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Chin acne.

Species: Cat
Breed: american shorthaird:
Age: 2-5 years
Hi there,

My cat came down with a case of feline acne, probably caused by stress, when she had to stay with a friend who has another cat (she does NOT like other cats). My cat eats high quality organic wet food off a ceramic plate that I clean every day. I first noticed little blackheads on her chin about a week after she got back from my friend's place. We then started washing her chin with warm mild soap twice daily, but the condition did not improve. The blackheads then developed into pustules that popped and scabbed over: then some of these got infected and inflamed, so we took her to the vet, who did not seem very worried. He gave her a long-acting antibiotic shot (told us it would work over a 14 day period) and some topical antibiotic/anti-inflammatory ointment to put on in the morning and at night. I have done this pretty religiously and have also given her warm chamomile compresses before I put the ointment on (since it's a natural astringent). It's now been three days since out vet visit and I've noticed that the blackheads are basically gone, but she still has three or four pustules that have grown over the days since our vet visit that look as though they're going to burst soon. One already did this morning. So why do I still see the pustules, but not the blackheads? Does this mean that she's improving or getting worse? Is there anything else I should be doing? Her condition does not look like ringworm or mouth ulcers.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question. Feline acne can sometimes be difficult to deal with, but from what you have described it sounds like things are going along as they should.

It sounds like Ms. Kitty has two issues. The first issue is the acne. Then, the second issue is the infection. Most likely the infection started because the acne caused the skin to get inflamed. Inflamed skin is much more prone to infection.

My guess is that the cream that was given is taking care of the blackheads (which is really the acne).

But, it will often take quite a bit longer to get rid of the infection. If it's only been 3 days so far I wouldn't be too worried. Most likely the antibiotic injection is something called Convenia. This is a really good antibiotic for most skin infections. But, skin infections can take a while to really clear up. It may be 7 days or more before the pustules start to look better.

If a pustule bursts open then you can take a warm wet cloth and clean it, but you shouldn't really have to do too much.

So, the best advice I can give here is to be patient and things should be really clearing up soon. If they don't clear up then there is the possibility that your cat has something else going on. Some cats that we think have chin acne actually have something called eosinophilic granuloma complex. If your vet thinks this is the case then they may try a steroid shot next. But I'm guessing that it won't come to that.

Hope that helps.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.