Miliary Dermatitis – Those Bumps On Your Cat's Back

    cat-bumps-back


    What are these bumps on my cat's back?

    Though it happens throughout the year, now is the time when we vets start seeing a lot more cats with "bumpy backs." These small bumps and scabs, also common around a cat’s neck and face, are what's called “miliary dermatitis.”

    This inflammatory process of the skin is typically accompanied by itchiness, which cats often express by scratching and/or biting at their skin (although you may not actually see them doing so). Until proven otherwise, miliary dermatitis in cats is an indication of the presence of, and potentially allergic reaction to, fleas.

    Because miliary dermatitis is an uncomfortable condition for cats, and because it most often indicates a flea problem, this is a finding that should prompt a visit to your veterinarian. To learn more about fleas read this article about fleas and their treatment and prevention on cats.

    If your cat doesn't improve with proper treatment for fleas (often more than just applying "flea meds"), then your veterinarian will likely recommend testing to look for another underlying cause. Other parasites (e.g. mites or lice) or allergies (e.g. to pollens or other environmental allergens, or to their food) can also cause miliary dermatitis in cats. If the condition proves difficult to diagnose, control, or erradicate, your veterinarian may recommend a referral to a board-certified veterinary dermatologist.

    Topics: Cat Health, Fleas on Cats, Flea Allergies, Dermatitis, cat health questions, cat health issues, Skin irritation, Itchiness

    Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

    Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

    Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.