Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex in Cats: Everything You Need to Know

An eosinophilic granuloma is a special type of skin inflammation that is mainly seen in allergic cats. Other forms of the disease are eosinophilic ulcers and eosinophilic plaques.

The skin condition eosinophilic granuloma is named after the white blood cells called eosinophilic granulocytes, which are involved in allergic reactions and in the part of the immune system that fights parasites. The condition is often triggered by the cat being exposed to something it is allergic to, either in the food or in the environment.


The eosinophilic granuloma complex comprises three variants of skin change: in addition to so-called granulomas, ulcers and plaques are also seen. The skin changes usually occur in demarcated skin areas around / in the mouth, on the stomach or in the groin and on the insides of the thighs. The skin or oral mucosa becomes swollen and raised, red or yellow in color and sore. Cats may be unaffected by eosinophilic granulomas on the upper lip, but skin changes on other parts of the body are usually associated with itching.


Eosinophilic granuloma has a typical appearance and when it is located in one of the areas mentioned above, the veterinarian often makes a probability diagnosis. For a definite diagnosis, however, it is required that a tissue sample (biopsy) is analyzed in a laboratory. Since the condition usually has an allergic background, allergy testing (dot test) or elimination diet with low-allergenic feed are two other investigations that may be relevant.


In the acute phase, the cat is treated with cortisone in tablet or injection form. However, in order to avoid a recurrence of the condition, any allergies should be investigated and, as far as possible, avoid exposing the cat to substances to which it is allergic. In many cases, however, it is not possible to determine what the cat is sensitive to and in these cases, repeated or long-term cortisone treatment may be necessary.


Depending on what is the underlying cause of the cat getting eosinophilic granuloma to begin with, and whether one succeeds in identifying and removing any allergens (substances to which the cat has an allergic reaction), the prognosis varies slightly. Some cats need long-term treatment with cortisone.

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