Here is some information on Stud Tail:Feline acne and stud tail
Feline acne and stud tail are two conditions of the cat which are probably more common than is generally appreciated, as most cases are mild and pass unnoticed. More severe cases, however, may respond slowly to treatment and seriously detract from the appearance of the cat.
Two main types of gland are found in the dermis or skin of the cat - the sweat glands and the sebaceous glands. Contrary to popular belief, the sweat glands are found over virtually all of the whole body surface of the cat, although most of these are small and non-functional. Only the glands of the foot pads produce sweat, and wet, sweaty paw marks will often be noticed on the consulting table when a cat is under the stress of a visit to the veterinary surgeon. Most of the sebaceous glands are associated with hair follicles and produce an oily secretion, sebum, which waterproofs the hairs and maintains the suppleness of the skin. In addition, a collection of much larger sebaceous glands are found on the chin, the lips, the sparsely haired temporal area (between the eye and ear) and the dorsal (top) surface of the base of the tail. The collection of glands under the skin is sometimes referred to as the submental organ and the glands around the base of the tail are known as the supracaudal organ.
The oily secretion of these larger sebaceous glands appears to have a role in territorial marking and cats will repeatedly rub their chin, lips, temporal area and base of tail over certain objects. In time the secretions build up on favourite marking objects and may be seen as black, greasy patches. Cat owners may have noticed that they are assiduously `marked' by their pets on returning home. Cats will also often mark certain objects at feeding time. The reason for this behaviour is not known.
Overactivity of the submental and supracaudal organs is a relatively common finding and is seen as excessive greasiness of the overlying fur and skin. This is particularly noticeable in the supracaudal region of white cats and appears as a yellow, greasy discolouration. There may also be flecks of black, greasy material on the chin which may be mistaken for flea dirt.
This overactivity of the sebaceous glands predisposes to feline acne and stud tail which are seen in varying degrees of severity. In mild cases, the associated hair follicles become plugged with the black sebaceous material forming comedones. This is similar to acne in man. Secondary infection may result, leading to folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicles) and formation of papules and pustules from which beads of pus may be expressed. In severe cases of multiple folliculitis, pyoderma develops, with a mass of discharging tracts or sinuses. Cats with mild feline acne or stud tail show no associated clinical signs but in severe cases there may be severe inflammation and irritation of the overlying skin. The point of the chin may become grossly swollen and there may be an enlargement of the draining lymph nodes of the head and neck.
Feline acne is seen in cats of all ages and both sexes. It has been suggested that activity of the supracaudal organ depends on testosterone (the male hormone). Stud tail is most common in stud toms, but, despite its name, is also seen in neutered toms and female cats.
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