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PATHOLOGY KEY POINTS

Non-flea/non-food-induced hypersensitivity dermatitis (HD) could be caused by environmental allergens other than flea saliva (mainly pollens and mold)1.

Incidence and prevalence of this type of HD have never been studied2. In a multicenter study evaluating 502 pruritic cats, 20% of included cats had non-flea/non-food-induced HD3.

Young adult, purebred and female cats seem to be predisposed to this condition3.

 

DIAGNOSIS, ASSESMENT AND PROGNOSIS

  • Clinical patterns: in more than 90% cases of HD, at least one of these clinical patterns is present2,3:
    • Miliary dermatitis (face and trunk)
    • Head and neck excoriations/pruritus
    • Self-induced (symmetrical) alopecia (abdomen mainly)
    • Eosinophilic dermatitis
  • Differential diagnosis: based on exclusion of other pruritic conditions: ectoparasites, fungal and bacterial infections, food reactions and other conditions (psychogenic, viral, neoplasia)2,3. History, diagnostic tests and treatment or food eviction trials can help for differential diagnosis2.
  • Allergen testing: allergen-specific IgE test cannot be used for the diagnosis of non-Flea/non-Food HD1 but allergy testing should be carried out when antigen immunotherapy is planned2.

A good prognosis relies on avoidance of allergen(s) and/or long-term treatment

  1. Belova S et al. Factors affecting allergen-specific IgE serum levels in cats. Can J Vet Res. 2012; 76(1):45-51.
  2. Favrot C. Feline non-flea induced hypersensitivity dermatitis: clinical features, diagnosis and treatment. J Feline Med Surg. 2013; 15(9):778-84.
  3. Hobi S et al. Clinical characteristics and causes of pruritus in cats: a multicentre study on feline hypersensitivity-associated dermatoses. Vet Dermatol. 2011; 22(5):406-13.