“Nala” diagnosed with rare autoimmune skin condition

Skin issues are just one aspect of what the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) shelter medicine staff diagnoses and treats on a daily basis, but for Nala, a 6-year-old Himalayan-Lynx-mix cat, her skin condition was bit more complicated than normal, leading to a nearly 8-month-stay with ARL.

Nala was surrendered to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center in March 2021, and presented with a number of skin lesions on her head, ears, and paws.

After x-rays, a biopsy, and wound debridement, Nala was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called pemphigus foliaceus (PF).

For Nala, her condition was causing her immune system to attack the upper skin layers, causing the lesions. But while autoimmune skin disease is rare in cats, it is treatable.

Nala’s initial course of treatment included medication, medicated wipes, and medicated foot baths.

She was then placed into foster care and over the next several months her condition began to improve with treatment, as the lesions healed and her fur grew back.

Nala required frequent veterinary visits, nearly two dozen, but by September, her condition was under control with medication, and was at the point where she could find a new home.

A Special Home

While PF is something that can be controlled or brought into remission with treatment, the condition is chronic, and is something Nala likely have to treat for the rest of her life.

Daily immunosuppressive drugs are needed to keep Nala’s PF in check, however because these types of medications limit the immune system to fully function as it should, Nala is prone to secondary infection, which could lead to further treatment.

Because of this, Nala will need frequent trips to the veterinarian to ensure her long-term health.

But her condition and ongoing treatment did not stop her from finding a wonderful home, as Nala found her new family this past week!

Help Animals Like Nala

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is an unwavering champion for animals in need, however in order to provide emergency treatment for animals like Nala, ARL relies on the compassion and support from people like YOU.

Nala’s chronic condition is under control after months of treatment, but there are countless animals out there that will need ARL’s help at some point in the future and we cannot do this work alone.

Whether it’s a one-time donation or joining more than 840 others to contribute monthly, click here to see all the ways you can join ARL to support animals in need today, tomorrow, and in the future.