Poor hair coats and alopecia that are not a result of inflammation or pruritus and are symmetric or involve much of the body most commonly reflect a disorder of hair growth that is metabolically or genetically related. In general the disorders will fit into one of four categories.
Ear disease is a very common problem presented to veterinarians. It may be broken down into two major components, pinnal disease and otitis, though the strict definition of otitis would include any inflammatory pinnal disease.
Treatment of otitis externa is dependent on identifying and controlling the predisposing factors, primary and secondary causes and perpetuating factors whenever possible. Inadequate treatment and reversal of the progressive pathologic responses, tympanic membrane alterations, and otitis media often leads to treatment failures or recurrences.
A variety of different diseases are in the category of what are referred to as autoimmune or immune mediated dermatologic diseases. The diseases typically have differing etiologies though a significant component in there pathogenesis is an abnormal or deleterious immune response that affect normal cutaneous structures, such as epidermal keratinocytes, basement membranes, blood vessels or adnexal structures.
The most common derm problem in cats is itchy skin disease. Often these cats have allergic skin disease with many cases related to flea allergy dermatitis, atopic dermatitis and adverse food reactions.
Veterinary dermatology is a relatively straight forward aspect of veterinary medicine to deal with because the diseased organ is able to be visualized and palpated by the veterinarian but also by the technician and owner. The technician can and should play an integral role in cases with skin disease.
Pyoderma and bacterial folliculitis in the dog is considered to be very common problems yet in the cat are described as rare or very uncommon in textbooks on small animal dermatology. A study in France of 783 feline derm cases evaluated between 1992 and 1997 diagnosed pyoderma in 4.7%.