Age: 8yrs old
Breed: Domestic Long Hair
History: Deeva came to visit us with an interesting problem. Her owner had noticed that she had an inflamed crusted skin lesion on her nose for a few months. The lesion appeared to be irritating Deeva as her owner reported that she was rubbing her nose on walls and her ‘head butting’ was more forceful than usual. You can see the lesions and the raised area over the nose in the pictures below:
Examination: Dr Nichola started to examine Deeva but it immediately became apparent that Deeva’s confident and combative nature was going to make a thorough investigation difficult.
The lesions were indeed mildly inflamed with dry crusted skin. Nichola was concerned about a possible skin tumour. The other possibility was an inflammatory reaction to fleas, insects, food or pollen / dust mites etc. A quick look at Deeva’s teeth showed that she had moderate build up of plaque (calculus) and gingivitis (inflamed gums) and that she was in need of a scale and polish. It was decided that the best plan of action would be to anaethetise Deeva, biopsy the skin lesion and perform a dental scale and polish at the same time.
Treatment: Once Deeva was anaethetised and disarmed we were able to have a good look at her teeth.
Deeva had a moderate build up of plaque affecting most of her teeth as you can see in the picture above. Her gums were generally inflamed – most likely secondary to the build up of calculus. The plaque was removed from her teeth using an ultrasonic scaler and the teeth were polished back to pearly whites. Attention then turned to the lesion on her nose and the surrounding area was clipped of hair ready for a surgical scrub. Once the area was sterile, several small punch biopsies were performed.
A punch biopsy is a small sample of tissue which is removed using a special sharp instrument which is much like a ‘hole ‘punch’. The biopsy punch is centred over the tissue to be sampled and gentle pressure applied to remove the desired piece of tissue. The biopsies are then sent to an external laboratory for histopathological analysis.
Histopathology results suggested a type 1 hypersensitivity reaction which essentially means that Deeva has an underlaying allergy. This was great news as we had ruled out cancer. It is most likely Deeva has atopy (which is an allergic reaction caused by breathing in allergens) or a food allergy. A flea or insect allergy is possible however less likely as Deeva is an indoor kitty.
At this stage Deeva will have the area of reaction treated with a cream which will reduce the sensitivity in the area.