Hair Loss / Skin Irritation

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lmills75
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Hair Loss / Skin Irritation

Post by lmills75 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:13 pm

Hi
One of my cats (Molly who is 10 years old) started over grooming and nibbling at herself a couple of months ago and had a small patch of missing fur with a small sore, so I wondered if she might have fleas. I treated her and my other cat (who was showing no signs) and the house but nothing changed and the bald patches grew.
The vet came and could find no trace of fleas but said if she is allergic to the flea saliva, it would be very hard to find any fleas on her as she would get them as soon as they landed. The vet prescribed a 5 day course of steroids. After this visit, I did find little specks of black/dark red where she sleeps so wondered if it had been fleas after all and the treatment had just taken a while to work. The situation improved massively while on the steroids and shortly after but then she started over grooming again but not as bad as previously.
Four weeks after her initial flea treatment, she was treated again with stronger medication provided by the vet (as was my other cat and the house) but nothing changed and I found no evidence of dead fleas / eggs. The vet put her on steroids again which improved the situation but she's been off them for a week now and she's over grooming again. Her sides and underneath are very patchy but there is no evidence of any sores at all. She is also completely fine in herself so I don't think she's particularly anxious (or no more than usual anyway!).
The vet has suggested trying a hypoallergenic food for 4-6 weeks to see if it is a food allergy, and potentially putting her on a longer course of steroids. I don't want to keep giving her steroids so will try with the food. I've bought the Purina HA which both cats seem to love and I wondered if anyone could recommend a wet hypoallergenic food as I need to sprinkle a joint supplement on their food which doesn't work so well with dry food.
Also, has anyone else experienced this kind of skin issue with their cats as I don't feel we're getting to the root of the problem? And is it very likely that she would develop a food allergy just out of the blue like that?
Thank you in advance for any advice / tips that anyone can offer.

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Janey
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Re: Hair Loss / Skin Irritation

Post by Janey » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:15 pm

Hi, well my cat suffers with flea allergy dermatitis, we think! I’ve been having to apply Advocate spot on to her monthly to help with this. I don’t like doing that but as I’ve never regularly flea treated my cats but she scatches until she breaks the skin and it bleeds and is difficult to heal with the scatch itch going on. If I didn’t use the spot on regularly she would have to have a comfy collar on and I would use one the antiseptic powders you can buy over the counter. However this last summer, after 2 weeks, i.e. before she was due the spot on, she was scratching these pimply things on her skin again and breaking sores again. So I took her back to the vet who said, there’s so many insects about it could still be that, not that she has fleas but they could be irritating her, especially if she’s a hunter (which she is), or it could be some other allergy as well, such as to pollens which when they breath in can irritate and come out in the skin. Anyhow she gave me a steroid cream for her which you only need the tiniest amount and I apply thinly and infrequently, if I see her scratching and starting to break the skin. It does seem to help, and I don’t use it too often, it’s called Isaderm. I hope you manage to sort your cat’s though because it can be a pain.
(edited for typo)
Last edited by Janey on Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ruth B
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Re: Hair Loss / Skin Irritation

Post by Ruth B » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:45 pm

One of my Mother's cats used to suffer from skin irritation, however it was only for a few weeks a year. At first it was put down to being a reaction to the booster vaccinations, until she was a little late having the vaccinations and the skin problem had already started, it was then decided that it might be one of the plants out in the garden as it was always the same time of year.

While we might first of all think of fleas or booster vaccines, skin allergies in cats can have numerous causes, as the steroids do clear it up it does seem that it is an allergic reaction to something.

Now the hard part, think back to when it first began and have a think of everything you use in the house or in the garden if she has access, everything from furniture polish, to carpet cleaner to washing powder, even your own soap or deodorant. If you have changed anything that might be the cause, if you haven't then the manufacturer might have changed something and that new ingredient is the problem. If you have any ideas what the culprit might be then try changing back, if you can't then the long job of trying to change one thing at a time might help find where the problem lies.

lmills75
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Re: Hair Loss / Skin Irritation

Post by lmills75 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:05 am

Hi everyone

So, Molly's skin irritation continues....and I don't know what to do next.

She (and my other cat) were on a hypoallergenic diet for over 2 months which didn't change anything. We then stopped her joint supplement (no adverse effects luckily) to see if that changed anything - it didn't. I have changed my fabric conditioner to a sensitive skin one in case that was an issue. My vet has contacted a dermatologist who has suggested an anallergenic diet and won't see her until I've tried that. That is not going too well at all. Neither cat like it and they have eaten very little over the last 4 days. I will persevere with the anallergenic diet until the weekend but if they're still not eating, I will switch back to hypoallergenic.

Molly is still on steroids (5mg every other day) which seems to keep things at bay - at least things are not getting worse, but they are not getting better either.

I really don't believe it is diet related and wonder about contacting a cat behaviourist to see if it might be stress related. My vet doesn't believe it's stress related. I don't really feel that the situation is being taken seriously and don't know what to do next.

I know you kindly made some suggestions before but wondered if anyone had any other suggestions.

Thank you!

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greenkitty
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Re: Hair Loss / Skin Irritation

Post by greenkitty » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:57 pm

What about trying a low dose of Piriton (must be Piriton and not other antihistamines)? Check with your vet but I think they can have 1/4 tablet up to 3 times a day.

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Re: Hair Loss / Skin Irritation

Post by Sniper1 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:11 pm

In my experience it often takes 3 consecutive months of flea treatment to calm flea allergy reaction don't ask me why but I have found this with both cats and dogs and whatever product you use

lmills75
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Re: Hair Loss / Skin Irritation

Post by lmills75 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:20 am

Thank you both for your comments.

That's very interesting about the flea treatment. She is due to be treated again soon so will see if that makes any difference.

I will also speak to my vet about piriton.

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Re: Hair Loss / Skin Irritation

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:21 pm

My wee Cody used to have a bald patch on her tum, would chew until a large sore developed. The steroid injections were a great help, an almost immediate response, but of course, didn't cure the problem. Would just, and I quote my Vet 'prevent her tum become one large weeping scab'. He advised it could be the food she ate. Not the actual meat content, but the different cereal binders used to meld it altogether. We tried various varieties, eventually settling on Asda and Morrison own brand. No more probs. If I got complacent and picked up a different brand, especially gravy variety,the problem would return until I changed back. My friend had the same problem with her rescue cat. Poor little kitty used to sit out in the rain to get relief so covered in sores was she. She had to take a pill every day. Now she is fed on Co-Op and Felix cat food, only needs medicating if a small sore re-appears. Of course this is all speculation, could be just a coincidence but worth mention to Vet? Incidentally, my Cody is the only cat I have ever owned who turned her nose up at Felix and Whiskas !

Issi

lmills75
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Re: Hair Loss / Skin Irritation

Post by lmills75 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:28 pm

Thank you Issi.
Can I just ask if the 'food' allergy just appeared overnight? Had she previously eaten that type of food and been ok?
I would have thought 2 months on hypoallergenic food would have sorted Molly out but maybe not....
I've had to abandon anallergenic as I just couldn't get her to eat it and in just a few days of very little food, her fur was looking dull and she got quite bad dandruff. I'm going to switch back to the Purina hypoallergenic dry food which says it can be used as an exclusion diet and cut out the hypoallergenic wet food (Wainwrights) that I had used previously.
It's never straight forward is it?!

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Re: Hair Loss / Skin Irritation

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:23 am

Hi Honey, to be honest I can't really recall the exact timescales, Cody died unexpectedly in 2016 so my memory is hazy. Oh how I still miss her and my wee geezer,Armand. Anyway, my hubby's recollection is she would eat trigger foods quite happily for about 2 or 3 days, then the pinkness on her tum would become noticeable, swiftly followed by the gnawing etc. No, she hadn't previously eaten the trigger food and been ok. Not difficult to eliminate foods as she never touched cat treats, meaty sticks etc. Eventually her diet was Asda/Morrison own brand wet, occasional cooked chicken breast and mouthfuls of Purina Sensitive dry, allegedly cereal in that replaced with rice. It definitely wasn't stress, she was the softest, most laid back cat ever, loved everybody, even the Vet. Have you tried feeding Molly just simple things like cooked chicken or Royal Canin Sensitive Chicken and rice pouches? Just to see what the reaction is? Let us know how she is.

Issi

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Re: Hair Loss / Skin Irritation

Post by don1976 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:02 am

Hi,

Our Minnie has had a similar issue, nibbling at herself and resulting in small patches of thin hair. She's also broken the skin in places.
Initially it was thought that it was a flea allergy. She's on Bravecto flea treatment and our most recent vet trip last week confirmed there was now no flea issue, albeit the nibbling has continued.
The vet has put it down to anxiety, and has recommended putting her onto a special food, in this instance it's Royal Canin Calm food. After researching this food, people tend to get good results from it.
She's only been on it few days so far, but we'll see how we go.

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