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My 14 year old cat has always overgroomed herself a BIT on her front inner legs. It has never progressed beyond that. She is "low man on the totem pole" in our 7 cat family but she seems unstressed and happy for the most part. Recently though she has been plucking her fur off of her back legs and rear end/flank area... getting progressively balder in areas.

Not sure if it's related but she had a broken tooth and subsequent antibiotics about two weeks ago. This is about when things started to escalate. She really DOES seem happy and content so I'm a bit nervous and confused about what is going on. I can't really say for sure if she has lost any weight, she still looks and feels good, but she is getting that old cat muscle wasting look.

In case it was a flea allergy, I treated her with frontline 3 days ago with no positive results.

Has anyone dealt with this before? I'm off to the vet with her tomorrow. I'm hoping they don't just put her on steroids. She has NO scabs, redness, flakiness or anything on her skin.

I realize this could be behavioral but considering her age and sudden onset, I'm worried it is a health issue. Either way, I wish to make her as comfortable and happy in her senior years. I'm thinking I should definitely ask for some basic bloodwork. Anything other ideas?

P.S. If it is behavioral, I am open to any all natural remedies!
 

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CT Cat, always remember that "they" cannot put the cat on steroids without your consent. Be sure they justify any proposed treatment with the potential benefits versus the potential adverse effects. Then you can make an informed decision. However, I agree, putting a 14 year old cat on steroids is not the best initial solution. If the vet feels that allergies are a factor, a hypoallergenic diet is the first step.

If she has a broken tooth, 2 weeks of antibiotics aren't going to fix it. If it's a pulp fracture, the tooth needs to be extracted. A broken tooth with exposed pulp is *Extremely* painful and could be a major contributor to the problem.

If bloodwork and check-up reveal no physical reason for the obsessive-compulsive grooming, flower essences and other holistic treatments could be very helpful. BUT you have to rule out a physical cause first!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"If she has a broken tooth, 2 weeks of antibiotics aren't going to fix it. If it's a pulp fracture, the tooth needs to be extracted. A broken tooth with exposed pulp is *Extremely* painful and could be a major contributor to the problem."

Yikes! :shock: Thanks for the info. Dr. Jean! We'll definitely address that first. I'll want bloodwork before she goes under anesthesia anyway, so we'll be able to take care of two things at once.
 
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