Scabby cat - flea allergy in multi cat house

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Crewella
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Scabby cat - flea allergy in multi cat house

Post by Crewella » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:44 pm

When 15 year old Twinks came to live with us as a permanent foster cat she was very scabby around her back end, which the vet said was probably a flea allergy. We treated her with Broadline, and gradually over the first few weeks her skin seemed to get a lot better. However, last week she ventured downstairs amongst the others for a few hours, and I did notice that she was scratching. Since then her skin has erupted in several scabby patches, so I'm guessing there might be fleas around from the others? The thing is that all were treated at the same time - I wasn't aware of any fleas in the house, and if I comb any of the gang I'm not seeing flea dirt on any of them. We live in a rural area with foxes and all sorts regularly visiting the garden, and it wouldn't surprise me if the 'lads' regularly brought home little visitors before they get hit by the various flea treatments and die off? Does that sound likely? I'm a bit stumped as to why her condition flared up again, and I've no experience of this, so would appreciate any advice? Thanks.

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Lilith
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Re: Scabby cat - flea allergy in multi cat house

Post by Lilith » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:10 am

Yes, it wouldn't surprise me at all if foxes (and hedgehogs?) were spreading fleas; one summer an adjoining garden was full of dogs and although obviously the dogs and my cats never met, the dogs' fleas paid visits through the fence, little blighters!

I'd be inclined to look on the hopeful side and see if Twinks' allergy settles; you're using the most up-to-date remedies and keeping on top of the problem. My Alsatian was once almost bald on her back with dreadful warty lumps - through cat fleas. All there was then was the dreaded Nuvan Top (which I wasn't very efficient with) but I persevered, and she grew back a glossy coat, and had no more trouble.

I do hope the problem is resolved; it would be awful for her to be literally allergic to her new home where she's so happy - all paws crossed here and Shahi is crossing his tail!

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Re: Scabby cat - flea allergy in multi cat house

Post by bobbys girl » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:52 am

Poor old Twinks. Did the problem start when she came 'down stairs'? The reason I ask is it just might be that the others have bought fleas in at some time that are hanging around 'dormant' in the skirting boards.

Some years back I was doing some decorating for a friend of mine. She was having new carpets and flooring in her hall and stairs and wanted the paintwork sprucing up before the new stuff went down. She had the old carpets taken up, went off on holiday (to avoid the mess!) and left me to it.

She had a delightful, if enormously overweight, cat called Oliver (she didn't over-feed, he was just a pig like Gracie) He was regularly treated for fleas and the house was kept in very good order.

It was lovely weather and I was wearing shorts under my overalls. Things were fine while I was working up stairs, but when I started on the hall, my legs started itching. I had around 12 flea bites. :shock: The little blighters must have been lurking in the skirting and were disturbed when the carpet was taken up. Oliver couldn't understand the fuss - there wasn't one on him!

We still don't know how they got there in such numbers, but when I 'do' the cats I make a point of treating the skirtings too - just in case!

Hope you get to the bottom of this and Twinkle gets better.

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Re: Scabby cat - flea allergy in multi cat house

Post by Crewella » Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:35 pm

Thanks guys. OK, I will assume we may have the odd colony of 'visitors' lurking in odd corners and blitz the house. OH does pest control, so we are better placed than most to deal with it - I know when he treats for bedbugs he tells me the little blighters can crawl under wallpaper and get into electrical sockets and light switches and breed in there too! Hopefully we'll have a sunny day over the weekend and I can throw everybody out. I now suspect that this might also be making her less willing to come down and mingle - she regularly comes down to the bottom step now, but rarely any further.

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Re: Scabby cat - flea allergy in multi cat house

Post by meriad » Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:49 pm

Lilith wrote:Yes, it wouldn't surprise me at all if foxes (and hedgehogs?)
Nope, not from the hedgehogs - they're species specific and won't jump from a hog to a cat or other pet ;-)

Helen, it is an interesting one. My Harry has a suspected flea allergy and same as you I have never seen a flea in the house, nor on a cat, nor any flea dirt; yet he'll be scratching. And oddly enough, I regularly treat him and Abbie (she has ear mite issues) with Stronghold, but not the others. And it seems that provided Harry's treatment is up to date (which reminds me it is overdue :oops: ) he's fine - he's not affected if the others are treated or not.

You definitely are well placed what with your OH being in the pest control business, but don't forget the trick of 1/2 flea collar in the vacuum bag / vacuum cylinder to stop any possible eggs from hatching ;)

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Re: Scabby cat - flea allergy in multi cat house

Post by Lilith » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:36 pm

Ah, Meriad, I did wonder about hedgehogs. That's good to know.

Bobbys girl, your experience reminds me of the nightmare I had when I visited my mother in a new house - well, new to her. It was in 1980, back in the days of Nuvan Top; I had the Alsatian and a collie/Alsatian cross and had given them a good de-fleaing before we left; my mother is very houseproud. The visit went not too very dreadfully until the evening we went out to the pub (my mother doesn't do pubs) and left the dogs with her. On our return it was: 'Lil! Your doggies are FULL of fleas!' I looked and they were CRAWLING, but omg I'd never seen fleas like this! Honestly they were huge, not like the little cat fleas I was used to. These fleas needed a whip and a chair. I made feeble excuses about how the dogs had been thoroughly 'done' before we came but we went home in disgrace.

After that I did a bit of research into fleas. I discovered that a pupating larva will hide somewhere nice and cosy for its verminous little life-change - like a skirting-board or down a crack in the floorboards. In this state it can remain suspended, even if there are no animals in the house any more. The minute a dog or cat approaches its hiding-place, though, the damn pupa hatches out, hops out, et voila - fleas!

The next time I spoke to my mother I asked her if the previous people in her house had had a pet. 'Oh yes. They had an old dog ... oh no! This house has been repainted and THOROUGHLY cleaned since then!' Yes, knowing my mother, I'm sure it had been thoroughly cleaned, but not enough to defeat our little friend the flea. She didn't believe me, of course, but then I didn't expect her to.

I swear! My fleas wuz innocent!

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Re: Scabby cat - flea allergy in multi cat house

Post by meriad » Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:17 pm

Lilith wrote:I swear! My fleas wuz innocent!
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Your poor dogs and poor you - how long did it take you to sort them out? Hope you didn't end up with a problem at your house :(

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Re: Scabby cat - flea allergy in multi cat house

Post by Lilith » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:37 pm

Lol Meriad - I can't remember (old age creeping up ...) But I wonder if the 'superfleas' contributed to Hannah (the Alsatian's) awful skin condition. Ugh, they were vile - fat and paler brown than ordinary fleas - barf!

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Re: Scabby cat - flea allergy in multi cat house

Post by Crewella » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:32 am

Lilith, I can confirm that fleas do that, as do bedbugs. Apparently they sense the carbon dioxide from exhaled breath and that's what alerts them to live prey being present and stirs them from their slumbers! :shock:

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