Pyoderma in Cats
The severe itching can very rapidly lead to dangerous lesions

Pyoderma in cats can cause severe itching in your pet and the health implications can range from very mild to extreme.

It will cause extreme itching and discomfort in your cat and can lead to lesions that become inflamed, pimples, and open draining sores.

Any of these conditions can cause severe discomfort as well as stress in your cat.

The term Pyoderma actually stands for pus in the skin. Pyo means pus and the term derma means skin.

It is a bacterial infection in your cat and has three very distinctive forms; Surface, superficial, and deep pyoderma.

The actual treatment of this bacterial infection will all depend on the actual underlying cause as each form has potentially several causes.


There are also three very distinctive symptoms with Pyoderma in cats; lesions, pimples or pustules, and open draining sores.

A skin lesion in your cat is a superficial growth or patch of skin that has become infected and can include ulcer lesions, scaly lesions, or crusty lesions.

Ulcer lesions involve the upper portion of your cat’s skin, the epidermis, and parts of the lower portion, the dermis.

Ulcers can result from acute bacterial infections or from trauma. If an ulcer lesion appears deep in crack of the skin and extends to the dermis, it has now become a fissure.

Scaly lesions are dry build ups of dead skin cells in your cat that will begin to flake and this can cause other forms of infection to set in; and crusty lesions are collections of dried blood, serum, or pus.

They are also referred to as scabs.

Pustules are small inflamed pus filled blisters that are on the surface of your cat’s skin.

They  are most often associated with acne, and draining sores can be any type of lesion or pustule that has broken opening and draining fluid or pus.

These are extremely dangerous to your cat as they will naturally attract other forms of infections.


Surface Pyoderma

The surface forms of Pyoderma in cats are most commonly referred to as hot spots and are almost always caused by an allergy or in this cause, an infection.

These hot spots can become severe as your cat will start to self-inflict further damage by a slight itching at first that usually develops into a severe itching.

Hot spots will be moist and red and will cause slight hair loss to acute hair loss.

Skin fold pyoderma is the form that occurs in the skin folds in your cat and can become extremely dangerous to your cat as they cannot effectively keep it clean.

These skin fold infections can occur on the face, the tail the lips, and the vulvar, which is the external genital organ in female cats.

Superficial Pyoderma

There are several of superficial infections within your cat’s skin that could cause Pyoderma in cats, but the most common form is called Staphylococcus intermedius.

These forms of bacteria are normally found in the mucous membranes of your cat, but they also affect the skin, bones, lungs, and other organs.

This is the form of bacterial infection that causes pustules in your cat.

These pustules are quite often associated with infected hair follicles, and if they are, it can cause hair loss in your cat ranging from mild to severe.

This form of the infection is also in most every case the result of another type of an underlying skin infection and as such is considered a symptom instead of the actual cause.

The most common causes of Superficial Pyoderma in cats are a Suppressed immune system, Prurtitus, or idiopathic, meaning there can be no actual underlying cause for the infection.

A suppressed immune system reduces the ability of your cat’s natural immune system to function properly.

Some parts of your pet’s immune system can actually also over-react to an infection causing immune suppression to allow other infections to attack your cat’s skin.

Hormonal diseases such as Cushings disease and infectious disease can also cause your cat’s immune system to become suppressed, or weakened.

If your cat has recently been given drugs, especially corticosteroids, it can also cause suppression to occur.

There is a lot of controversy about using corticosteroids in cats as one of the biggest side effects is itching that can become severe.

Pyoderma in catsTo treat it you must find the underlying cause

Pruritus is the actual term for the act of itching, and it can cause your cat to scratch or bite themselves.

It is caused by a chemical reaction that occurs in the skin and as a result sends a message to your cat’s brain by the immune system.

Once the brain receives the message it actually feels the itch and sends the message back to scratch.

Any type of a skin condition that causes inflammation or infection can be the underlying cause.

Or there may never be an actual cause that can actually be found.

Deep Pyoderma

The deep form of Pyoderma in cats is actually very rare in cats.

However when it does occur, it is much more serious treat as the skin infections will be so intense and painful to your cat that they will cause lesions.

However, these lesions are so intense that they soon turn into open sores because of the intense itching that they become open and will begin to drain.

Once this occurs, other infections will develop and your cat will lose their appetite, start to become stressed, develop a fever, and can become very ill because of this infection.

The deep form of this infection is almost always caused by a suppressed and very weak immune system.


Treatments for Pyoderma in cats must always start with the actual underlying cause.

The surface form of the infection will be treated by clipping and cleaning the hair around the hot spots.

In most cases the result of this infection will be fleas, and a flea control will stop it very quickly.

Skin fold infections will have to be treated with an astringent that kills bacteria.

Superficial and deep Pyoderma is often treated with antibiotics; however, in most cases this is not enough.

Because the underlying cause is a suppressed immune system, the only way it can effectively be treated is to build up the immune system to full strength.

In severe cases where the immune system is suppressed, the best way to build it back up is with Vitamin and Mineral supplements as well as dietary changes.


Placing your cat on a preservative free diet and placing them on vitamins C and E will immediate help the immune system as well as the skin and help to protect your pet from Pyoderma in cats.

Several underlying skin problems are the result of deficiencies of Vitamins A, E, C and zinc.

Vitamin A will help with bacterial skin eruptions, and zinc is a natural healing agent for sores.

Pet Medications for Pyoderma in Cats

Cat Vitamin Store

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