivity to touch,
  • scratching,
  • excessive licking, biting and scratching and
  • irritation.

The cause is usually an allergy to flea bites. Even just a single bite from a flea - it does not take a flea infestation - 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.

Some drugs only treat symptoms and not the underlying causes of disease, but can still be used to make the patient more comfortable while proper nutrition fixes the problem.

Allergies are not cortisone or antihistamine 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), omega 3 oils and turmeric. All need to be used with care and preferably with the guidance of a holistic vet. Sometimes medication is required short term.

Why Avoid Drugs Where Possible?

The foundation of health is nutrition. Nutrition provides 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 other liver cells.

Poor nutrition over a lifetime leads to a slow degeneration of the body

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 such reaction.

It is not natural for cats to have fleas nor is it natural for them to have a violent reaction to a flea bite, which can lead 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 natural products available to provide flea control and flea treatment.

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 Herbal Mix for Cats and Dogs is another useful product. I avoid the potent chemicals wherever possible, especially any oral treatment designed to treat a skin invader!

Feed a raw diet and include PET plus. I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough.

What You Feed, Matters

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 from her vet, the cat's symptoms didn't go away as effectively as on previous occasions, so the owner sought a different approach.

The cat still licked herself all the time. After 3 weeks on PET Plus, 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.

Prevention Of Disease

Wouldn't it be better to feed raw food and Pet Plus from the start and prevent these horrible ailments and food allergies? Just do it!! You know it makes sense!

How Do I Feed Raw?

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!

Cats 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.

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67 comments on “Feline Miliary Dermatitis In Cats”

  1. I’ve adopted a cat who had terrible skin. She was almost half bald from excessive grooming and covered in scabs. I got her treated for fleas/worms/mange etc and a steroid injection. This temporarily relieved her symptoms. But in about 6 weeks, she was constantly grooming again. She’s inmuch better condition (hair growing back), but she obviously has some issues/allergies. I e tried to switch her food to a healthier alternative (natures menu, James well beloved, wainwright, purely holistic) all of which she won’t touch. She’ll only lick off the gravy off whiskers meat in gravy. She’s currently on Alamo dry food (chicken and rice). I don’t want her on dry food only. I am going to order some Alamo wet food (tuna and chicken). I have ordered pet plus months ago, but it never arrived. I am going to check my bank statements and pick this up with you separately. But I’d appreciate any advice on how to deal with my cat. She’s obviously in a lot of discomfort. Thanks

    1. Hi Bex,
      I replied by email in January, so am posting it here so everyone can be helped by the whole story.

      Thanks for your email.
      I've attached a couple of advice sheets for you which I hope you find helpful.
      Have you tried raw wild rabbit / mouse / rat ??? That'd be much better as that's what they'd eat in the wild. I would not feed fish and especially not tuna (toxic levels of mercury and radiation). All these processed foods are exacerbating her condition.
      For raw, this company is the best.
      http://www.rawpetsupplies.co.uk/
      you can get anything from them. It's awesome. Have a look and get a good selection of minced meat bone offal minces. Most cats gobble up the wild rabbit!

      I don't understand why you didn't chase up your order months ago! I have no record of it on my system, so wherever you ordered it, it didn't come through to me at all. I'm sorry that you haven't got any. I hope you have ordered some from my web site now so it can be posted to you, even though I am away till 19 March studying raw food nutrition in USA.

      I hope this helps you. It's such a distressing condition for both you and the cat.

      Then a question from Bex:

      Thank you Suzi. Much appreciated for your quick response. I have re-ordered some pet plus, and this time I received an instant email confirmation. Not sure what happened before, but I definitely placed an order this time. I will check out the information you sent and will try out some rabbit. Thanks again 🙂 xx
      I know you are busy in the US at the moment, and I am sorry to trouble you, but I need some further advice. I ordered Pet Plus and it arrived (thank you). The aim was to put this on some wet food for my cat with obvious skin allergies. However, I purchased a load of the raw rabbit that you recommended............ she won't touch it. I tried her with some home made stock I made from chicken.... again, turns her nose up at it. The ONLY wet food she will lick off the gravy is whiskers. I don't want to feed her that as I am trying to get her onto an elimination diet free from all that crap. But it seems no matter what I try, she will not eat healthy wet food. I added some fish oil capsules (dripped it over) to her dry food (this was previously mixed in with the whiskers).... she would not touch it all day. I've tried pet plus on teh dry food - same thing... goes untouched.

      She is a really really picky eater now it seems. When she was initially coming into my home, she was obviously riddled with worms as she was eating anything and everything.... I initially started to find chicken wing bones I left on the side munched and strewn across the floor. So she will eat when starving. But obviously I don't want to starve her. I want her to be happy, and eat a diet that she enjoys. I had her wormed, flea'd, steriod injection, and my first port of call was to get her coat growing back and for her to put on weight (she was thin). Her coat is looking lovely now, and she is definitely heavier. But her over grooming is steadily returning as the steriods wear off. Not as bad as it was before, but still present. The plan is to get her on an elimination diet, and if she won't eat wet food, it will have to be kibble..... What is your opinion of hills science elimination diet kibble? It is pea and venison. Or there is grain free foods they sell: https://www.hillspet.com/search#stq=grain%20free%20cat%20food&stp=1

      Can you recommend anything else? If I cannot get her to eat raw food, or any of the healthier pouches (James wellbeloved, natures menu, etc etc), is there anything else you recommend that is more just a soup type consistency and then I can add the pet plus supplement)? Its frustrating spending all this money and all this food being nosed turned up at!!

      Thanks in advance
      Bex

      And my replies:

      Briefly...mix whiskers with raw rabbit....first, tiny bit of rabbit in mostly whiskers, then very very slowly and gradually increas amount of raw rabbit. Mix it well. Smother it all in whiskers gravy!!!

      Sprinkle the Pet Plus on her fur so she can lick it off.

      What does the whiskers gravy smell of? Try to copy that and maybe liquidize the raw rabbit with it. A horrible job!!!

      Does she like fish? If so, sprats fed whole are great. Guts and bones and all.

      Keep the raw rabbit because she will get there eventually. Cat's hate change, so are always suspicious when there's something different around.

      Another technique is to put down 2 little bowls of food. One is raw rabbit. The other is whiskers. And just keep doing that every time you feed her. Don't make any kind of fuss about it even in your mind. Just plonk both bowls on the floor and walk away, as you would any other time she is fed. Cats are very private people you know. Make sure they are both fresh and both at room temperature. I know you'll be chucking some away, but it's worth it in the end.

      Good luck. Looking forward to hearing what happens.

  2. My Ragdoll cat, Babycat, who's five, has had an allergy to myasthenia yeast since about 12 months old. She has been given such a long assortment of drugs, I won't try to list them. She has had a full ear canal ablation. For the last couple of years, she has been taking Dexamethazone 2mg daily. On the whole this controls the symptoms but makes her endlessly hungry and is causing some hair thinning/loss. I have tried her on a raw food diet but she wasn't having it though I tried mixing it with cooked stuff etc. She loves raw pork or steak mince but the vet advises against this! Currently, she eats Applaws, an additive-free natural cat food. Would hugely appreciate your thoughts.

    1. Poor thing. That is terrible! It would be brilliant if you could get her to eat raw food.
      Have you tried lots of different manufacturers of raw? There are loads online and some will send out samples. I've been using MVM 100% rabbit incl offal (245g) ref SKU:MV158 from http://www.rawpetsupplies.co.uk and some of their other foods. I have no idea if they deliver to your area, but have a look at their website and be amazed at the absolutely enormous variety of raw minced pet foods there are out there! You'll see minced mice and everything.
      Are you adding Pet Plus to her food / on her coat to lick off / on the floor or a plate? That would be an excellent suggestion to help her gain some decent nutrients which are always lacking in anything cooked and processed.
      Make sure your water is filtered / glass bottled.
      Turn off all WiFi and put phones on airplane mode when you're not using them. Electromagnetic smog is more of a problem than most people realise, because it's invisible. Use dLANduo plugs for convenient internet access through the electrical circuits of the house. Buy from Amazon or suchlike.
      Hope that on a clean diet with nutritional support, you can get her of steroids as the long term effects of suppressing an allergic reaction with steroids are definitely not good, as you have already noticed.

  3. I am not sure if I am allowed to leave a comment here about something slightly different than said topic...sorry if its in the wrong spot! I couldn't find where else to post it. My kitty is 6 years old and other than having a urinary blockage due to mucus in his bladder (no crystals or cystitis), 3 years ago, hes been super healthy and active. He is on a raw and low protein canned food without any fish products...his raw is either beef chicken venison or turkey and canned is similar. So far this formula has worked well. Back in June he was going in for dental as he has gingivitis and lots of tarter on his teeth. I asked for the pre blood panel and the vet found that his ALT levels (liver enzymes) were elevated around 280. They didn't want to do dental work until we could lower it down. So they suggested he ditch the raw food altogether, tried to put him on their typical canned vet stuff which is full or rice and fish and then sent him home with a liquid medicine called HEPATO for cats. In this stuff is some Vitamin B and milk thistle along with a red flag...Alpha Lipoic Acid. My cat has been on the liquid at 2 servings a day of 0.6 mg each time (he was 6 KG at the time) for about 7 weeks. I have kept him on his usual food but have lowered the raw down considerably and increased his canned content to 70%of his diet, along with pumpkin, probiotics as Dr recommended and is usual urine Dr Mercola Bladder support powder which hes been on for 3 years......so nothing really has changed except a turnaround his the order of raw vs canned and this new HEPATO medicine.

    When I brought kitty in the other day for another set of bloodwork, the vet said his ALT level was now 700....I don't know how that could happen in such a short time? They did a bile test on him and sent it to the lab. Results to be found out soon....as I am researching Alpha Lipoic Acid on the internet, there is evidence that this ingredient can be very toxic to cats...is this true? since my kitty takes about 1.2 ml (or is it mg) a day, is this potentially what caused his ALT to shoot so high? He has been super active and with a great appetite...except he did lose about a pound because I did cut his food consumption lower and based more on canned.....officially now he is at a health 12.67 pounds for his frame which is what the doctor wanted. I am not sure what to think...I stopped giving him the HEPATO yesterday just incase something in there is not agreeing with him.....any thoughts?

    1. That's rather a shock isn't it? If it's a accurate and true blood result, it shows severe liver damage as the ALT enzyme leaks out of damaged liver cells. I have no experience of ALA toxicity in cats, but if in doubt, stop using it! There's plenty on the internet about it, but I don't personally know.
      What's in this low protein canned food you've been using for years?
      Why haven't you been giving him 100% raw?
      Strange that he had a mucous blockage of his urinary tract. I wonder if the same thing has now happened in his bile duct.
      How much Pet Plus is he having? I don't think I've supplied you with any, so I suspect he is having none, which is a shame.
      This is a useful website for you to read http://icatcare.org/advice/cat-health/liver-disease-cats
      Looking forward to your answers.

      1. Hi Susanna! Ironically the bile test done post blood test came back and said my cats liver is functioning very well. The vets are thinking that my cats dental disease is what has been elevating his ALT levels, but I find it weird for there to be a 500 point increase in only 7 weeks... Out of nowhere. Now that we know his Liver is healthy then we can do the dental cleaning and any necessary extractions.... Hoping this will help get bacteria out of his mouth and blood stream.

        I was told by a wholistic vet to cut back a bit on my cats raw intake during the time he was recovering from his bladder blockage... It's been almost 3 years and he's done well thanks to natural supplements, but raw was still 70% of his diet. When I read that ALT levels in cats can become increased when they are on raw diets, this is when I cut the raw back to about 20% of the diet... But of course the ALT levels jumped up 500 points so I'm not sure if it's the dental issue flaring up all of a sudden, or maybe it was a wrong blood panel and error, or maybe that Hepato was causing a negative reaction? So im not really sure what to do with the raw portion of the diet. Here is what's in the canned product I use.. Grain free and low protein levels (but I always mix with raw meat anyways... Small doses?

        Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Zucchini, Green Peas, Yellow Squash, Green Beans, Celery, Turkey, Calcium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Guar Gum, Dicalcium Phosphate, Sodium Ascorbate, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Flaxseed Oil, Minerals (Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide), Vitamins (Vitamin E, A, D3, B12 Supplements, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin), Choline Chloride, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Garlic Powder, Beta Carotene.

        Guaranteed Analysis:
        Crude Protein - 6% min.
        Crude Fat - 4% min.
        Crude Fiber - 1.5% max.
        Moisture - 84.0% max.

        Calorie Count (ME Calculated):
        871 kcal/kg
        74 kcal/can 3 oz (85g)
        136 kcal/can 5.5 oz (156g)

        By the way I don't know what Pet Plus is?

        1. Thank goodness! Sometimes the ALT can be raised with muscle damage and exercise.I suspect many parameters are elevated with the stress of going to the vets and having a blood test, especially for cats who usually dislike being in a cage and transported to a strange place etc etc. I remember in the old days, there was a sedative we often used in cats which caused raised blood glucose and glucose in the urine, so many cats were unnecessarily diagnosed as diabetics as a result! The clinical picture is the most reliable thing!
          Raw is the only food that is easily digested and assimilated. It's crazy to even think that anything cooked, processed, isolated, man-made or in any way unnatural could be better! Cats are protein driven animals. Low protein diets cause them heaps of problems and they die of malnutrition. They need raw meat and bone and offal and a bit of gut contents in the same proportions as they would find in a whole mouse or rabbit. It's simple common sense. We humans are obsessed with over-complicating everything!!
          So the list of ingredients in the tin of stuff...lots of good natural things that would be great raw but which are 100% destroyed by the ultra heat processing that has to happen for tinned food to survive in a tin without exploding! The canning industry first discovered enzymes as they have to destroy them by heating in order to preserve the food....which of course is no longer food so not worth preserving anyway!!!

          So funny that you're on my Pet Plus website but haven't had a look to see what Pet Plus is!!! I'm having a good chuckle about that!!! It's a very carefully dried powder of the range of enzymes, antioxidants, probiotics, prebiotics etc etc as whole foods that are dried carefully so their ingredients are intact, so as soon as the powder is wetted, it comes alive!!! Drying is the age old safe way of preserving living ingredients without cooking them to death!

          Hope that helps!

          1. Oh wow! I wonder if I'm doing a disservice in feeding mostly canned food to my kitty rather than raw? Im kinda stuck now.... The only time his ALT levels were low was before and agree his bladder blockage surgery back in 2013. At that point he was pretty much raw and less canned, but I switched it over to 70%raw and 30% canned, had another batch of blood work a year later and ALT was fine... That's what we have been doing for a few years now... That's why I say either the 2nd blood test of 700 was either a misdiagnosis and I didn't really have to spend the $260 for blood work in the first place, or the dental disease is causing more issues than I thought. His teeth were done 2 years ago... I will have to do figure out what to do... I've never full trusted canned food as I equate them to our human cooked and frozen TV dinners...they can't be that healthy after they've been cooked and reheated... You make great points! I will look at your pet plus product... Can't wait to read about it and discover something new 🙂 many thanks again!

            Ps is it ok for pets to consume lysine powder in pure powder form? I don't like the cheap crappy ingredients in those "chews"

          2. Great. Get back to 100% raw asap!
            And filtered water / rain water / glass-bottled water but NOT chemical laden tap water which is slowly killing all of us!

            I never think it's a good idea to feed anything in isolation, so no to lysine powder! Where would they have found that in the wild????

  4. Hi Susanna,
    I have an 8 yr old deserved female short hair that I took into my care approximately 4 months ago. She was a stray and had a terrible skin condition, lived in a stable and survived on rats and birds.
    Upon taking her to the vet they confirmed it was military dermatitis and proceeded to give her an injection. Of course it cleared up quickly only to re emerge worse than before as the drugs wore off. This prompted me to seek a more holistic approach and have found a vet that uses Chinese herbs and is willing to look at alternatives that a lot of mainstream vets won't.
    She has been on an elimination diet of fresh roo meat day and night. I add to her meals a Chinese herb called external wind (1/4 tspn) day and night. Fish oil. Olive oil.
    He administered some antibiotics to clear any skin infections and some cortisone in case things didn't improve which I gave her as I couldn't let her be in such discomfort any longer. After a month she's finished all antibiotics and unfortunately although her skin isn't as bad as before it is still a long way off being ok.
    I should add that during her first few weeks with me she suffered severe bouts of vomitting and diaoreah, there was blood in her stool and some worms were excreted on one occasion. She is treated for fleas and worms, with Comfortis and milbemax as I do not know of an effective alternative.
    As we go into week 5/6 of diet and supplements I've begun adding a capsule of emu oil and some moringa herb (anti oxidant anti inflammatory), I have some Balance Original Blend on its way that I will also start adding to her meals. I have begun a weekly bath in aloe Vera oatmeal shampoo and leave in conditioner.
    I feel helpless as she is still rather miserable, scabby, losing hair and her little tummy is red raw. Is there anything else you could recommend I do, or perhaps something I haven't considered that I haven't removed from her environment. I suffer when exposed allot of common house hold chemical and products so don't use them or have them around.
    Any help would be so greatly appreciated.
    Kind regards,
    Janette

    1. Well done for seeking alternative approaches!
      Raw food is the key. Maybe try rabbit as an alternative to roo meat. Make sure it is meat and bone as the balance of minerals is very important. Maybe try chicken. Make any changes only one at a time so you can see if she reacts well or badly to it.
      Make sure your water is filtered / glass bottled / clean rain water. Chemicals in tap water are noxious!

      I wouldn't leave any shampoo / conditioner on her skin at all. Aloe vera is an excellent anti-inflammatory. Could you give her 2.5 mls (or more if she'll take it) 4 times daily by mouth? (I use Pukka as the make of Aloe Vera drink with no chemicals added. It's excellent.) Even washing in water tends to dehydrate and de-oil the skin. Do you know anyone who does Forever Living Products? They do an excellent anti-inflammatory skin preparation called Aloe First. Use that on her skin. Also, rub their Aloe Propilis Cream onto any sore bits and really rub it in well. Doesn't matter if she licks it off, but rub in so it gets absorbed and can work locally.

      Does she choose to eat fish? If she avoids it, I'd be wary of the fish oil. Certainly never ever use fish liver oil! (toxins, excess vit A....)
      If she likes fish, give her whole raw little fish to eat, guts and all.

      Probiotics are really important not only for the gut, but also for the entire body. We animals are really a walking bag of bacteria!!!! And they're in our skin and everywhere, maintaining our health. Antibiotics kill them and damage the intricate natural balance of nature. Human probiotics are fine. Give her a sprinkle of a human capsule! There's no harm giving too much. In fact. there's no upper limit.

      A good source of omega 3 (anti-inflammatory) oils is essential. I use flax oil.

      Pet Plus would be great, but it sometimes gets stopped at customs. Maybe worth a try.

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