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Feline skin problem
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sarabeth20 posted:
I have a 7-year-old cat that I adopted when she was about 2. She is spayed and up-to-date on vaccinations, lives mostly indoors but usually goes out for a few hours every day, and is treated monthly with Advantage. About 2 years ago, she started developing a skin issue. She gets scabs around her eyes, under her chin, and sometimes on her back and sides. Sometimes the skin around her anus becomes red and scabby and loses hair. The area around her eyes itches so much that she leaves deep scratches in her skin. Her case has become a topic of discussion at our vet's office, and none of us can figure out what's wrong. She received lime sulfur dips once a week for 8 weeks, went on Science Diet a/d food for 2 months, and received Advantage treatments bimonthly for several months. None of these have helped. Steroid shots do seem to have a short-lasting effect on her, but I would really like to find out the root cause of this. After several skin scrapings, the vet did find 1 demodex cati mite (hence the dip), but he has not found any more than that. She's going to the vet again tomorrow, and we have been in contact with a dermatologist, but I'm trying to expand my search for any other ideas. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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sarabeth20 responded:
I should also mention that I have 3 other cats (all males), and none of them have shown any signs of this, so I doubt it's contagious.
 
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP responded:
It sounds like you and your veterinarian are doing a very good job of ruling out several of the most common causes of skin disease in your cat. Another common cause is a hypersensitivy to something in her environment (called "atopy") or her diet (called a "food allergy.") There are also autoimmune and neoplastic diseases to consider, amongst others. These are best diagnosed by a board certified veterinary dermatologist, so ask your veterinarian for a referral. Make sure to bring all her records with you, so the dermatologist can see what's already been done.

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP
The Cat Doctor
Board Certified in Feline Practice


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