Skin Diseases from Allergies in Cats
Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex in Cats
Eosinophilic granuloma complex in cats often is a confusing term for three distinct syndromes that cause inflammation of the skin:
The three syndromes are grouped together as eosinophilic granuloma complex, primarily according to their clinical similarities, their frequent simultaneous development, and their positive response to the same treatment with steroids.
Eosinophilic refers to eosinophils, a type of white-blood cell usually involved in allergic responses. Granuloma is a large inflammatory nodule or solid mass. And a complex is a group of signs or diseases that have an identifiable characteristic that makes them similar in some fashion.
The genetics are unknown, although several reports of related affected individuals and a study of disease development in a colony of cats indicate that in at least some individuals, genetic susceptibility (perhaps resulting in an inheritable dysfunction of eosinophils) is a significant component of the disease.
Specifically, eosinophilic granuloma complex is restricted to cats. While eosinophilic granulomas do occur in dogs and other species, they are not considered part of the eosinophilic granuloma complex. Breed does not appear to play a role in cats.
Eosinophilic plaque is circumscribed, raised, round-to-oval lesions that frequently are ulcerated and usually appear on the abdomen or thighs. The lesions contain a type of white blood cell called an eosinophil and usually affect cats in the two to six year age range. Genetically initiated eosinophilic granuloma is generally seen in cats that are younger than two years of age.
Allergic disorders usually develop after a cat has reached the age of two. In cats, females may be more likely to develop one or more of the syndromes of eosinophilic granuloma complex than are males.
Symptoms and Types
Lesions of more than one syndrome may occur simultaneously. Lesions of all three syndromes may develop spontaneously and suddenly.
Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam on your cat. You will need to give a thorough history of your cat's health, onset of symptoms, and possible incidents that might have preceded this condition, such as an allergic reaction or flea infestation. Any information you have about your cat's genetic background may also be helpful in diagnosing this disorder. Your veterinarian will order a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, an electrolyte panel and a urinalysis as part of the diagnostic process.
The physical exam should include a dermatologic exam, during which skin biopsies for a histopathology study will be taken. Skin scrapings will also be examined microscopically and cultured for the presence of bacteria, mycobacteria and fungi. Impression smears of the lesions should also be taken.
Something that becomes worse or life threatening as it spreads
Small structures that filter out the lymph and store lymphocytes
A small lump or mass of tissue
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
A smooth, raised wound that itches
A change in the way that tissue is constructed; a sore
The term for a type of medication that impacts immunity, metabolism, sexual characteristics, and other such elements of a living thing
To mechanically introduce a substance into a living thing
A form of hypersensitivity or allergy in certain animals.
The end of the gastrointestinal tract; the opening at the end of the tract.
The collection of fluid in the tissue
The study of the laws of inheritance n living things; may also be referred to as breeding
Any substance with the potential to produce an allergic reaction in an animal prone to such a reaction.
A reaction to a certain pathogen that is out of the ordinary
Found inside the skin
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