Clinical signs and diagnosis of feline atopic syndrome: detailed guidelines for a correct diagnosis

Document Type


Publication Date



BACKGROUND: Feline atopic syndrome (FAS) describes a spectrum of hypersensitivity disorders characterised by highly diverse clinical presentations including skin, gastrointestinal and respiratory systems. Among these disorders is feline atopic skin syndrome (FASS), in which hypersensitivity is typically associated with environmental allergens, although food allergy may coexist. Involvement of other organ systems (e.g. asthma) also may occur. Because of its highly heterogeneous clinical presentation, diagnosis of FASS can be challenging. OBJECTIVES: A subgroup of the International Committee on Allergic Diseases of Animals was tasked to summarise the most current information on the clinical presentations of FASS and to develop diagnostic guidelines. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Online citation databases and abstracts from international meetings were searched for publications related to feline allergic conditions. These were combined with expert opinion where necessary. RESULTS: A total of 107 publications relevant to this review were identified. Compilation of these data enabled development of a detailed description of the clinical features of FASS and development of guidelines focusing on systematic elimination of other skin conditions with similar clinical characteristics. As allergen tests are frequently used by dermatologists to support a clinical diagnosis of FASS, a brief review of these methodologies was also performed. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: In a similar way to atopic dermatitis in dogs, FASS is a clinical diagnosis based on the presence of compatible clinical signs and exclusion of other diseases with similar clinical features. Elimination or exclusion of fleas/flea allergy, other parasites, infections and food allergy is mandatory before reaching a diagnosis of FASS.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Veterinary dermatology

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.