PRACTICAL RELEVANCE: Hypersensitivity dermatitis (HD) is often suspected in cats and is mostly caused by insect bites, food or environmental allergens. Cats with non-flea induced HD are reported to present frequently with one or more of the following cutaneous reaction patterns: miliary dermatitis, eosinophilic dermatitis, self-induced symmetrical alopecia or head and neck excoriations/pruritus.
CLINICAL CHALLENGES: None of the above patterns are, however, pathognomonic for non-flea induced HD and the diagnosis of this condition is based on exclusion of diseases presenting similarly and an adequate response to treatment. Therapeutic approaches to affected cats include use of immunomodulatory drugs (ciclosporin, glucocorticoids, antihistamines), hypoallergenic diets and allergen-specific immunotherapy.
EVIDENCE BASE: This review provides an update on the clinical signs, diagnosis and treatment of feline non-flea induced HD. It draws on the findings of a recent large-scale study that described the clinical signs of numerous cats with non-flea HD and has proposed criteria to facilitate the diagnosis of the condition.