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My cat is so bald, running out of ideas

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm sure the never-ending saga of my cats and allergies has been mentioned before. Lorelei hasn't had an outbreak ever since I finally got the flea problem sorted, but Carter has been progressively getting worse. I'll probably wind up bringing him back to the vet this week, so I wanted some advice to possibly ask the vet about.

All right, you want to know how bald he is right now? He's pretty much completely defurred his underside, most of one of his back legs, and the insides of his front legs. The hair loss is starting to creep up the sides of his body, and working its way around the rest of his legs. I know its him doing it too because I can tell when he's just doing normal grooming and when he's actively sucking hair off because he's quite loud about the latter (natch, he must always make his presence known )

Because the previous depo two months earlier hadn't seemed to stop the problem in the long term, I tried some over the counter skin products to calm his skin, including a few cortisone sprays and then finally a bath with an aloe and oatmeal shampoo. His skin felt a lot softer after that, but he still didn't stop licking his hair off. I took him for another depo two weeks ago when he'd started getting little rashes all over his skin in the balder areas. They got worse over the weekend. He returned to the vet Monday morning for a full checkup and she told me that the rashes were not likely from flea allergy just because of the way they formed and the lack of spine breakout. She gave me two options - either immediately switch him over to prescription food to rule out a food allergy, which she said would take us about three months to know for sure if it was working, or try giving him something for anxiety, which we'd know within 10 days. Obviously I tried the latter. Thank the DOYC, he can't smell these inside the pill pockets and thinks he's getting extra treats every night with his supper. It's been completely painless giving him the pills. At first I thought they were working, then just around the weekend, I started hearing that decisive sucking sound during his grooming. By the end of the weekend, the little bit of peach fuzz he'd started to get on his tummy was stripped clean. The rashes are almost completely gone, however.

So the vet will be calling me when the 10 days are up for evaluation and to be completely sure that this is or isn't working, I'm going ahead to wait until the 10 days are up, especially because the adverse affect this is having on his health is likely a very cold tummy since the rashes are clearing up. But I really want to know if anyone else here can provide me with my ideas of things we can try to clear up Carter's problems. I'm actually afraid to post new pictures of him now because I'm afraid people will think I'm ignoring a serious medical problem, when I'm actually at my wits end trying to help him past it.

Oh, and his energy level hasn't changed a bit. Still cuddles, still attacks moving limbs, still pounces on Lorelei whether she wants to play or not. Seriously, if he wasn't at the point where he looked like he was wearing a bad toupee to stay furry, you'd never know there was anything going on with him.
post #2 of 8
Do the allergy food trial. It takes eight weeks, but it's absolutely necessary to rule that out. And if it is a food allergy, that will solve the problem and you'll be very happy you did it. If it's a food allergy and he keeps eating the thing that's causing the problem, then nothing else you try is going to help much.

You don't have to go prescription for the food allergy trial, either. Natural Balance's two allergy formulas are very good (and virtually identical to the prescription variety, my vet says), and available in both wet and dry. You just have to feed them exclusively and make sure the cat has no other treats or food during the eight weeks.

I did a food trial when my cat first started having problems with colitis. He loved the Natural Balance and seemed quite happy to eat it that whole time... a painless experience.
post #3 of 8
A year ago or so, my Phoebe licked all the fur off her tummy...it was down to scabs. Then she starting licking the insides of her legs....we tried food change and the depo shots....nothing worked. Finally, the Vet gave her a transdermal gel of Amitripilyn which is an anti-anxiety. That worked, and she's not licked her tummy again..except for grooming. It was administered to the inside of each ear, alternating daily. It was formulated based on her weight and age.

My parents cat was losing fur off his legs and tummy too. They are using a Feliway room mister....Mom said he's better. He's only about 6 years old. Phoebe was about 10-11 yrs when she was doing it.

Hope you can find some relief for your kitty.
post #4 of 8
If this is an allergy, all I can see is keep trying until you isolate the allergen. My Stumpy was nearly bald from his shoulders to his tail for years. He never had scabs and never licked the fur off. We ran all sorts of tests and tried all changes to his environment with no success. Within a week after our dog died, his hair grew back and hasn't fallen out since. Stumpy was allergic to one of my dogs (I still have 3 others).

What this proved to me is that allergies come in all shapes and sizes. I had a dog allergic to a wool rug. I had another dog allergic to the laundry detergent that I used to wash his bedding. My BIL's dog was allergic to grass. Sometimes it comes down to trial and error. Rule out things in your environment one by one, starting with changing out the food.

And hang in there. Allergy pets are so challenging!!
post #5 of 8
Are you using a conventional or holistic vet??

have you done blood tests
post #6 of 8
My female cat is highly allergic to fleas, one bite and she's scratching like crazy. She had hot spots all over and lost a lot of her fur. She shivered because she was so bad off. All she would do is jump in a box and not move for hours. The vet gave me Frontline but it didn't do a thing for the itch. I read in a cat magazine about the supplement Evening Primrose. I tried it. I couldn't believe the difference in her. When she got a build up of it in her system the change in her was amazing. Her fur grew in so beautifully. I honestly couldn't believe the change in her. They are gel caps and I put one capsule in her food daily.
post #7 of 8
They gave en Depo for his allergies - it didn't last 48 hrs before he was chewing on his feet again. His file is marked so we don't even bother with it again.
Ask about benadryl - maybe even a short course of prednisone, just to get over the hump.
post #8 of 8
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