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Flea allergy? Dermatitis? Who knows!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi folks. Long-time lurker, first-time poster.

Pumpkin is the 4-year old spayed female which we picked-up from the local humane society about a year and a half ago. Weighs-in at 12.5 pounds, has always had a little bit of dandruff around her tail on her back.

About 6 months ago, her skin started getting the "heebie jeebies" when you'd touch her back, it would crawl. Then she started itching, overly grooming and yacking-up hairballs daily, so it was straight to the vet. Ever since we've had her she never coughed-up hairballs, even though she's a medium-hair.

The vet looked at her skin, said "looks like dermatitis with some mild sores that are scabby" and prescribed an antibiotic (Clavamox) and gave her an injection to stop the itching. He also had me switch her to Hills z/d to rule-out a food allergy. She was great for about 3 weeks and it started to come back again with the itching and the grooming so we went back again.

This time, another injection. Stronger antibiotics but in a pill form (Baytril) this time (last time it was liquid on her food). Well, she's still barfing up hairballs since it's spring and it's shedding time, so she's not keeping the pills down. Now she's licking/biting her fur off and has bare spots on her haunches with little red bumps that get crusty.

Now everything I'm finding says that this is most likely a flea allergy - dermatitis or the miliary deal - 80% is a flea allergy. My wife has noticed a couple bites on herself when she's on the couch, too. But the vet never ran a flea comb.

I dunno... I'm seeing little dark specks near her skin - they're pretty hard to miss. I put a drop of water on one and it turned orangey.

The big scariness is that since the antibiotics and the new food, Pumpkin has been drinking water like it's going out of style. Peeing a whole lot. Poops are normal. Peeing outside the litter box, too - we gotta scoop that thing 3 times a day to keep it clean.

So here's the plan - she's got a vet visit this afternoon. Going to get a new litter box, fresh litter, new litter pad.

Not really sure the goal of my post - just wanted to share. If anyone has any ideas or thoughts, please post - I'll give an update later. Thanks!
post #2 of 5
It does sound as though you have fleas - well not you specifically, but your kitty. The black spot that when wet turns orange is blood and a pretty sure sign of fleas. Ask your vet for Advantage or Revolution (Revolutions takes care of some worm like roundworm as well as fleas) which is applied monthly to the back of the head (where kitty can't lick). You will need to rid your carpeting and furniture of fleas as well but if the cat is being treated this will happen over time. I would recommend you get some diatomaceous earth (DE) from your local garden centre to sprinkle in your carpets and furniture, then sweep it down into the fibres. It's like a fine powder made of crushed diatoms (microscopic sea creatures) and it cuts the exoskeleton of insects and kills them. The beauty of DE is that it is perfectly safe for mammals, in fact if your cats ingested some DE it would kill any internal parasites they may have.

If your cat has/had fleas, the chances of them having tapeworm are also pretty good since tapeworms are usually the result of cats licking themselves and ingesting fleas.
post #3 of 5
The dark specks are Flea dirt. Coco reacts to Fleas that way of course she is Allergic to so much stuff. Can you put Frontline,Adavantage or Revalution on her. Those should work well.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Just got back from vet - this time he DID find the flea dirt! Yaaaaay!

Revolution for kitty and a shot to calm the itch - all set.
post #5 of 5
Originally Posted by rj dio View Post
Just got back from vet - this time he DID find the flea dirt! Yaaaaay!

Revolution for kitty and a shot to calm the itch - all set.
Excellent. Everyone will now feel better.
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