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The main reason I wanted to join catforum was to hopefully get some opinions from fellow cat lovers with more experience on kitty health. We have a 6 (possibly 7~ish) year old short hair tuxedo boy with a very serious skin issue going on now. He has been overgrooming himself for about 8 months now, and most extremely over the past month.

I moved in with my boyfriend and his cat about 9 months ago. He had had an ear infection which led to a lot of scratching which led to a hematoma on his ear. We took him to the vet, got it removed and afterwards he was still scratching his ears and the area above his eyes. We put neosporin on his little scabs and over time, he just left them alone and all the hair and whiskers grew back.

Shortly after that, we noticed he'd started licking a small patch of hair bald here and there around his belly and flanks. Then each month, the problem got worse and the patches got larger. Over this last month, it has been the absolute worst and his belly is completely bald as well as his flanks/leg area, now he's started to lick and bite the tip and base of his tail as well as the bottom of his back feet. The hair is completely gone and he's getting little raised bumps on his flanks. He was still eating like a moose, drinking regularly and eliminating without a problem up until about a month ago. He has been eating less by about 1/4 to 1/2 cup somedays. I think his stomach has been upset, maybe due to excessive hair since he threw up some hairballs which is unusual for him. He still doesn't have a problem going potty, he just goes less and still drinks plenty of water.

The cat and I get along swimmingly and he had next to no problem accepting me as a new member of the family. I spend the most time with him and take care of him the majority of the time so were very close now. Besides me moving in, we've had a lot of changes with our schedules as far as work and school so things haven't been too routine which I think bothers the cat sometimes as he's VERY affectionate and attached to us. He howls when we leave the room and sometimes even pees in the same spot.

We share the house and there are other cats in the house but he's been around these same cats for at least 5 years and they're all healthy. He's also an indoor only cat but we usually let him lay in the enclosed porch for a few hours everyday. There is a Himalayan who stays on the porch with him all the time and she is absolutely healthy too.

Things we've tried thus far:
Changing his food from Halo (salmon flavor) to Royal Canin (which made him throw up frequently and he lost too much weight) to Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck to Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon (we thought it might be better for his skin). It's very expensive food and first ingredient is real meat and it has no grains. He's been on Blue Buffalo for at least 6 months so we've ruled out a food allergy.

We've tried giving him Rescue Remedy by mouth and in his water. We've tried pheromone mimicking spray (with rosemary), de-stress chews, fish oil over his food. we've tried increasing the cleaning of his cat bed, food/water dishes. we've bought him new toys and increased his playtime. we restricted him from going onto the porch in case it was an airborne allergy. we've even tried different lick deterrent sprays (which worked better on us than him). a while back we had a diffuser with feli-way that didn't seem to have any effect on him. we have done everything we could possibly think of as far as natural remedies but nothing has worked.

it's been so bad over the past 2 weeks that we had no choice but to break down and bring him in to the vet today. the vet said some stuff i didn't really understand about maybe an environmental allergy and that he might be "cooling" his skin off by pulling hair out. So he gave him an injectable dose of Depo-Medrol and said he should be feeling much better in 2-4 hours. And that the problem should start disappearing in a few days and that his hair will start to grow back soon. So far its been 3 hours and he is still licking away.

I haven't heard of this treatment and am really hoping it ends up working out. He is going to destroy his skin soon otherwise. Has anyone had any experience with this injectable? Or heard anything about side effects/risks? I've been trying to Google it but haven't found too much relevant or helpful information on it. I trust the vet, but of course I also wonder what they may not be telling us. I'd appreciate any feedback about your cats and similar skin conditions or remedies that have worked for you or information about Depo-Medrol. Thanks so much everyone!

:eek:nekitty

Mandy
 
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