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Chin Acne, Anal Sac Abscess, what caused it?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
One of our cats has repeatedly suffered from what I assumed was acne: scabs on chin, sometimes spreading up the face, around the eyes. We use only stainless steel bowls and follow the usual precautions for acne-prone cats. but she still gets it. it comes and goes, whether or not we try to fight it.

on top of that she recently had an anal sac abscess. she had been licking her but red for a while before we even noticed the issue and took her into the vet's. the doc theorized that she was always having the anal gland issue, and that the chin acne was actually caused from her licking her butt and spreading bacteria to her face.

he shaved her chin, prescribed antibiotics, and gave an antibacterial cleanser to clean of her affected areas. this seemed to work ... for a while. it was then I realized the vet never explained how to avoid this in the future.

Now the acne is back as is the irritated butt. I'm taking her back into the vet but i'm trying to come up with an answer. I'll have more questions for the vet, but has anybody else seen this?

One possible theory is a food allergy, but I don't know what exactly she could be allergic to. She was a street cat for years, and healthy as a horse in those days. Only since we brought her in to be a house cat she has developed these ailments. i can't imagine the garbage and chicken bones she was eating on the street was providing superior nutrition!

Anyway, if anybody has any thoughts I'd love to hear them! At any rate, tho unsightly she seems to be in high spirits at least.

here she is ("Marbles"):
post #2 of 3
I once had an old female siamese who developed an anal abscess. It was so severe that she had to have surgery to drain the abscess. In her case it was believed to be caused by not having regular formed stools that, from the action of the formed stool passing through the rectum, can actually help the anal glands to release their "goodness" LOL. She was an old stray I'd rescued and she had a lot of health issues. I had to end up giving her an enema on a weekly basis otherwise she wouldn't go on her own. due to the fact that she wasn't pooping like most cats do, on a daily basis, this was the problem.

How are you cat's stools? Formed? Loose?

Something I then did for her was to have the Vet periodically check/empty her anal glands (express them); generally about once a month.......so ensure they were empty because it's when they plug up that you get the problem. I had a male cat who often had to have his emptied by the Vet. He often had loose-ish stools due to (at the time an unknown) food allergy to various grains. Sometimes due to his 'messyiness' down there (loose stool), I'd give him a wash with a warm wash cloth....and I found just doing this, holding the warm cloth to that area would help to expel the glands.

Could you ask your Vet about some type of mild but effective regular "stuff" you could wipe on kitty's chin on a regular basis to help prevent the acne? Like say take a bowl of warm water, a tiny drop of Chlorhexadine antiseptic/antibacterial soap.......very very dilute. Then take one of those make-up pad remover thingies and wipe the chin daily. I used to do this with my cat Tigger when she used to get acne there. The Chlorhexadine I bought at the Vet clinic; it's the type of liquid surgical soap that human and vet surgeons use to wash their hands prior to surgery and it's also used to clean animal wounds at vet clinics. Comes in a little squirt bottle, pretty cheap.

Also, in addition to using SS bowls, I found that I wasn't washing out the cats' dry food bowl often enough..........sorta forgot about that....would just keep adding dry to it as needed but forgot that periodically I needed to completely wash that bowl, too.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
thanks, the vet did give me stuff to keep her chin clean but i guess i thought it would be the kind of thing you wouldn't have to do forever. i'm now wondering i the problem isn't because we feed her mostly dry food. i've been meaning to make the switch to mostly canned food, the do say it makes for better poop! if anything she probably has an allergy to grain. this is as good time as any to try out the all-canned diet!
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