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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?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER

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♥




http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_plasma_cell_pododermatitis.html

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=642&S=1

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

http://www.dr-addie.com/stomatitis.html#ifn

here is info on prednisone:

http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/prednisone-prednisolone/page1.aspx



http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-3164.2004.411_22.x/abstract

heres a link to a study being done:

http://vet.sagepub.com/content/44/1/80.full
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?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
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...

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/01/03/fish-as-a-protein-source.aspx

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?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER


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.


http://www.iherb.com/Garden-of-Life-Primal-Defense-Powder-HSO-Probiotic-Formula-81-g/3159?at=0

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.

http://www.iherb.com/Symbiotics-Lactoferrin-100-60-Capsules/4088?at=0

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.
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
thankyou for that information. Atopica(cyclosporine) has been used off label for cats in some resistant skin conditions such as EGC (eonsinophilic granuloma complex)...an alergic reaction to food/flea bites/environmental inhalents.
I'm glad it was successful in also treating pododermatitis..
Atopica/cyclosporine is less harmful than using steroids but none the less is a powerful immuno-suppressant medication and needs to be watched closely for adverse reactions especially with the kidneys....I am so glad your kitty saw such great improvement with little or no side effects.
I will send you an article from the Merck Vet Manual showing that cyclosporine(in cats) where this is mentioned.

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/72400.htm

also the drug.com site where you can read up more on Atopica...again thanks for posting this and I hope your kitty continues to stay healthy :-)

http://www.drugs.com/vet/atopica.html
Avatar universal
He was at the point where he required surgery on his pads. He was bleeding and leaving blood stains wherever he walked. Once again, it's been 1 1/2 years since treatment stopped and no return of the disease.
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
I'm so glad when I can read a success story......good for him :)))))
Avatar universal
My cat is only 9 months old and has been dealing with this since he was 3 months old. It gets so bad that his pads ulcer and bleed. We have spent $2000 on vet bills trying to treat the problem.  He was getting steroid shots. They worked but his pads would swell and bleed the next week.  He has also tried doxycycline with no help. He will be trying atopica after he finished up these other medications next week.  He Is such a happy beautiful cat and I fear this disease will kill him. I am really praying atopica works.
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
sure hope it works for your deal kitty too......he is much to young to be going thru so much. keep us updated, sending you both some kitty hugs ((>^.^<))
Avatar universal
Thank you. He had some blood work done today and everything looked good. He will be starting Atopica tomorrow. I will keep you updated.
1 Comments
So what are the results from the Atopica a few years later? My kitty is to start it tomorrow.
Avatar universal
So glad Iv come across this post and seen some success stories. My poor kitty has had swollen pads for about 8 weeks but with no pain. Taken him back and forth to the vets in this time but hasn't been diagnosed until today as his feet blistered literally over night. She had advised steroids and if no help then atopica. Hope everyone else's kitty's are doing good :)
Avatar universal
Hi, that's really interesting that your cat was given cyclosporine, it's quite a strong drug with some risks but I know personally it saved my bowel (also auto immune disease). I will suggest to my vet. I've got the traditional vet suggesting lifetime steroids which I just can't accept, I hate steriods and feel they killed my last cat (can't prove but bloodwork before steroid treatment for cough fine, then suddenly after steroid shot and tablets, kidney failure). Then I have a holistic vet saying that feeding raw can really help the condiiton. My cat just won't seem to adapt to fully raw diet though. I had sourced grain free kibble in case it was a grain allergy but it doesn't seem to have helped. Any updates from anyone. Poor Luca is feeling very sorry for himself, all four pads affected but one has sort of opened, has a big sore round patch on it, holistic vet said it looked like a burn but I think it is open blister or ulcer from the condition. Thanks... Josie - yet another concerned kitty owner.
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
sorry to read what your kitty is going thru, this is a very complex disease, but does have strong allergic components....read all the thread through for info and follow the links.
I agree that Cyclosporine/Atopica is a very strong drug with many side effects...but it is safer to be on than other forms of steroids for long term usage.

I posted this  link above that suggests doxycycline (an antibiotic) has shown success in abt 50% of cases. I will post it again. I will also add if yuo and your Vet do decide to use this antibiotic to be sure and give a probiotic to prevent yeast infections afterward. I can give you the name of an excellent probio. safe for use in cats. let me know

http://vet.sagepub.com/content/44/1/80.full

A few things I will mention...just don't try grain free KIBBLE...it has to be grain free CANS...

do you have carpets in your home? many carpets are treated with chemicals for antistain/water repellants etc..also do you use chemicals for cleaning floors and carpets? Scented litter?
Does Luca go outside? has the grass been treated with chemicals? fertilizers?
think of anything he maybe STEPPING on since the allergy is related to his paws.

From some reading I've done, there is always some success with treating the immune system with a variety of supplements, this will require alot of looking up and writing out so I won't unless you indicate to me that you are interested in trying this route....


all the best to poor Luca, hope to hear from you again♥
Avatar universal
Hi there, I suspect my cat may also be suffering from this disease. She's had swelling of her right front  and persistent lameness for nearly three months. Her symptoms wax and wane: the last few days have been the worst yet. She's been to 2 vets, four visits, X-rays, covenant (2 times) no diagnosis. I'd be interested in knowing the probiotic you suggest.... She's going to a third vet soon
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
hi Jan, I was just checking the computer before heading off to bed, welcome. sorry to hear abt your kitty, I'm glad you've read thru my previous post...like I said its a very complex disease. I will copy and paste the same answer I gave to another pet parent...if you live in the US and cannot find these products at a human health food outlet that order from iherb. they are a very good company to deal with. . if you have anything else I can help you with please post anytime,even with just an update...hope all goes well for her and an answer will be found...please read back further to the topic of steroid use and the alternative atopica..good luck♥

heres the post..


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.


http://www.iherb.com/Garden-of-Life-Primal-Defense-Powder-HSO-Probiotic-Formula-81-g/3159?at=0

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.

http://www.iherb.com/Symbiotics-Lactoferrin-100-60-Capsules/4088?at=0
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
I should have added that iherb.com is located in California...and you or anyone else reading this post if they would like to order these products for their cat(s) go ahead and quote a coupon discount with the code SED957 its good for a $4-10 discount depending on size of your order....
Avatar universal
At what stage of the disease was your kitty?  Was it in a early or late stage?  My cat has open and bleeding pads at this point.   Just wondering if Atopica would help her at her stage of the disease.
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
hi.....bosclo hasn't posted on Medhelp since August. I will give you a link so you can send them a private message with your question and they will get an email notification than hopefully you'll get a reply.

http://www.medhelp.org/private_messages/new?personal_page_id=149129&recipient_id=3213507

In my opinion its not to late to try Atopica, talk to a good Vet abt this and add the supplements that I listed in the previous post.

good luck to you, don't give up without trying everything, your kitty must be in a lot of pain...post again and let us know how things are going please. our best of wishes♥
Avatar universal
I ordered some of the pro biotic that you mentioned and was wondering if I give it to her with the antibiotics or after her treatment is done in 30 days.
Avatar universal
Just saw your post.  I took her to the 2nd vet this morning.  First Vet diagnosed her and put her on Prednisolone.  She has been on that for 6 weeks now and I have been weening her off that but it hasn't helped her much.  They aren't bleeding as much but no change other than that.  I printed out some of what I read here and he said that the Atopica was a chemo treatment for cancer and didn't recommend that.  He did confirm and diagnosis and gave her a Cortisone injection that time releases and put her on an antibiotic.  Either she is a really tough cat or it hasn't been that painful for her.  Doesn't seem to bother her at all.  I have had her locked up in the tack room in the barn for the last 6 weeks but she doesn't seem to mind that either but I try to spend some time with her every day and keep her environment clean for her owie's on her feet.  Hope I can turn her loose soon before the mice take over the barn :-)  Please let me know when and how to give her the pro-biotic.
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
I hope you've read thru all the above posts and searched the links given...I'm glad you've ordered the probiotic it is necessary esp FOLLOWING the use of antibiotics....
did your Vet(I hope) prescribe the antibiotic that has  good results with pododermatiitis..doxycycline helps in 50% of cases....so I hope this is the one prescribed. I think I ppsted a link to that above, if not let me know and I will find it again..

I don't like steroids...unless absolutely necessary when all else has failed. Atopica is like a steroid but IMO safer. It was a poster named bosclo Aug 23 above that said it cured her cat....(I have no knowledge that this is widely used for this)
Atopica is serious medication but it is used OFF LABEL for cats in some circumstances..it targets specific cells in the immune system, its an immuno-suppressant medication....not only for use as a chemo drug for cancer.

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/cyclosporine.html

all steroid use can lead to health problems, and the use of Atopica is no different....but your Vet went ahead and used prednisolone for an 'extended' period so I find it odd that he would be against Atopica.....both can cause serious problems. however if she hasn't had any relief from the pred. than I doubt Atopica would benefit her either(?)

the probiotic should be started following the antibiotic. best given after a meal. start with 1/32 tsp. mixed with yogurt or if kitty balks give via syringe mixed with broth. or if kitty will take okay it is possible to just sprinkle this on her food.
if not gassy or tummy upset you can increase this up to max of 1/8 tsp a day.

the lactoferrin I posted abt above is also very good for the immune system.

wishing you and kitty the very best of luck with the antib...sure hope kitty gets some relief real soon....this has got to be very painful :(
Avatar universal
Hi!  I am so glad I found this thread!  It is nice knowing I'm not alone on this bumpy ride! :-)  I befriended a stray kitty almost a year ago.  When I first saw him I noticed he walked funny & thought he had some type of neurological problem.  When he finally let me get close enough to him, I saw that his nails had grown into the pads of his feet & came out the top of his paws!  Several months later when he finally allowed me to touch him, I wrangled this poor soul up & took him to the vets office to be fixed & to have his feet taken care of.  I kept him inside during his healing process & he has never left. :-)  I always thought the swelling on all four pads was from the ingrown nails & figured it would eventually go away.  Well, a year later one of his paws split open & he was diagnosed with plasma cell pododermatitis.  He is on Doxycycline 40 MG twice a day (for 3 weeks now).  The ulcer on his foot has started to heal but other then that he's shown no other improvement.  I was thinking about starting him on the supplement Lactoferrin that you suggested.  Is that ok for him to take while hes on the antibiotic?  He is not immune compromised (tested negative for FIV) but I would just like to give him the best chance at getting over this.
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