Feline dermatology presents a number of challenges when it comes to diagnosing individual diseases, due to the more subtle and varied nature of skin lesions in cats compared to those commonly seen in dogs. In feline allergic skin disease (FASD), the diagnostic challenge is increased further as cats present with one or more of four patterns of disease, rather than the more typical character and distribution of lesions seen in canine hypersensitivity dermatitis cases. Cats are also generally more solitary animals and secretive in their behaviour, which can lead to the absence of important clues in the clinical history. There can also be challenges in both the administration of treatment and the comparatively poor treatment responses seen in some patients. This article reviews the important steps that should be taken to diagnose and successfully manage FASD, with particular reference to head and neck excoriations or pruritus, which can be among the more challenging presentations to treat.
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