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Skin Bumps (Papulonodular Dermatoses) Cats


Papulonodular Dermatoses in Cats


Bumps that are found on the surface of the skin, and which have a solid appearance without liquid or pus within (nonsupperative), are medically termed papulonodular dermatoses. These bumps are classified as either papules or nodules. 


Symptoms and Types


Papules are the result of tissue infiltration by inflammatory cells. While nodules, which are larger than papules, are the result of a massive infiltration of inflammatory or cancerous cells into the layers of the skin.


These papules and/or nodules are essentially raised bumps on the surface of the skin - papules and/or nodules on the skin




  • Superficial and deep bacterial infection of the hair follicles
  • Fungal infection of the hair follicles with a secondary bacterial infection; may include raised, pus-filled, spongy lesions
  • Ringworm
  • Sebaceous (oil) gland inflammation
  • Acne
  • Mange
  • Nematode infection
  • Bodily cells crowding into the skin  (eosinophils, white blood cells that eat bacteria, fight parasites or macrophages)
  • Reaction to sunlight
  • Neoplasia (abnormal tissue growth)




You will need to give a thorough history of your cat's health, onset of symptoms, and possible incidents that might have precipitated this condition, such as an excessive amount of time in the sun, new foods that might have cause allergic responses, recent infections with parasites, etc.


Standard tests will include a complete blood profile a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. During the physical exam, your veterinarian will scrape your cat's skin gently with a scalpel in order to get samples of the hair and skin for testing. This will allow your veterinarian to check for parasites, bacteria and/or yeast infections, any of which may be causing the skin to react with the raised nodules and papules. Cultures of these samples will be sent to a laboratory to check for fungi, bacteria, and microscopic parasites. Skin samples will also be sent for analysis on a microscopic level.




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