Fur loss

texasrose

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My 7 yo cat has been losing hair for 9 months. I posted on this site a few weeks ago about him, he is currently recovering from Horner's syndrome (cause unknown). He's had two vet visits for his fur. At the first visit the veterinarian felt like his hair loss was alopecia, which was uncommon but he didn't see anything else wrong. We return to the vet 3 months later, b at this time the vet felt like the hair loss was a result from hair pulling. We've been watching the cat very closely and have not seen him do any hair pulling, but of course don't watch him all night long. For my reading it appears that hair pulling from anxiety is actually very uncommon. The vet has been unable to ascertain any issues with his skin though. Does anyone have any thoughts on a way we could treat his hair loss?
 

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mrsgreenjeens

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What all tests has the Vet done for this little one? Sometimes cats will lick and lick, especially their tummies, when a specific area hurts them. I'm guessing that could be the case, but of course have no idea because am not a Vet. Have you noticed him licking, or scratching, or have you not noticed anything at all except the fur thinning out?

Can you give us a little more history here? Does he seem to suffer from anxiety. since the Vet mentioned it? Stress can cause all kinds of strange things, as you may already know, but licking and chewing on oneself is definitely one side effect. Did they do blood work?
 
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texasrose

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Thanks for the reply. No, we have not seen him over grooming or licking more than normal. He does not appear stressed or anxious, he is our most confident cat. We have been trying to integrate a neighbor cat into our household and it isn't going well, but the hair loss began 9 months ago and the "new" cat came around 4 months later. I noticed yesterday that the hair on his back looks thinner, but he isn't bald there yet. No blood work, just two exams. Skin is not red or broken, no fleas. Tried switching from Advantage to Frontline for fleas and that made the fur on the spot where I put the drops fall out. We will try Revolution next month.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. I suppose it is possible that he has developed an allergy to flea treatments - perhaps in general, given Adv II and Frontline contain different active ingredients. He could also have a nutritional/chemical deficiency, which can cause hair loss. That is where it might be worth it to have bloodwork done (CBC, Chemistry Profile, and perhaps a few others the vet might want to check that could relate to some sort of deficiency). How extensive was the bloodwork that they did when diagnosing Horner's (assuming they did blood work)?

He may also have developed an environmental allergy (dust, pollen, mold, etc.) that could also involve hair loss. The problem with any of these possibilities is that even if nothing in his food or environment has changed, he is getting older and his system's reaction to certain things could be changing. Horner's can also be caused by toxicity - so maybe something outside that he is getting into that would also potentially cause hair loss?
 
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texasrose

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Thanks. The vet did not do any bloodwork. The vet recommend trying trazadone, but I am not seeing an anxious cat, so I opted not too. Additonally, this cat is the hardest cat in the world to pill, so the act of giving him medication would likely traumatize him more than anything else going on .
 

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Many medicines are available as a liquid or can be compounded into a form that is easier to give such as a flavored chew treat or transdermal gel. So don't completely rule out medication just because your cat won't take pills :)

A veterinary dermatologist may be more helpful then the regular vet. Allergy testing could be done but they're not always accurate. Food and environmental allergies are pretty common. Pet food companies frequently changing the formula or sourcing ingredients from different suppliers so it's possible something in the food has changed which is now causing the fur loss.
 
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texasrose

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Since the cat is perfectly happy, do you all think I should pursue more testing, especially since it may not tells us anything?
 

FeebysOwner

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Fur loss is a sign that something is wrong - whether that be allergies or nutritional/blood chemistry deficiencies, or anything else in between. So, I guess if you think he is perfectly happy, you can wait to see if it continues to get worse, and/or other symptoms appear along side the hair loss.

Or, you can ask your vet the possibility of them looking into it being something besides anxiety. Since he is not over grooming or scratching excessively, IMO, it would seem to lend itself to more of a nutritional/chemical deficiency - hence, having bloodwork done at the very least. And, then maybe ask the vet about a referral to a vet that specializes in dermatology if the bloodwork doesn't show anything.
 
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