Mable is a sweet, lap-loving, three-year-old Calico who lives indoors with no other animals but my wife & I. Ever since we got her about a year-and-a-half ago, she's suffered from a skin irritation that seems to wax and wane unpredictably; she'll be fine for four to six weeks, and then she'll slowly develop the following symptoms:
- Crusty, hard scabs form beneath the fur around her neck, especially in the area beneath her ears and at the top of her rib cage/bottom front of her neck. Occasionally they form on her lower jaw line or cheek, too.
- The scabs may take a week or more to mature and detach, and they often take a lock of fur with them.
- Mable shows no sign of discomfort during the flare-up; it seems not to bother her at all.
- The scabs often appear in small "colonies," grouped along one side of her neck or the other, or at the base of her skull.
- The scabs are perhaps a quarter-inch across or less.
- The scabs sometimes begin as small, linear, red fissures and then develop into blotchy, hard and roughly round forms.
- The scabs are not correspondent with laceration from her hind claws.
But the fur has always grown back and, as I say, even the worst flare-up hasn't appreciably changed her behaviour. Here's some photos I took on the occasion of a rare flare-up at the top of her head.
Here's some context:
...and a close-up:
This time, her top-of-head fur suddenly started coming off (the problem usually manifests around the neck and beneath the ears), in clumps revealing the pink cat skin below. Shortly thereafter, fissures began to form, some of which healed without incident and some of which eventually formed blotchy scabs as described above.
Our veterinarian reckoned Mable had a food allergy and put her on a diet of "potato and duck" -based food available only from her office and at great expense. After a couple of bags, it didn't appear to make any difference and she hated it. Then I found out our vet recommends "potato and duck" -based solutions for a wide variety of problems and complaints. I'm therefor not convinced the food allergy diagnosis is accurate.
What do you make of it?