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Stubborn Feline Acne

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Mattie has had feline acne I think ever since I brought her home. I brought her home on 10/3/07 and the vet noticed it at her first visit which was 10/22/07. I wouldn't have noticed it before having it pointed out to me because it just looked like dirt and I had no idea what feline acne was, so it's very possible she's had this from the moment I brought her home (or earlier).

At the first vet visit the vet gave me Chlorhexidine scrub (the blue liquid, it's basically an anti-bacterial anti-septic) that I was putting on her chin 2x a day. It would remove some of that black debris but not completely. She is a long-haired kitty, the acne at this point was just a bunch of black spots (blackheads) on her chin and in her fur. This was just supposed to be for 3-4 days, but after 2 weeks it still hadn't gone away so I brought her in on Wednesday (11/14/07).

At this second visit, the vet shaved the hair on Mattie's chin and cleaned it for me. There wasn't a spec of the black spots, BUT you could tell how much waxy buildup Mattie has. Vet said that some cats are just larger produces of this waxy stuff that plugs the follicles. She gave me a liquid wax remover (Cerumene, it's typically used to remove wax in pets' ears) to use on her chin right before I use the Chlorhexidine. I also have 4 days worth of amoxicillin antibiotics for Mattie that she's almost done with.

The acne comes back every single morning. Her chin was clear after coming home from the vets, and the very next day it was all black and red. It's not forming actual red blisters yet but it is red and irritated.

Poor thing

I use all stainless steel bowls, and I always have. I did buy a plastic Drinkwell fountain but the acne was there before that ever came around. I really don't want to get rid of the fountain because Mattie is drinking so much more water because of it. She has only been home for 1.5 months and during this time she has had a new kitten enter the picture (even though this was not until 11/10/07), so it's possible that she is a bit stressed out but I don't think that's the cause of this.

So I have a couple of questions:
1) for those of you with cats who have had feline acne, how long did it last? How bad was it? How do you help it?
2) is there something safe/natural/homeopathic that I can try to help it?
3) do some cats just have this problem forever?

Mattie eats Nutro Natural Indoor Cat Dry food and then a variety of wet foods (Nutro Natural Indoor Pouches, Natural Balance, By Nature Pouches, and Solid Gold). She eats all types of flavors - beef, fish, chicken, turkey, etc.
post #2 of 12
We are possibly going to adopt a cat with feline acne. I decided to ask my vet about it first. He prefers ceramic saucers over bowls. And during an outbreak, he prefers a temporary switch to dry food. Once healed, we are wash the chin with rubbing alcohol on cottons swabs daily.

We shall see if it works.
post #3 of 12
My Vash has had stubborn acne since he was 11 months old, he's 3 yrs now.
The only thing you can really do is just continue with the chin scrubbing to ensure it doesn't becone infected.

I use plain old phisoderm cleanser made for humans at the vet's reccomendation, it does seen to keep the blackheads at a minimum.

Do you use any placemats under her bowls?
Sometimes placemats, and not the bowls are the cause.
post #4 of 12
The poster's idea about the placemats is a first for me, and a good idea! I've bought hard plastic trays (not made of the soft plastic that usually causes or exacerbates the acne) from IKEA ($2.99 each, in clear and I think they have blue as well) to put under their food and water dishes; they are stackable, very durable, washable, and attractive. They've never caused any problems here. I use only stainless steel for wet and dry food, and I do use a "Fool-A-Bug" plastic bowl for water, which has never caused any problems. The Phisoderm sounds like a good choice for bathing the chin; I probably would not use rubbing alcohol, which is very strong, extremely drying, and painful when applied to broken skin. The Chlorhexidine is good to use. Keep at it; good luck to you and your CAT!
post #5 of 12
My Pinky has struggled with this for all of his 7 years. Are you sterilizing the bowls in the dishwasher each day? If you have the plastic mat, how often are you cleaning it? And are you scrubbing out the water fountain each day?

I've resorted to buying 2 sets of everything related to food/water so that I can clean them out regularly. When I start slacking on my cleaning routine, Pinky's chin tells me immediately. He just went through a round of antibiotics this past week, as he scratch his chin so hard he cut thru it and an infection set in.
post #6 of 12
I wonder what a human dandruff shampoo would do to/for the acne? I know that human products are not generally intended for the felines, but the shampoo does get rid of the waxy/oily buildup on humans.

Tarasgirls06, my vet was very clear that the chin has to be healed before the rubbing alcohol was to be used. Since this is a waxy/oily area, the odds of it getting too dry are slim. He's been in practice for 30 years and likes to suggest simple things when possible. Which is nice for the pocketbook when it works.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
My Pinky has struggled with this for all of his 7 years. Are you sterilizing the bowls in the dishwasher each day? If you have the plastic mat, how often are you cleaning it? And are you scrubbing out the water fountain each day?

I've resorted to buying 2 sets of everything related to food/water so that I can clean them out regularly. When I start slacking on my cleaning routine, Pinky's chin tells me immediately. He just went through a round of antibiotics this past week, as he scratch his chin so hard he cut thru it and an infection set in.
Awww, I hope Pinky gets better!

Yeah, the bowls are put in the dishwasher daily. The plastic mat was only being cleaned about 1x a week, I didn't even think of that as affecting her acne. I don't see how that would work, she doesn't put her chin on the mat? I will make sure to clean that 1x a day now though. The water fountain isn't being cleaned every day, just 1x a week. She had the acne before the water fountain entered the picture. Is there a good way to clean that daily without removing the water? Probably not huh?

I'm wondering if it's maybe a wet food thing. She is a really messy eater. I don't want to switch her to dry-only though.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakura View Post
Awww, I hope Pinky gets better!

Yeah, the bowls are put in the dishwasher daily. The plastic mat was only being cleaned about 1x a week, I didn't even think of that as affecting her acne. I don't see how that would work, she doesn't put her chin on the mat? I will make sure to clean that 1x a day now though. The water fountain isn't being cleaned every day, just 1x a week. She had the acne before the water fountain entered the picture. Is there a good way to clean that daily without removing the water? Probably not huh?

I'm wondering if it's maybe a wet food thing. She is a really messy eater. I don't want to switch her to dry-only though.
I have about 10-12 stainless bowls so that no bowl ever needs to be used more than once before being put in the dishwasher. Plastic mats have been a problem for some cats. I liked one poster's idea of the hard plastic tray - worth looking into.

I have the CatIt fountain and it can surely be cleaned without removing the water. The part where the cat licks the water can be easily cleaned every day without affecting the water within.
post #9 of 12
If this has been resolved already, I'm sorry but I wanted to share.

Miggy had acne probs ever since I brought him home Feb 07. I thought it had gone away and stopped wiping his chin once/week w/ hot washcloth (water only). Then a month later, his chin was swollen to twice normal! I had to wipe him every day for a week to clear out all the junk and the swelling went down.

Then I wiped his chin with a cotton ball dabbed in Castor Oil (after wiping w/ hot washcloth). I did this ONE time and his acne is gone!!!! This was about 2 months ago.

He gets an occasional blackhead now, but not like he used to by no stretch of the the imagination. I cannot believe how this worked, but it did!
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by purefusion View Post
If this has been resolved already, I'm sorry but I wanted to share.

Miggy had acne probs ever since I brought him home Feb 07. I thought it had gone away and stopped wiping his chin once/week w/ hot washcloth (water only). Then a month later, his chin was swollen to twice normal! I had to wipe him every day for a week to clear out all the junk and the swelling went down.

Then I wiped his chin with a cotton ball dabbed in Castor Oil (after wiping w/ hot washcloth). I did this ONE time and his acne is gone!!!! This was about 2 months ago.

He gets an occasional blackhead now, but not like he used to by no stretch of the the imagination. I cannot believe how this worked, but it did!
That is really interesting, I am going to try that when she's back down to just blackheads. At this point and 3 vet visits later, the problem is a LOT worse. It started out as a few blackheads, no infection. So the vet gave us the chlorhexidine scrub to use 2x a day. That was fine, didn't get worse but didn't get better. So next the vet tried antibiotics for 7 days + a wax buildup remover (cerumene) to use before the chlorhexidine scrub, plus they shaved her chin. The wax remover was good at removing debris. The antibiotics were going great (and we finished the course) but as soon as they stopped, the acne became inflamed/red. So 3rd trip to the vet, they gave us corticosteroids to use after the cerumene, 2-3x a day.

I bought a Feliway diffuser thinking maybe the acne was stress related, they don't seem to make a difference. I'm going to buy a 2nd one to put in a different room that she goes in but I don't know how much good it will do.

Not only is it not getting better, it's just getting worse. Plus, all the medicine and scrubbing and cleaning is making her VERY grumpy. In addition to this, her entire chest is just so dirty from the residue from all the creams/ointments/cleaning. I've tried wiping it with cat cleaning cloths because I'm terrified of giving her a bath (I don't have anyone to help me at this point). I am going to call a groomer tomorrow to see if they can wash her for me (I'll let them know to not touch her chin) because I think maybe this is just adding to the problem or making it tougher to go away. She sleeps with her chin on her paws so maybe her dirty paws are making this worse.

I've ditched the plastic mat (it's a soft plastic), and for now I'm using a recycled rubber mat that I bought from catconnection.com (because it's the only other mat that I have). I am wiping the water fountain each day and changing the water 1x a week. Bowls are still going in the dishwasher between each feeding.

Poor Mattie
post #11 of 12
Alert! Make sure that the cat wipes are UNSCENTED. The scent can cause all sorts of problems, including skin irritations!! You can use unscented baby wipes. or better yet, a Viva cloth-like paper towel dipped in a weak baking soda/water solution.
My vet, a true country lady, had me apply Polysporin on my cat Scott - it worked wonders
Sending healing prayers and vibes out your way
post #12 of 12
How is Mattie's chin now? I'm going through EXACTLY the same thing with Lilly for about the same amount of time you have with Mattie. On New Years Day Lilly scratched her chin sores and she had blood everywhere. It was horrible

Yesterday my Vet put her on Silvadene cream and antibiotics. I wish I knew what was causing this. A while back we switched her to only dry food - her bowls are glass and are cleaned twice a day - I've removed her pet tag off her collar in case her chin was rubbing against it - I've tried Feliway diffusers & spray - and rescue remedy just in case it is stress caused by Forrest (he's annoying but has been leaving her alone recently). I'm at my wits end and feel so sorry for my girl. Her chin is TERRIBLE looking and now she runs from me cause she thinks I'm going to hurt her.
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