Feline acne is a relatively common complaint in cats. It is an infection of the sebaceous glands of the chin. These glands are the chin-marking pheromone producers which cats use to mark their territory by "bunting", and are under hormonal control.
There are a number of possible initial causes including allergy to plastic food bowls, flea allergy. After the initial insult, secondary infection with some of the more commonly seen micro-organisms can start e.g.
These organisms are normal bacteria of the mucosal areas and are found in the gland and follicle openings.
- The chin swells and is very painful.
- There is follicle and gland obstruction giving the appearance of multiple blackheads
- Pimples form and rupture, spreading the infection into the surrounding tissue.
Initially, in severe cases, the lesions are too painful to apply topical medication. In these cases, we use the following drugs:
- Doxycycline (VibraVet) 5mgikg every l2hrs for the first day then every 24hrs, and
- Ketaconazole (Nizoral) 7-10mg/kg every 12 hrs with food for 7-14 days.
Once the swelling and purulent material is reduced, Panalog ointment is applied twice a day
Quite often, feline acne resists these conservative attempts at treatment. This may be due to large amounts of dried pus or debris deep within the skin layers that cause a foreign body reaction. In such cases, we give the cat a general anaesthetic and squeeze out as much debris as possible, followed by a vigorous scrub with Malaseb shampoo.
- Use Malaseb chin washes to remove comedones that are obstructing the follicle. This allows access of medication to kill infection and reduces recurrence.
- Use Panalog if early signs of recurrence or infection are present before the condition becomes too painful.
- Some vets use Bactroban (human ointment), the Mupiricin is antibacterial and the glycol base is antifungal.
Case of Feline Acne