Plasma cell pododermatitis

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  • Plasma cell pododermatitisFig.1 Plasma cell pododermatitis
    Uncommon cutaneous disorder causing swelling and ulceration of the footpads   (Fig. 1)  .
  • Cause : unknown etiology.
  • Treatment : sometimes resolves without treatment. Probably responds to doxycycline or glucocorticoid administration although scientific studies have not been performed.
  • Prognosis : good.


Clinical signs

  • Skin: plasma cell pododermatitisFig.2 Skin: plasma cell pododermatitis
    Swelling of one or more footpads   (Fig. 2)  . The feet are usually not painful at this stage.
  • Pads are crossed with white, scaly cracks.
  • The swelling is soft and uniform such that the normal pad symmetry is not altered.
  • Ulceration and hemorrhage occur (which may be result of secondary infection).
  • May be pain and lameness, especially when ulcerated.
  • Regional lymphadenopathy.
  • Lightly pigmented pads may become purple in color.
  • Plasma cell stomatitis    and vegetative plaques at bars of mouth have been reported concurrently.
  • Affected cats may have immune mediated glomerulonephritis    or renal amyloidosis    , although this is probably rare.


Differential diagnosis



  • Good but may recur at intervals.
  • Seasonal recurrence in some individuals suggests an allergic etiology.
  • Some may regress spontaneously.
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