Overgrooming help!!! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Overgrooming help!!!

I'm planning on taking Zoee to the vet, but I am trying to do some research and get some ideas in the mean time.

Zoee has had a problem with overgrooming for over a year now. She is almost 11 years old and never had a problem before. It started after I moved to Florida and had been there for almost 6 months. I took her to the vet there. He basically diagnosed her with OCD and sent me home. He said if the condition got worse to bring her back and we could start talking about medications. I bought her spirit essences for OCD. I have used it. Sometimes I think it works, sometimes I don't.

I have noticed now that she has 2 new spots on the both of her back legs. She already has spots she has overgroomed on her front legs and tummy. She is not completely bald in the spots, but the fur is very thin in those areas.

I know it is not a food allergy or at least I am pretty sure. She eats California Natural and Innova. The lady at the pet store told me that is as pure as you can get.

Anyone have any suggestions on anything else it could be other than OCD or any ideas on how to stop the behavior??
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 08:28 PM
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It could be hormonal. I believe that one is diagnosed by exclusion-it's the only thing left after everything else has been excluded.
Flea allergy?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 08:39 PM
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I wouldn't rule out food allergies just cause she' on good foods. She could still be allergic to something in them. What is the grain content? Have you tried aa allergy diet at all to see if it helps?
It could be OCD but I think that's usually just a cop out diagnosis and the chance of it being some sort of allergy is a lot higher. And, as Jennifer said, it could be flea allergies. I know the fleas in Florida are horrible!

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Nope. No Fleas. They checked when I took her to the vet in Florida. Which now was over a year ago. I check them all regularly when I groom them.

What bothers me is that it isn't consitent. She has had bouts where most of her fur is all grown back and then it stats again. That is why I haven't taken her back to the vet. I'm trying to be consitent with the spirit essences now too. I thought for a while it ight have been the wellness I was feeding in the rotation, but I haven't feed that in 2 months.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 08:43 PM
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you could try EVO to see if it's the grains.
Korbel had a problem with excessive grooming that turned out to be an old bite wound festering under the skin. It abcessed one day!
But that was very specific to one spot.
Is it scabby at all?
How is the skin underneath?
Is it symmetrical or asymmetrical in pattern?
Does she itch it at all, or just lick it?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 09:06 PM
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Regardless of what the reason, that is so awlful for her. I can't imagine being that tortured. I'm sure it pains you witness.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Yes it definitly does. It is really starting to stress me now, because it looks worse. I told her I am going to start tearing my hair out if she doesn't stop....LOL

It is symetrical. I think...that is the same right?? She has one spont on the backside of each front leg. Then she has spots on her bottom area...both legs under her tail. I guess you could say her butt...lol. Her tummy is also very thin too. I'll try and get some good pictures of her tomorrow. She is sleeping atop the cat tree right now
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 09:37 PM
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Symmetrical means mirror image. So not only on both legs, but on the same spot on both legs.

I'm sure that someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that symmetrical usually means it's an internal thing (i.e. hormonal). I guess OCD could be hormonal in nature also-maybe some altered brain chemistry or something. Usually things like fleas, bite wounds, other external things wouldn't be symmetrical-they'd be more random.

I think a vet visit is your only option. If you feel like the vet is just brushing you off, either push the issue or get a second opinion.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Welp I was researching overgrooming like crazy last night. It seems that if it is OCD than it is symetrical. But it could also be an allergy. Most likely not.

The spots are the same on both legs, back and front.

There were some suggestions in all the stuff I read, but not too much.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 11:30 AM
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My cat does this as well. I called the vet about 4 months ago when I first noticed and they said it's probably a flea allergy. I told them she doesn't have fleas and is strictly an indoor cat, but they informed me that some cats are so clean they tend to hide fleas very well. Also, it may not be that she has fleas, but one bite can drive some cats to perform this OCD type behavior. I went ahead and treated her with Frontline, then about a week later I bathed her in a shampoo to help with dry skin (Magic Coat Cat/Kitten Tearless Shampoo). It definitely got better for a while, but about a month ago she started at it again. This time it was symmetrical spots on her chest (before it was various spots on her sides and belly). I didn't have any Frontline, so I bathed her last week and she has stopped again (thank goodness she doesn't mind being in water).
She's due for a visit to the vet for a booster shot so I plan on asking more about it when we go.
About the food...I've had her on Wellness (wet) for about 10 months now, and the behavior didn't start until 6 months after changing her diet. So I pretty much ruled out the food. Actually her coat became much softer and shiny once I started her on the Wellness.
Once my baby goes to the Vet I'll let you know if they have any more useful information.
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