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Itchy skin condition

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
My 5 year old cat has for the past 2 years had an itch skin condition that causes her to lick herself until she removes the hair from her stomach and in places on her back.

Her pervious 2 vets could not figure out what was wrong with her other than it is not parasites (I have 2 cats).

They surmise it is an allergy, however I have recently moved from the US to London so this may not be the case.

If she is given a steroid shot she is no longer itchy for about 6 weeks, all her hair grows back and she is fine, however her vet told me that she cannot get this more than a few times a year.

It has recently gotten worse and I'm worried about her. I am taking her to a (new) vet here in in London this weekend but I thought I'd see if there is any collective wisdom on this site.

She has the best disposition and is happy but I worry someday she will get infected or hurt herself.
post #2 of 22
Perhaps your new vet will work with you to see if this is allergy related.

I've seen others suggest doing everything possible in the home such as vacuuming at least every other day with a hepa filtered vac and use air filters in the home. Also she may be reacting to some ingredient in the food she eats, which would require slowly changing her food to something with only one protein and one grain to see if symptoms abate.

I'm sure you will have responses from much more experiencd folks than I.

Good luck with finding and correcting this problem.

BTW.... Welcome to TCS!
post #3 of 22
I've gone through the same thing with one of my cats. I've tried Rx foods, meds and nothing helped. The steroids would only help for a few weeks. My vet finally suggested trying him on Purina One and it has made a tremendous difference. This is the best he has looked in years. She also recommended combing him everyday to gently remove loose scabs and dry skin as it would make him less itchy. Good luck!
post #4 of 22
I'm the one with the two air filters, the HEPA vacuum, and the rabbit food diet for kitty! and yes, it works.

I'd say the diet and the air filters made the most difference though the vacuum is certainly important.

Also be sure to use only natural, non allergenic cleaners in the house. I use stuff that is made from citrus, etc. rather than chemicals.

good luck
post #5 of 22
My neighbor's cat had a similar problem. He cleaned the area well and then applied noni lotion. After 4 days, he noticed that his cat's skin was much better. It is worth try...you can get noni lotion at kauaigoods.com. My neighbor said that his cat was licking at the lotion and thought that that may have sped up the recovery...his cast was healing himself from inside out!
post #6 of 22
Please dont put any lotion or herbal remedy in or on your cat without consulting a vet... I personally use many herbal s with my girls but only on vet advise or okay as many CAN BE HARMFUL to your cat ....

I would ask you what food is the cat eating??? Does it eat dry or canned or both>>???
post #7 of 22
Why can't she have the steroid year-round? My cat has similar symptoms to yours and we have determined that it is an allergy to something in the environment; she's on prednisolone (pills, not shots) every day.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by krissie View Post
Why can't she have the steroid year-round? My cat has similar symptoms to yours and we have determined that it is an allergy to something in the environment; she's on prednisolone (pills, not shots) every day.
Most vets dont like to keep an animal on steriods long term.... they are safer than human steriods but still shouldnt be used long term unless benifits out way risks...
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by krissie View Post
Why can't she have the steroid year-round? My cat has similar symptoms to yours and we have determined that it is an allergy to something in the environment; she's on prednisolone (pills, not shots) every day.
I lost a 4yr. old dog to the prednisone pills. She was on the pills for about a year for skin allergies and they damaged her liver beyond repair. I also had two cats on the shots for skin allergies and both died of cancer. I'll never know it if was related to the shots but I'm not taking any chances with the cat I have now with skin allergies. It's taken a lot of experimenting with different foods but it's finally under control.
post #10 of 22
The Prednisone, if over used, will destroy the cat's immune system. It's far better to cure this condition with diet changes and cleaning up the cat's environment.

Gizmo has started to snuffle again since the windows are now closed for the winter. Even though there are air filters going day and night I will also put on a vaporizer since she may be suffering from sinus trouble.

It's good for me as well as the cat and I don't regret a single penny spent. I dislike the drug regimen since it gave Gizmo violent diarrhea and did not cure the wheezing and itching.
post #11 of 22
Hi I am going through the same thing with my 1 and a half year old tabby Bubbles. I was so hoping that it was seasonal allergies but at this point I don't think so. He has been on the pred which didn't really help much then Clomicalm which they give cats for behavioural problems and I really didn't like the effects of that on him so we finally tried amnitryptaline which did work good in the beginnning but hasn't been working for him at all lately. Bubbles has hotspots now on the back of his legs. I have had sleepless nites with Bubbles due to this. I have also tried this oatmeal resi sooth lotion that I got online and it works quite good actually. I just wet the back of his head and rub in about the size of a quarter of this lotion behind his head real good it seems to work for a while.
I bought itonline but you can also get it at the vets.
I hope your kitty cat will be alrite...
Serene
post #12 of 22
I don't know how much prednisone differs between humans and animals, but my understanding is that it can do damage to the liver. I was on prednisone last year about this time for a couple weeks and I never, ever want to see that stuff again. It affected my thinking capacity and my physical well-being.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
I will try all this thanks very much -

1) Purina one - I wonder if they have that in the UK

2) noni lotion - what is that? oh I see I will try and get.

3) she eats dry iams food

4) I will ask the vet about prednisone

5) My house is super clean - my houskeeper vaccums constantly + I have hepa airfilters...

Poor baby has little scabs on her back....she likes me to gently scracth them
post #14 of 22
My Gizmo cat is also going through this. It is mostly on her head/neck/chin area. She just scratches and scratches, until it's raw and bleeding. The vet first thought it was a fungus, he's given her a couple of shots and then I have been trying to get pills down her but it just won't go away. Last week he sedated her and took a sample to send in to the state veternary college. The have now determined that it is alergic dermatitis. I have no idea what she is alergic to, but I am to give her 4 mg methylprednisolone every other day. It is nearly imposssible to get pills down her. I failed last night, I'll probably have to disguise them in tuna. She eats dry Iams multicat food and shares 2 cans a day of Friskies wet food with her two siblings. I believe someone above mentioned that Purina One had helped her cat. What flavor do you use?
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo51 View Post
My Gizmo cat is also going through this. It is mostly on her head/neck/chin area. She just scratches and scratches, until it's raw and bleeding. The vet first thought it was a fungus, he's given her a couple of shots and then I have been trying to get pills down her but it just won't go away. Last week he sedated her and took a sample to send in to the state veternary college. The have now determined that it is alergic dermatitis. I have no idea what she is alergic to, but I am to give her 4 mg methylprednisolone every other day. It is nearly imposssible to get pills down her. I failed last night, I'll probably have to disguise them in tuna. She eats dry Iams multicat food and shares 2 cans a day of Friskies wet food with her two siblings. I believe someone above mentioned that Purina One had helped her cat. What flavor do you use?
Just to let you know, Friskies is not a very good quality food. Perhaps that is why your cat has allergies. I would suggest you try feeding a higher grade food and perhaps that will help.
post #16 of 22
Nakita is currently on Prednisone because she was itching up a storm around her ears and vomiting once a day (only early morning). The vet said possible food allergy/IBS. She's on the lowest dose to calm her system in the meantime to see if the hypoallergenic diet to work (it will take 8-12 weeks). Remember, food allergies can take a long time to develop. Your cat could be on a food and be fine for years but the build up causes a reaction that finally surfaces in itching of the skin.

If Prednisone is used long term it should be monitored closely since it can cause diabetes and liver damage (and have other potential side effects). Most vets do use it short term to give the body a rest while other measures are used (ie: diet trial).

Animalmom, have you tried a food trial? Since parasites have been ruled out, the itching could be a food allergy, environmental allergy or stress/behaviour problem. The vet should be working with you on various trials to figure out what exactly is causing the itching. But be warned, this does take quite some time as I'm now finding out.

You may even want to visit a holistic vet to see what other options are out there to replace the drugs.
post #17 of 22
Hi,
I'm new to the CatSite forums although I've read here many, many
times in the middle of sleepless nights this past summer getting information & support in conjunction with my vet's help
to get 4 stray kittens with URIs well so they could go to good homes.
Thank you all for this great website!

Hadn't thought of actually becoming a member though until I read this
thread about the itchy skin condition that animalmom's 5 yr. old has
because it sounds so much like what my 10 yr. old Misty has had in the
past. And alot of posters have mentioned allergies to fleas and food &
cleaning products but
no one mentioned pesticides (ie. flea medications, household bug
sprays like Raid,ear mite medication). That's what Misty's triggers are. She gets scabby
sores & itches like crazy & her hair falls out. Her last episode was a couple
of years ago & she got so bald & cold (my cats are all strictly indoor cats
but it gets chilly in the house in the winter!) that she'd crawl under the
blankets with me at night to keep warm. She's a grouchy thing but
I'm her best bud since then. And has long since grown her hair back & is
her beautiful self without all the itching & doesn't need medication. As long as we don't spray any bug spray or
treat her with flea/mite products, she's fine.

Hope by the time you read this, animalmom that your kitty is well
again.
post #18 of 22
To the other Gizmo:

Get your cat off Iams immediately...it's what my girl was eating when I got her, and she was allergic to the wheat and the corn in the (very poor quality) food.

Try a new protein source: venison, duck or rabbit foods are available. I have had excellent results with the rabbit. Nature's Prairie and Nature's Logic both make a canned variety; Pets Best, I believe also has canned rabbit and rice; and Nature's Logic kibble is what I feed my own Gizmo.

Chances are that the food is the source of the problem.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmocat View Post
To the other Gizmo:

Get your cat off Iams immediately...it's what my girl was eating when I got her, and she was allergic to the wheat and the corn in the (very poor quality) food.

Try a new protein source: venison, duck or rabbit foods are available. I have had excellent results with the rabbit. Nature's Prairie and Nature's Logic both make a canned variety; Pets Best, I believe also has canned rabbit and rice; and Nature's Logic kibble is what I feed my own Gizmo.

Chances are that the food is the source of the problem.
I did stop feeding her the Iams as well as the Friskies canned. I first got Purina One Chicken & Rice. They all seemed to love it. But I finally got to a Petco and bought Natural Balance vennison & green pea dry and canned. She doesn't eat the dry very good and I am still having to add a bit of the Purina One to get her to eat it. She is still taking the 4 mg methylprednisolone every other day. The itching and scabby crud is still there. I really can't tell that she is doing any better. Maybe some days. I've also given her another dose of Frontline plus. I just want to her to get well and be like she used to be. She hasn't really lost fur other than what is scratched off with scabs. How long did it take for your Gizmo to improve??
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo51 View Post
I did stop feeding her the Iams as well as the Friskies canned. I first got Purina One Chicken & Rice. They all seemed to love it. But I finally got to a Petco and bought Natural Balance vennison & green pea dry and canned. She doesn't eat the dry very good and I am still having to add a bit of the Purina One to get her to eat it. She is still taking the 4 mg methylprednisolone every other day. The itching and scabby crud is still there. I really can't tell that she is doing any better. Maybe some days. I've also given her another dose of Frontline plus. I just want to her to get well and be like she used to be. She hasn't really lost fur other than what is scratched off with scabs. How long did it take for your Gizmo to improve??
Cant answer for GIzmocat... But I have dealt with food allergies times 3 at my house.... Depends on the severity ... If you have severe allergies youll see something usually in about a week( my Zoey it was about three days ) ....
Fur grows in over weeks to a few months ( according to local vets)... Being she is on a heavy duty steriod I would say you may have more than basic food allergies... A FOOD trial should last 8-12 weeks ... that means nothing but the venison and pea food for that time frame ....
post #21 of 22
Quote:
methylprednisolone every other day. The itching and scabby crud is still there. I really can't tell that she is doing any better. Maybe some days. I've also given her another dose of Frontline plus
Could she be allergic to the frontline?
post #22 of 22
I really don't think it is the Frontline. She certainly doesn't get worse when I use it on her.
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