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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2008, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
 
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skin allergy

I am new to the forum and hope I can find informative responses to my problem. I have two cats (litter mates) with skin problems. One, however, constantly overgrooms, licking and chewing, and licking his hair off his pretty body (no sores -- yet). Both of them have heart problems and are on atenolol, so putting him on another medication to treat the skin allergy is problematic.

I also figure this problem has been discussed often in this forum. If someone can guide me to those posts, I'd appreciate it.

My vet has suggested putting him on methyl-prenisilone to try and cut the cycle of overgrooming. My concern is that this steroid makes him gain weight (we had him on prednisone before). We've also discussed an antihistimine, but again, it compromises the heart.

I've thought about itch-stop wipes, but don't know if they work or not (anyone tried it?). They are on the most "basic" of dry foods, California Natural. I'm starting to add Pairie Lamb and Oatmeal to their diet to see if, by any chance, a change in food will help.

My boys are farm cats: indoors (at night) and outside, otherwise. My vet thinks it is flea allergy, but admits it could be anything environmental. NONE of the flea meds seem to work anymore.

It is very frustrating and I'm here to see if there are other suggestions. I prefer natural remedy, if possible, and have even thought about Vit E.

Any posts or additional suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2008, 10:36 AM
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Re: skin allergy

I was going to suggest a food change to an alternative protein since chicken and fish can be allergens for cats. The lamb is a good choice, unfortunately, Nature's Variety also contains fish. I would suggest a trial with something like Natural Balance venison or duck (& green pea).

You might want to think about a homemade raw diet. This would give you complete control. If it works, you can then add in additional foods and see if there is a reaction.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2008, 01:57 PM
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Re: skin allergy

I'm with Lisa on the raw food diet., There have been some great results when a cat that has suffered from skin allergies is swapped from commerical food to a all raw one.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2008, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: skin allergy

We did the raw diet for awhile, but it didn't show any difference. And, he gets his own raw diet when he catches voles, moles, squirrels and the like. I think that's why my vet leans toward a flea allergy or other environmental source.

I know it will be difficult to assess, but I thought someone on this forum might have gone through the overgrooming/patchy hair syndrome and I could at least read their regimen.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2008, 04:15 PM
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Re: skin allergy

Have you done any environmental allergy testing? For example, Allie's cat Toby is allergic to dust mites and breaks out and loses his fur. That should tell you if it's fleas or something else.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2008, 05:08 PM
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Re: skin allergy

Have you tried the Frontline, Advantage or Revolution treatment for fleas? They are much more effective than over-the-counter flea meds.

Environmental allergy testing can be expensive but of course if it tells you what the problem is you can take steps to at least reduce the amount of allergen.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2008, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: skin allergy

Frontline used to help, but does nothing now. Nothing. They stay on the Revolution (or Bayer's equivalent) throughout the year for fleas/heartworms.

We've not done the environmental testing. I think my vet knows it is too expensive and so far, my cat doesn't have open sores. Just patchy hair.

What I am looking for is a natural remedy to stop him from licking so much, if possible. To break the cycle.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2008, 06:29 PM
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Re: skin allergy

The problem is, if you don't know the underlying cause, it's just a shot in the dark to solve it. You can spend a lot of money on various products that don't help and still have no solution.

Here a good article on causes of alopecia, as you can see there are multitudes of possibilities:

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm ... icleid=195

In addition to medical reasons, over grooming can also be stress related. Have there been any significant changes in your living arrangements? Moved? New person or pet move in? Someone move out? Loss of another pet? All of these can be stressful for a cat and can cause over grooming.

And in a "gee I should have thought of this sooner" moment, I just looked up the side effects of the medication he's on....didn't find much on cats, but it seems hair loss and skin issues are rare, but have occurred in humans (See page 2 of the link below). So maybe changing his med would be an option (if there's an alternative).

http://blood-pressure.emedtv.com/atenol ... fects.html


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Holly, Misty & their friend, Jake, the dog.
Onyx, Callie May, Maggie & Kobi forever in my heart.
Yes, I know I need a new signature pic...someday...
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-05-2008, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: skin allergy

Doodlebug: Maggie, Holly and Kobi are gorgeous. Thanks for the information. I have also been on line to determine which products contain permethrins (toxic) and pyrethrins (nontoxic, at least what I've read) to help repel fleas.

I've read a lot today about flea allergy, and the symptoms for my Arte are right on the mark. I put Advocate on them each month, but wondered if an additional pyrethrin product would help or is necessary?
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