Cat licking until he bleeds

Zeroxgi

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Hi, I have a cat who is 8 years old. Over the last year he has had this problem where he over grooms himself to the point of cutting himself and bleeding. First it was his back left leg. I took him to the vet and they gave him antibiotics, steroids and let it heal. Then a few months later it happened again, but with his other leg. I took him back to the vet and they did the same thing. Now it has happened a third time, but it’s on his belly now. I took him to a new vet because this other vet seemed to be useless. I was told he was too wild to be checked and needed to come back when he was sedated. So I left, put a cone on him, and waited a week. In that week the cut appeared to heal. It became a yellowish/brownish scab, but it seemed to be matted with his hair and I wasn’t sure if it was healing right so I scheduled another appointment. They gave me an at home sedative to give him before I brought him in. When I brought him in I was told the sedative didn’t work and they were going to give him more sedative to knock him out so they can check it out. Upon coming back to the vet to pick him up they told me they didn’t fully sedate him, but gave him enough to put as close to sedated as possible. Unfortunate my cat is pretty crazy and they still couldn’t see him. The vet said she couldn’t find the cut/scab on his belly so they gave him antibiotics, told me to change his food and buy a wall plug for anxiety to see if that’s the problem. The vet told me to try to rub off the scab with a wet paper towel. Not once did she say to leave the cone on, which by the way was one I had at home. They didn’t even give me one to take home with me. How long will this take to heal and does this scab in the attached picture look like it’s healing normally?
830A6DAE-556C-4D59-98D5-70D14D58427A.jpeg
 

mrsgreenjeens

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I don't really see any issue with the scabbing. But I do have a question for you. Has anything changed in the last year that might be stressing out your boy. Cats normally overgroom either from stress or allergies, and since this started about a year ago, I'm thinking it may be from stress. Maybe something in his life changed (possibly related to Covid)? Here is a thread that discusses some items for stress induced over grooming that might be helpful: Lily is over grooming
 

Calicos4ever

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My female had this problem about 4 years ago at the age of 10. She was grooming herself to the point of bleeding all on her tummy and legs and even the base of her tail. She was licking herself hairless. She also had blood in her urine.
We took her to the vet and she ended up having crystals in her urine. We had to put her on meds to try and clear the crystals and change her diet to a urinary tract food .
 
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Zeroxgi

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I don't really see any issue with the scabbing. But I do have a question for you. Has anything changed in the last year that might be stressing out your boy. Cats normally overgroom either from stress or allergies, and since this started about a year ago, I'm thinking it may be from stress. Maybe something in his life changed (possibly related to Covid)? Here is a thread that discusses some items for stress induced over grooming that might be helpful: Lily is over grooming
Well it did first start around the start of the pandemic, but nothing changed at home except me being there all the time which I don’t think would be a problem. I did recently move to a new place and moved in with my girlfriend, but he was well accustomed to her. I also didn’t notice any change in his behavior. He still acts like the same old cat. The reason I was leaning more towards it being the food allergy Is because I noticed after he would eat and would instantly
Start over grooming and when he went to his litter box he would scrape around in there for a few min and run in and out of the bathroom before he finally went.
 

Mamanyt1953

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A move can do it, even if he is acting the same...but after a year, that should have calmed down. OK...we really need to figure out a way to get this cat seen by a competent vet. The litter box "foreplay" is concerning. And although I do think you are right about eating being a trigger, I'm not certain that it is an actual allergy. It could be a stomach/intestine issue which causes him pain or discomfort immediately after eating (see litter box comment above).

Since he is such a wild child, may I suggest that you look for a group in your area that works with ferals, explain the situation, and ask them for a recommendation for a vet who is well-accustomed to dealing with difficult cats? If a vet is used to treating ferals, your boy will be "Just another Monday afternoon" to them.
 
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