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Hair Loss With Bumps On Skin Above Eyes

mikameek

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Jun 2, 2018
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I've been dealing with hair loss in Mika for a long time. She came to me with the backs of her legs and her entire belly completely bare. I was told that was because she had been on the streets and had likely had kittens. All the nutrients she needed to maintain coat and hair health went to the kittens, plus with her pulling out hair for feeding, the vets assumed thats why she was bald. I also suspected (I stand 100% behind the notion that Mika was dumped when I found her) that the family that had her before me did not give her proper nutrition either.

After I found her, she SLOWLY started growing hair on the back of her legs. But with all the health issues she had, she got shaved in multiple places including her belly. Her leg where the IV was placed is somewhat filled in? It's grown in oddly with the front almost fully regrown but the back of her leg is lacking very much. Her sides had started to fill in better but her belly has sparse hairs.

I noticed about 2 months ago that Mika was losing even more hair again. Under her front legs and down the back of her hind legs. I was so upset. The vet told me because there was no irritation in those places it was stress related ie. her being medicated stressed her the f out. Which I can't blame her. I was given some Feliway diffusers and set one up in my bedroom (where I do her medicating) 2 weeks ago. I have noticed some behavioral differences but I noticed today that her hair loss has gotten worse again. She has full on bald spots now and more places have shown up.

I also noticed she has these brown/red spots and blotches just above her eye (where her eyebrow should be). They aren't painful for her, I accidentally scratched one when she moved her head and they're flaky. I noticed them two days ago and they seem to be going away but I have never seen them before on her. The all-knowing Google directed me to feline acne which seems a little odd above her eye like that.

I'm wondering if maybe this is all an allergy? I can't think of a particular protein but if it is food related, should I go about trying to figure out the culprit? How long do you stay on a protein to see if it causes a reaction? I did recently get a different litter. It's Cat's Pride Fresh and Light unscented. Her accelerated loss of hair did coincide with the change but she was having the hair loss much sooner than that. The original cat litter she was on when she started regrowing hair was either Tidy Cats 4-in-1 or 24/7 protection (I can't really remember, I just grabbed a jug of Tidy Cat off of the shelves at petco when I found her because I needed a quick litter box thing). I've switched 3 times since then and I'm considering putting her on a grass litter because the litter clumps on her feet sometimes and she tracks to lots of places.

One last piece of information: Mika came to me with a scaly patch of skin just at the base of her tail on the top side of her body. All of the hair had been loss there. The vet at the shelter I took her to said they didn't know what it was but put a topical ointment on once (I don't know the name because it was never given to me to bring home or anything). It cleared up on its own and now has lots of hair there and the skin is fine. It did take like a month to do so though.

Any ideas? I hate she's losing hair because she has so little right now. (Lots of pictures)
IMG_0318.jpg

The brown spots. You can't see the red marks well because she's still jaundiced in her face and ears pretty bad.
IMG_0319.jpg

Front left elbow/underarm
IMG_0320.jpg
IMG_0321.jpg

Same foot. Back right foot has lost hair on both the inner and outer spots around the ankle.
IMG_0324.jpg

Front right elbow is worse than left.
Next one is a booty shot because she's lost hair under her tail. She has never had lots of hair there so, just warning, you're going to see full on booty hole.
IMG_0325.jpg

Sorry for the full frontal booty shot, but the areas around there have lost more hair and you can kind of see where she is missing hair down the back of her legs there. The hair missing on the legs connects around to the whole inside of her legs and up to her belly. It's like (excuse the language) ass-less chaps.
 

Furballsmom

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Hi!
awww poor baby. Not to disagree with your vet but since the hair loss has been an issue for a long time, I'm not sure it can really be blamed on the meds, but ...maybe...?

What if you tried the grass litter, or even littermaid's walnut litter. It's at Walmart, and there's also a littermaid corncob litter. There's also Dr Elsey's respiratory relief crystals.

11 Key Facts About Food Allergies In Cats

This is a post regarding kits for testing allergies and that they don't work;
Your Thoughts On Cat Food Allergy or Intolerance Test Kits

The post in this l-o-n-g thread has a little more specific info regarding how long to do an elimination test; (a note, the OP was last seen June 16 2018, so if you were wanting to pm that person, they might still be available)
starting cat on an elimination diet due to suspected food allergy

and there's this explanation of how to do an elimination trial;
What food allergen? w/o expensive test

Also, if you were interested; Nutritional Supplements For Cats Used By Our Members

Or, can you call that shelter and find out what the ointment is that they use for this issue?
The vet at the shelter I took her to said they didn't know what it was but put a topical ointment on once (I don't know the name because it was never given to me to bring home or anything). It cleared up on its own and now has lots of hair there and the skin is fine. It did take like a month to do so though.
 
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mrsgreenjeens

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You mentioned that the area above her eye isn't painful, but does she scratch at it? Usually food allergies cause itchiness, and in case you haven't read the info Furballsmom attached, the way to determine possible allergens is be process of elimination, which can takes weeks at a time :sigh:.

I totally agree that a change in litter might help with the hair loss on her back half, although it's hard to be sure. Can't hurt though.

:vibes::vibes::vibes:You two have certainly been through the wringer.
 

Furballsmom

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I don't know if this post, (which is from a few years back but the info in the articles that are linked is probably still current), helps or hinders, but I thought I'd post it for you (I don't think Mika is itchy, but nonetheless, this is trying to get at the reason for the skin issues);

at my wits end - why are my cats itchy?

Anyway, in the process of looking for something else I saw that someone's cat lost hair on the belly legs and bottom because of cat litter (that poster didn't say which.)
 
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mikameek

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You mentioned that the area above her eye isn't painful, but does she scratch at it? Usually food allergies cause itchiness, and in case you haven't read the info Furballsmom attached, the way to determine possible allergens is be process of elimination, which can takes weeks at a time :sigh:.

I totally agree that a change in litter might help with the hair loss on her back half, although it's hard to be sure. Can't hurt though.

:vibes::vibes::vibes:You two have certainly been through the wringer.
I haven't noticed her scratching it at all but, admittedly, school did just start this past week so I wasn't home the majority of the day. I have been here all day today and haven't seen her touch it once. My roommates made the comment she sleeps a lot which I don't know if I should be worried about or write off as her still being sick.

Do you suggest I figure out which litter I started her on or switch to the grass one I want to? I don't know which direction is better. Also, yes, haha, we're still holding our heads high though. Just barely trading water but still alive. :p

I don't know if this post, (which is from a few years back but the info in the articles that are linked is probably still current), helps or hinders, but I thought I'd post it for you (I don't think Mika is itchy, but nonetheless, this is trying to get at the reason for the skin issues);

at my wits end - why are my cats itchy?

Anyway, in the process of looking for something else I saw that someone's cat lost hair on the belly legs and bottom because of cat litter (that poster didn't say which.)
Thank you for all the info on the food allergies. I worry about switching her to a limited diet food for so long because of how picky of a eater she is. I can't ever guarantee she'll continue to eat foods. Maybe I should save up and get the test done for her?

Her litter seems to be some sort of culprit so I'll look into switching. Just not sure which way.
 

Furballsmom

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If it were me, I'd try the litter first - go with grass like you were thinking.
You're thinking of a skin scrape test, but in the future? --What if you call that shelter and see about obtaining some of the ointment they used previously?
 
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mikameek

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If it were me, I'd try the litter first - go with grass like you were thinking.
You're thinking of a skin scrape test, but in the future? --What if you call that shelter and see about obtaining some of the ointment they used previously?
I don't know that the ointment actually did anything. The scaly skin went away but didn't seem any better after the use of the ointment and it still took a month to clear up. The skin isn't scaly in any of the places that she is losing hair either.

I was thinking of an allergy test, but would a skin scrape work too? To see if her balding is caused by something else? Aside from the litter and the food, I don't know what else to do.
 

Furballsmom

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A skin scrape could possibly tell you some things, I think so yes.

I was reading that the allergy test isn't reliable, I just wanted to mention that in case you got to thinking of it.
 

PushPurrCatPaws

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Your poor baby! I'm behind on getting up to speed with your kitty (that's the big caveat here with this brief input of mine at the moment), but has she been checked for a bladder infection or any lower urinary tract issues? Sometimes extra grooming and hair loss can be because of underlying pain issues at particular locations. (Grooming tummy, back of legs around her private parts...)
:vibes: :vibes: :alright:
 
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mikameek

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Jun 2, 2018
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Your poor baby! I'm behind on getting up to speed with your kitty (that's the big caveat here with this brief input of mine at the moment), but has she been checked for a bladder infection or any lower urinary tract issues? Sometimes extra grooming and hair loss can be because of underlying pain issues at particular locations. (Grooming tummy, back of legs around her private parts...)
:vibes: :vibes: :alright:
Also, inhalant allergies can also manifest on the skin... pollen, dust, wool fibers, dusty cat litters and the like.
To answer your question, she has a history of some really gross UTI's. She had one when I found her and didn't know about it until she was incredibly sick at a university hospital. We treated that twice (under the assumption from a vet not at the university that her blood values rose because we hadn't cleared the UTI) and then she got another one when we traveled up to school, she was treated for that and then another one from the stress of being at my parent's place. She is prone to them because of the stress but not for any other reasons that I'm aware of. She does still have some interesting litter box habits that I'm chalking up to as being on the pred. (She will stop mid meal to go pee, pees often and pees very large spots, drinks LOTS of water). I don't think it's another UTI but I suppose bladder infection would make more sense with her reoccurring stress UTIs. She's never had crystals or anything like that. But if it is an infection, that worries me because of how many antibiotics she's already been on. It might already be resistant to a mass amount of medicines because it wasn't treated properly (as in, not the right antibiotic).

The other thing is that I very well could see all of the inhaled allergies being a problem. We live in a completely different part of the state than my parents do (which where I first noticed her new loss of hair) which means different trees, grass and flora. Our apartment is hard to clean as one person but I had the plan to deep clean my room and bathroom today. I think the dusty litter might be another one seeing as her accelerated hair loss came after this most recent litter change.

Honestly, poor girl is a mess. I just want to do right by her. She's a literal light in my life and I hate that she isn't as comfortable as she could be.
 
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