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Vet Dermatol. 2012 Oct;23(5):448-e86. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3164.2012.01085.x. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Feline superficial pyoderma: a retrospective study of 52 cases (2001-2011).

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1
The University of Sydney, Veterinary Teaching Hospitals, Camden & Sydney, 410 Werombi Road, Camden NSW 2570, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Superficial pyoderma is traditionally considered rare in cats but may be more prevalent than previously reported.

OBJECTIVES:

To better characterize superficial pyoderma in cats.

ANIMALS:

Fifty-two cats from a dermatology referral population over a 10 year period.

METHODS:

This study was retrospective. Cases were included if neutrophils and intracellular bacteria were reported from surface cytology of skin lesions. Medical records were reviewed for signalment, historical and clinical data, cytology results, primary skin diagnoses and treatment details.

RESULTS:

Disease prevalence was 20%, with no breed or sex predispositions. The estimated median age of onset was 2 years, affecting 54% of cats by 3 years and 23% after 9 years. Fewer cases presented during winter (15%) compared with other seasons. Skin lesions were typically multifocal, affecting the face (62%), neck (37%), limbs (33%) and ventral abdomen (29%) most commonly. Crusting (83%), alopecia (67%), ulceration/erosion (54%) and erythema (46%) were common lesion types. Pruritus was reported in 92% of cats. Underlying hypersensitivities (confirmed in 60%; suspected in 19%), and atopic dermatitis specifically (confirmed in 48%), were the most frequent primary dermatoses. Cats were treated with a variety of systemic and/or topical antimicrobials. The overall apparent response was considered good in 61% and poor in 27% of cats. Recurrence was confirmed or suspected in 42% of cats.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE:

Feline superficial pyoderma was more prevalent in this study population than previously reported. Young cats with hypersensitivities and older cats were more commonly affected, and a variety of lesion types and distributions occurred.

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