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Siamese overgrooming-allergy or stress?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My 6 yr old Siamese mix Viola has been overgrooming herself. She is missing some hair on her back leg and now has some wounds on the inside and back of the same leg.

My vet thinks it's due to stress. I have a rather needy 11-month old kitten who she doesn't like but seems to be tolerating better. (Less hissing and growling).

I suggested it might be an allergy because she seems itchy. The vet gave me some antihistames. She seems calmer and it might be my imagination but the wounds seem to be healing.

What could she be allergic to? Should I try changing her food? She currently eats Proplan Salmon and rice wet and Purina One dry.

Any suggestions? If it's stress the vet suggested prozac. Should I do that? Would there be side effects?
post #2 of 13
Gosh, I'm not one for giving cats prozac so I'd try different foods first. Sharky is our resident expert when it comes to food/nutrition/allergy foods.

My cats don't like any fish and it's not very good for them anyway. Your cat may have an allergy to the salmon. I'm just guessing so wait for Sharky and hopefully she can guide you to a food that would possibly contain less allergens.
post #3 of 13
It could also be a mix of stress and allergies.

Basically if it's allergies and overgrooming becomes a behavioural pattern from that it becomes quite likely that she'll start overgrooming if she's stressed as well in addition to the allergy part.

Anyway I would hold off on the prozac for a bit.

My cat has a chronic overgrooming problem, it comes and goes. My Nikita's definately allergic to pork, some food additives and rabbit most likely (she was fed a lot of rabbit as a kitten by her breeder). She can also 'break' out with an overgrooming spot if there is extra stress.

The most helpful thing I've found apart from being careful with her diet is an antibacterial steroid ointment. Basically overgrooming wounds can really easily become infected because they are usually very moist. This goes double if the area is one that doesn't air dry easily. An infected wound will become itchy and sore which then makes the cat lick it more, cue vicious cycle.

The antibacterial steroid ointment cuts down on itching etc. from the steroid part and then helps with infections with the antibacterial part. Cats are quite resilient when it comes to steroids, especially if it's a topical cream. I need to wear plastic gloves when I put it on her though.

Anyway a course of that twice a day for a week will usually clear up her wound and the hair will start growing back.

Nikita still has occasional relapses if she gets into ham that fell on the floor or if something extra stressful happens but most of the time things are fine. We seem to have settled into roughly 3 outbreaks a year or so so that's not too bad all things considered since it's usually over after a week.

If it's stress running something like feliway will help. Those are basically cat feelgood pheromones, a bit like a hot drink and a warm blanket on a rainy day. Not drugs but still help relax and feel better.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
"The most helpful thing I've found apart from being careful with her diet is an antibacterial steroid ointment. Basically overgrooming wounds can really easily become infected because they are usually very moist. This goes double if the area is one that doesn't air dry easily. An infected wound will become itchy and sore which then makes the cat lick it more, cue vicious cycle.

The antibacterial steroid ointment cuts down on itching etc. from the steroid part and then helps with infections with the antibacterial part. Cats are quite resilient when it comes to steroids, especially if it's a topical cream. I need to wear plastic gloves when I put it on her though."


Is that available over the counter or from the vet? He did mention steroid shots but was concerned about side effects. Bladder infections and diabetes. Viola seems to be sensitive with meds. She had a bad reaction to a change in antibodic medication. Stopped eating for 3 days. Very scary.
post #5 of 13
I've gotten the topical cream from the vet, it's not available over the counter.

It's a lot milder than a steroid shot since it mostly just affects the skin directly, which is also where it's needed.

Also if there's an adverse reaction it's a lot easer to stop putting the ointment on than it is to undo a steroid shot given at the vets. I.e the ointment needs to be put on twice a day and it takes a few days to really kick in.

The exact brand I get from Nikita's vet is: Fuciderm - carbomer gel for dogs, 15g

So clearly it's manufactured for dogs but it's been fine for her and really helped alot. Also the vet I go to is a cat only vet and they're really dedicated so I fully trust them on that.

ETA: I'm not a vet and all that etc. so of course talk everything through with your vet.

Having said that the ointment has really helped me and Nikita out, she overgrooms on her inner front legs, right in her armpit so it doesn't dry easily at all and can get badly infected if not treated. That happened only in a serious way the very first time it happened and I didn't know how to deal with it and didn't notice it right away since the armpit in cats is quite hidden away really. I've become absolutely paranoid in checking her out thoroughly regularily to make sure her skin is all ok.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks I'll call the vet. This is why I love this site!!
post #7 of 13
A food allergy in a cat usually results in an itchy face and neck. The cat will scratch these areas or rub their face to ease the itching.

What you describe does sound like overgrooming from stress. Pretty classic case actually. You might try Rescue Remedy on Viola. Do you use Feliway diffusers? If not you might want to try those. I have had good results with Feliway, especially if I have a new cat in the house.

for Viola.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've tried Feliway before and not noticed any change. But I did run out lately maybe that's the change. It was working and I didn't notice. I assume I can get Rescue Remedy at Petsmart or the like?
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittiesHasMe View Post
A food allergy in a cat usually results in an itchy face and neck. The cat will scratch these areas or rub their face to ease the itching.

What you describe does sound like overgrooming from stress. Pretty classic case actually. You might try Rescue Remedy on Viola. Do you use Feliway diffusers? If not you might want to try those. I have had good results with Feliway, especially if I have a new cat in the house.

for Viola.
I was going to ask about the Feliway and rescue remedy ... the other option is to discuss chamomile tea with the vet ( NOTE ONLY use with vet help)... most pet stores have RR not thinking I have seen it in the big box ones... human health stores also have it ... Feliway can take up to 8 weeks to see an effect

NO allergies to food can manifest in MANY ways ... typically it is anal itching and poop or eating issues before actual scratching

the foods you are feeding have food colorings , excessive corn , animal by products and many other grains.. if you tell me the exact ones I will attempt to look up for you..
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckatz View Post
I assume I can get Rescue Remedy at Petsmart or the like?
Ckatz - I've never used Rescue Remedy, so I don't know whether it will be helpful, but I have seen it at Whole Foods. It's expensive, but I don't think you use a lot at a time.

Good luck with your girl!
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
She is mostly eating Proplan Salmon & rice wet food. And Purina One as a bedtime treat. She is a fussy eater. I've tried Merrick, Chicken Soup etc.

I'll try the Feliway and RR. I think I get them on the way home tonight. Poor baby-she just doesnt like her little brother.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
NO allergies to food can manifest in MANY ways ... typically it is anal itching and poop or eating issues before actual scratching
Thanks, Sharky. That's good to know.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
ok I got the Rescue Remedy. Not bad $9. How much do I give her? Can I mix it with her food?

It seems to me her wounds are healing ever since I gave her the antihistimens ( sorry I can't spell).
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