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Itchy skin

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
When we rescued Chester (a starving, injured stray)in March, he had very little fur and his skin was covered with raw spots. After an injection (I think it was cortisone) and a good diet, his fur is back and most of the raw spots are gone. However, he still has a few remaining itchy spots.

The problem is that now the other cats are itchy...and Maggie was itching so badly that she became depressed and stopped purring. I took Maggie to the vet, she got an injection of white liquid which made her sick, but the itching has improved.

Since Maggie and the others seemed to have caught something itchy from Chester, the question is what is causing the itchiness????

The vet took a flouroscope (Is that the right name) and did not see any fungal infections in Maggie. He pulled off some scabs and scraped some skin so he could try to culture whatever it is, but a week later, nothing grew.

So, I need ideas....could everyone have developed an allergy all at once? (I did change to Science Diet because the other food gave Chester the runs.) Is there something besides ringworm that would be contagious? (They don't have fleas.)

post #2 of 14
The only thing I can think of right now would be some sort of liceor mites, which would not show on a fungal culture. The shots they are getting are probably a steriod. On the down side of that, lots of time the real problem is ignored and you are still left to find a reason for the itching.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Sandie, what would we look for to see whether mites are the problem? The vet specifically ruled out mange (thank goodness!) but did not talk about any other mite-like problem.

I am going to PetsMart tomorrow and will buy a lamb and rice food to see whether that might help....who knows, perhaps it is the Science Diet that is causing the problem.
post #4 of 14
Well fur mites usually will look kinda like salt and pepper. Usually they hang out along the top and hindquarters.
Hopefully it is the food and you can end your worries. It is sometimes difficult to pinpoint the ingredient that may be causing the allergy. If not, you can look into a possible allergen in the house somewhere. With all of them itching, it has to be something they all have come into contact with. Let me know how the food change goes.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
I just stumbled across this site. It is jammed with information about itchy skin.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
We finally found out why Chester is so itchy. I had to go to another vet in a town about 45 minutes away to get a diagnosis. (This vet would actually listen to me, unlike the vets where I live!) Chester has demodicosis (if I'm spelling that correctly). This is rare in cats and occurs when the immune system is down. It turns out Chester is also diabetic. Here's a link that tells about this problem if anyone is interested.


Chester has had 3 lime & sulpher dips so far. Boy, does it stink!!!! Has anyone had experience with this kind of dip in the past???????
post #7 of 14
Don't remind me! We had a baby lamb rescued once that had scabies. Poor thing had to be dipped in this awful stuff! The good thing was she was in the barn and not the house, so we didn't have to smell her all the time. I kept rubbing her down with straw to try and keep the odor to a minumun! I am glad you found the problem, though wish it had been a simpler fix! I have a cat with diabetes and tons of links so if you need them just give me a holler and I will pass them on to you.
post #8 of 14
I've never had any of my cats have demodex before but my dog is currently fighting it. While it's common for puppies or young dogs to develop it, it's rare for an older dog to have an outbreak and her doctor is still trying to figure out the cause.He thinks there maybe some underlying health problem causing it.

You're right the dip stinks! So far she's only had 2 dips and hopefully that will be it as long as it seems to heal up. And it's SO itchy. My poor girl itched herself raw.

I hope everything will be fine for Chester. Has the vet started to try and regulate his blood sugar yet? Best wishes to the both of you.
post #9 of 14
OMG my nightmare! I've never had a pet with scabies...but I had it once!!!!! As a child of about 10, our school took us to a nursing home and we all caught scabies. It was so horrible. I truly empathize with your infected furries!
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Chester is soooo miserable. I don't know whether the itching or the dip is worse.

His diabetes is pretty mild. He is now on Science Diet W/D. Initially he was getting two pills a day to control his glucose levels, but that dropped it too low, so now he's on 1 pill daily. I suspect that we will be able to discontinue the meds and just use the modified diet to control his diabetes, because even on just one pill daily he is pretty lethargic. He gets his blood tested again tomorrow to check his glucose level.

Poor guy!
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well.....after several weeks of blood checks, it is clear that Chester doesn't have diabetes after all. But.....he had developed a huge cyst full of puss on his back (I thought it might have been a cancerous lump...whew!). With this and the mites, the vet is sure that Chester's immune system is compromised. But...he can't figure out why (we thought it was the diabetes, but I guess not). Although Chester was checked for FIV and FeLuk by the old vet we are testing him again today just in case. He's also going to do another screening of his blood to see if he can find anything out-of-wack.

I am praying that Chester is not FIV or FeLuk positive, because my other purely indoor cats have not been vaccinated for this since I learned of the cancer/vaccine connection. Sigh.......

Please keep Chester in your thoughts.
post #12 of 14
I am sure Chester is going to be okay. It's possible for his immune system to be down even if he doesn't have any of the serious virus's.
Do you know how old Chester is?
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Sandie!

Luckily Chester tested negative for FIV and FeLuk. Whew! His blood panel was completely normal.

The previous vet placed his age at 8 or 9 years. He was in horrible shape when we rescued him....he had a badly healed broken leg, a broken lower canine, he was starving (he couldn't hunt with the broken leg), and his fur was missing. He actually looked so bad that I thought we would have to put him down, but the vet said he was just starving and allergic to something. Initially, I fed him Cat Chow, but that gave him the runs. Once I put him on Science Diet, he plumped up and has been in relatively great shape (except his itchies) since then.

Anyway, the skin scraping done yesterday was clear of mites. We will dip Chester twice more to be on the safe side. Hopefully this will take care of the problem.
post #14 of 14
Hurray for Chester - poor guy went through so much already - and now he found an angle like you.

When he is on the up and up again would love to see some pictures.
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