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Discussion Starter #1
Hello felow kitty lovers! I have been looking around your forum for a while now, and decided maybe i could use everyone's opinion on something.

My cat Chewy, (whom I raised from birth, along with her 4 siblings) just turned 1 year old a week ago, and i am concerned about her hair loss.

It all started last summer when i noticed her biting herself and cleaning so profusley that her hair would fall out. She had big bald spots on her that were scabby and would often bleed. This made it undesirable for people to pet her, and I could tell it hurt her feelings to see her siblings getting more attention than her so often.

She seems happy, and acts healthy. She eats good (I have them on a diet of Cat Chow and 1 can of "Special Kitty" a day), and all her siblings are healthy and show no signs of this. This being said, I doubt this is contagious. Most of you are probably thinking the same thing my vet did... "She has fleas".... BUT, they are indoor cats and have VERY few fleas, if any at all, and were treated for fleas when they reached the right age. (I was very thorough with taking care of them when they were babies, all shots, immunizations, deworming, flea treatment, etc. were taken care of)

When winter came, her hair started growing back, and i noticed her digging at herself less and less. So i decided taking her to the vet was useless, as no signs were being shown anymore. Plus, I have very little money to spend and must only use it on important things like shots, etc.

Unfortunatly, she has started this once again, and i thought before submitting myself to the awful cost of my vet, i would check in and see if maybe anyone else's cats have experienced anything similar to this:



Any help would be greatly appreciated! And I know Chewbacca would be very grateful. (She hates the vet!)
 

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I also think fleas, considering it disappeared during winter and returned during summer. BUT, it could also be allergies. Or a serious skin condition. I suggest going to a vet and have her skin tested for diseases and things.
 

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Poor baby! I am sorry I have no advice to offer...

Would your vet accept 50% payment with the balance paid in full over 30 days? My vet did that for me when my dog was injured!
It is worth a phone call to ask. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all so very much for your replies!

To BoscosMum- My vet will see her, but if she needs any medication I must pay on the spot. This happened to me when i took her in at 4 weeks for a respiratory infection. I think it's wrong to do that. It's not her fault I'm broke!

To Queen of Nile- I haven't ever thought about flea dirt. But is it possible for her to have it even if she has been indoors all her life and has no fleas?
 

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Well, you mentioned in the above post that they have few fleas if any. The fleas could be hopping from one cat to the other. It could take only a few fleas to cause her to itch if she is allergic to their excretions. As Aonir said, this could also explain why it lessens during the winter. Do you have a dog? If so, fleas could be coming in on another animal and then spreading to your kitty.
The best thing to do for her, however, is take her to the vet. It looks like it makes her uncomfortable. When your vet told you it was fleas, what was their recommendation for you to do? It sounds like the vet has seen her in this condition before. Did they do nothing then?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I called them once and asked them about it, they then told me to treat her for fleas. So i did as they asked, and killed the few fleas that she had, but the flea spray seemed to irritate her more.

I am most afraid that this is the cause of something I did when she was a kitten. We had to bathe them often, and we used Dawn dish soap (many resources recommended it), and i fear maybe it did something to her skin????
 

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I would lean towards allergy. Having just gone through a strange balding experience with my own cat, the Vet and I explored all the possibilities of baldness (allergy, ringworm, fleas, depression...and on and on, very expensive).

Since it was gone in winter and it's an indoor cat, without fleas, I would think allergy. If it's an allergy, you could treat it with hydrocortizone cream.

When we thought Kitty's baldness was caused by allergies, my vet, who's great, had me try the cream. She said that she could sell me some made specifically for cats, but she said it was identical to what was sold for people, only more expensive. So she had me just buy it at walmart for 3 dollars. The 5% hydrocortizone cream.

Of course, my cats baldness wasn't caused by allergies, so the cream didn't work and we moved onto other things. But, maybe you could just try the cream and see if it helps. Maybe Dr. Jean could comment on whether or not it could hurt the kitty. If it wouldn't hurt anything, (even if it doesn't solve the problem), at least it would be cheap to try it.
 

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Does she go outside?

My parents old cat used to have this condition, and the vets always said fleas (even though we could never find any). The problem would go away in winter as well. When she got older we kept her inside and the problem went away.

During the last few years, poison ivy has crept up more and more on their property. That was my hypothesis anyway - getting into poison ivy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No, as I said previously, My cats are indoor cats. There may be the rare ocassion where one will get out by accident, but it's too rare of an ocassion to assume that is the reason.
 

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If there's a flea allergy, it only takes a single flea bite to produce a violent and long-lasting reaction. However, flea allergy outbreaks tend to hit around the base of the tail and the face.

This, however, is in the area where vaccines are sometimes given (though they shouldn't be!). That makes me worry a little about a vaccine reaction.

I would NOT recommend using any human over-the-counter medications on her. If you do, your vet will may be unable to diagnose the problem, because of the changes that the medication will make in the tissue.

Also, while she eats well, she is on a very poor diet. If you do a search on this forum, I'm sure you'll find TONS of info on better food for her. Here's an article to get you started:
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... w&item=004

I've treated a couple of cats that were self-mutilating in this area, and it was extremely difficult to control. And I'm a vet! So please don't try to deal with this on your own; she looks miserable and needs immediate attention. If she were a human child, you would have her to the doctor like yesterday, so please don't delay.

Good luck!
Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, so I have a vet appointment for Saturday, i thought since it was time for their yearly anyhow, might as well knock out 2 birds with one stone.

Thanks alot for the advice Dr.Jean. I didn't think her diet was bad.

Will reply saturday evening and let everyone know how it all goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
UPDATE!!!

I took them all to the vet on saturday like I planned, and it turns out Chewy has an infection that is the result from scratching. And yes, as previously though, it was a flea allergy that caused all the scratching rucus. So I am treating her for fleas monthly, and am also giving her and Pete (turns out he has it too) antibiotics to help the infection heal so the hair will grow back. The vet told me that her immune system is too weak to fight off both the allergy and infection (probably because they didn't get all the nutrients and antibodies from their mother's milk because she died too soon and they were raised on Milk Replacer)

Also, i found out they have tapeworms! :eek: EWWWWWWWWWW! So I got that taken care of immediatly. For some reason the idot vet thought he could get a pill into my cats' mouths. Must not know my cats very well. So we went with the dewormer injection.

Anyways, thanks all for your help once again! Hope this thread helps someone in the future. :D
 

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I am so glad to hear about your vet visit!!! It is a great feeling to have all of that taken care of, isnt it?
Maybe we can see an after pic of Chewy's fur once it grows back!
YAY!!! Thats great to know what the problem is and now you can concentrate on healing it! :D

Good job!!!
 

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I am having a similar problem with my Siamese cat, Renton. Almost a month ago, I noticed he was scratching his ears and he had stopped eating. This was a few days before I introduced our new cat, Hermione, into the family.

My vet thought it might be allergy-related, so we changed his food (I was feeding him IAMS; I changed to Nutro Natural Balance after digesting this forum) and he gave him a mild steroid shot. His ears cleared up and has eaten like a pig ever since. He has adjusted well to Hermione; he doesn't like her to touch him but they enjoy chasing each other; they don't fight at all.

Yesterday I noticed some patches on his stomach that were missing hair and looked scabbed and weepy; he was also itching his ears again. We went back to the vet again today (this time we saw the good vet) and he also thinks it's allergy related; probably environmental. He didn't seem to think Renton was stressed out over Hermione; they get along all right and he's eating.

The vet mentioned treatments like along-term steroid shot or an anti-depressant but he thought they were too drastic. He gave Renton another of the steroid shots and gave me some Prednisone tablets to feed Renton on a varying dosage.

They are 5 mg pills which I am to give him once a day for four days then one tablet every other day for four treatments, then one tablet twice weekly until finished. The vet is hoping that by the end of the steroid treatment he will be past the allergies.

What do y'all think of this treatment? I know how allergies work; I'm a long-time sufferer and I hate it when they give me prednisone. I'm scared that the steroids are only going to be a temporary fix and will not resolve anything, not really.

Should I get a second opinion? Should I stop giving him his bath every other week, or hunt up a different shampoo? I can imagine how Renton feels and I know it's uncomfortable. What's a kitty mom to do with her itchy baby?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, i tried everything that could be done without vet care Nautile. Nothing really seemed to help. I gave my Chewy baths too, and it turned out the baths dried out her skin and only made it worse. Even with those special shampoos. I don't know how to treat an allergy that has not been found yet. But compared to the extreme condition Chewy's skin was in and just a small treatment like this, I do think that steroids and prednisone may be a little over-doing it. Of course i probably don't know what i am talking about. :lol:
 

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I suppose I'll stop the baths for now and see how he does. Is there another way to keep Renton relatively clean? I give my cats baths because I'm allergic to them :( , so it's worth the struggle for me.

How do y'all keep your cat hair and dander at a minimum without bathing? I've tried combing, but Renton thinks it's something attacking him.
 

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I dont think that bathing will help your allergies...because cat allergies are not caused from cat hair! What you are allergic to is cat dander which comes from a cats saliva....the saliva dries after they groom themsleves, turns into dander and floats into the air.
I would think all the bathing would cause more grooming and licking.

Others correct me if I am way off base here...
 
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