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Plasma cell pododermatitis

My cat has been diagnosed with plasma cell pododermatitis by two vets. The first one wanted to put her on cortisone indefinitely, I didn't want her to have cortisone as the first option. The second recommended a 6 month course of antibiotics which helped but didn't completely get rid of the problem. After stopping the antibiotics the problem is slowly returning to it's previous state.

Does anyone have information and treating this problem in cats? Anything helpful?
78 Responses
874521 tn?1424120397

hi and welcome....sorry about your poor kitty. I really wasn't aware of this condition before doing this research for you.
is her paw opened or only swollen?

It appears to be an autoimmune disease and 50% of the cases respond to Doxycycline (antibiotics) is that what your Vet tried?

I've also read it can be an ALLERGY-TYPE disease. have you tried food and litter changes? One case mentioned briefly it was discovered the dog in question was allergic to new carpeting (chemicals).
Just throwing out suggestions to you.
I've included some sites that I found below, these are just random and I haven't read myself. when I saw a reference I copied it and pasted, so I was going back and forth....so sorry if its all mumble jumbled, hopefully some of the info will help you with the decision you have to make....I ask you to please keep us posted, I would really like to know what treatment you will try and how it works.....wishing you and kitty all the very best of luck♥



I've also read that interferon can be used and perhaps safer than steroids(?)


here is info on prednisone:



heres a link to a study being done:

Avatar universal
Thanks Opus. I will take a look at the links. Yes. The medication my cat received was Doxycycline. The vet said it doesn't always work.

The condition isn't at the dreadful stage with cracking and bleeding paws. It hasn't got that far yet. I don't know if all cats get to that stage or not. I guess that is the next question. The front paws are just a bit swollen at the moment.  I can tell that she is starting to become uncomfortable again about a month after stopping treatment. The treatment cleared the condition completely on the back paws and about 80% on the front paws. Towards the end she was starting to lose a little weight. She really hated being given medication twice a day for six months. She is such a little sweetie. Couldn't understand why she was being tortured.

I think my vet is doing the best she can. She said cortisone isn't used anymore to treat that condition. Thought I would ask if there are any new ideas out there.

Anything is worth a try right now. Except Interferon and cortisone! If interferon for cats is anything like what it is for humans I won't put her through that. It is awful stuff and she would never be the same again after having it. Life after treatment haas to be worth living.

I could try changing her diet. At least that won't make her sicker. She usually has fresh tuna, rabbit, or mackerel for dinner and packaged food for breakfast in addition to the usual biscuits. I guess I could try changing the packaged stuff and the biscuits first. Although, if she was responding to the doxycycline you would think that indicates that the infection theory is correct.

I will post the info if I find out anything more.
874521 tn?1424120397
hi again. I agree with you about the interferon and cortisone treatments...there has to be quality of life during and after treatments to consider.
I'm just going to make a quick comment on her diet esp the fish. I will send you another article to read that I posted recently on the dangers of feeding fish...


If you could stay with the rabbit, which btw is an excellent diet...do you feed the whole rabbit so she is getting the calcium etc?
and if by 'biscuits' you mean dry food, I would highly recommend stopping that and going to a canned food ,there are so many preservatives and chemicals in the dry food....its just a possibility that she could be sensitive to one or all?
I'm glad her paws haven't broken open and I sure hope that won't happen...poor baby, must be terribly painful for her.
good luck and please keep us posted....btw whats kitties name?
Avatar universal
Thanks Opus.

Lilly and I have looked over the links. She is sitting here next to keyboard and purring right now. She says that having plasma cell pododermatitis isn't fun but it isn't too bad. At least she got out of the animal shelter as a kitten after selecting Odin to take her home. Now she has fresh food, a full time servant and numerous retainers. Lilly has agreed to try and eat less fish and more rabbit. Not too difficult as she really likes rabbit.

One of the links mentioned some things about doxycycline which I will follow up on with the vet:
"The reconstituted oral suspension is only good for 2 weeks. After that, it must be discarded."
I was given 1-3 months supply each time. I am wondering if the effectiveness of the doxycycline was reduced for part of her treatment.

Also, "Doxycycline does not kill bacteria; it merely curtails their ability to reproduce. For the invading bacteria to be killed, the host's immune system must be active and effective. This may not be the best choice medication for immune compromised patients."
I don't have reason to think that she is immune compromised, but will follow up on it anyway. She has had cat flu as a kitten and has been vaccinated. I worried that the vaccinations may have caused an autoimmune problem initially. I will review the diet. I tried quite hard to keep her eating a wide range of foods when she was a kitten but she gradually trained me not to feed her chicken and other tributes. She is about 2.5 yrs now.

874521 tn?1424120397

I'm so impressed that you have both spent the time reading the links I found for you...Lily is a very lucky little lady to have found such a caring parent.
I'm glad you are following up with her Vet, I hope you get some good results in that area too.
It wouldn't hurt to give her a probiotic to strengthen her immune system especially following antibiotics and since you did mention she had the 'cat flu' as a kitten. I will give you a link to the best one on the market(one I use too)...it has the most active strains of bacteria, comes in a powder form so its easy to sprinkle a bit on her food.(abt 1/8 teaspoon).
this one has no fillers, soy, etc so its safe for cats.
I've ordered internationally from iherb MANY times they are a reputable company with very low shipping rates..I think its only $4 US to ship.


this is another supplement that is safe for cats and very good for the immune system, its one I've never had the need to use but its highly recommended. guidelline is 20mg per lb once a day. I think it comes in 250mg capsules..therefor for a 10lb kitty abt 3/4 of a capsule....start lower to be sure she doesn't reject it.


wishing you and Lily all the luck in the world, please continue to post her updates or anything else you'd like to just chat about anytime..♥
Avatar universal
My cat was 2 yrs old when he was diagnosed with plasma cell pododermatitis. After 6 mos of various treatments with no avail, my vet tried a drug usually used to treat skin diseases in dogs. The drug is Atopica 25mg. My cat was given 1 tablet twice a day initially, then lesser quantities. After 6 weeks, my cat was cured. I continued to give 1 tablet twice a week for 3 weeks and then stopped. It's now 1 1/2 years later and the disease has not returned. My cat is now happy and healthy. Hope this helps.
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