Licking until skin is bald? :[ :[

minka

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Ugh, I'm, really getting worried.


I had said before that Grimalkin is licking at his fur on his front leg and making a thin spot and it was worrying me, especially since it is on top of his fur not growing in since March.


Well, he hasn't bothered it so much in the past two days, but Now I noticed that the fur on his underbelly right in between his legs is almost completely gone. When I thought he was licking his private area, he's been licking that spot..


What could it be? The skin doesn't seem red or anything... He just licks and nibbles at the fur until it's real short...

 

farleyv

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I have had cats with that....I believe it is Alopecia ...or "hot spots".

My vet said it can be from stress...or compulsive behavior in his case.

We eventually had to have our cat wear a cone collar to prevent him from licking.

I believe there are others on the forum with the same problem at some point. You can google the symptoms and find more info.

But, I would have him seen by vet, as there are other causes too.

Good luck!
 

ldg

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It can be several things. One Farleyv described. It can also be allergies - not necessarily food-related, but potentially environmental.

When Chumley (our FIV+ kitty) started doing this, we got rid of every chemical in the house, and started shopping for all of our cleaners (dish soap, laundry soap, carpet cleaner, etc.) at the health food store. Though of course, now our supermarket carries Seventh Generation stuff. Chemical-free, dye-free, scent-free.

We already had the house packed with various air cleaners (filters) because of my allergies.

I believe your kitty is already on a grain free diet? Of course, the protein source is a potential. But you need to check ingredients for brewer's yeast. That's a common ingredient that's a known allergan.

When these "environmental" and food-changes were made to Chumley's diet and he didn't improve, we searched http://www.ahvma.org for a DVM trained in alternative medicines and nutrition. We found one we could get to.

She is trained in Chinese Medicine. As Farleyv's vet said, he was pulling out his fur because he's too hot. Based on where the fur was missing (the same places your kitty is missing fur), and the condition of his lips and tongue (tongue is very important to diagnosis in chinese medicine), he suffered from an excess of heat. He had an extreme yin-deficiency and had an extreme spleen Qi deficiency. She prescribed herbs for him. I couldn't get the first ones down him. She changed the prescription. The second one was not capsules, but large tablets. I was able to cut them in half and put them in a pill pocket that he'd eat. The pill pocket had wheat gluten, but we decided it was a small enough amount that the benefit of getting the pill in him was worth it.

Within a month it was clear - he was overgrooming less, and MUCH less manic about it. Within a few months, his hair was all grown back in on his leg, and clearly coming all back in on his abdomen (takes longer to grow back there). We did up his dose to three pills a day, and within six months, his coat was amazing. Thick, full, glossy, SO SOFT, and any grooming he did was clearly out of enjoyment and normal cat motivated reasons, not in the least bit stressed or manic.


Chumley also had rodent ulcers that we could not see - it was just a thickening and redness on the inside of his lips, and his tongue was thicker than it should be and red on the edge. Not something I could see until she pointed it out.

If you do not have access to a holistic vet, if you want to try the same herbal formula that worked for Chumley, I do not think it can hurt given the treatment addresses the energy imbalance creating it. It is called Prosperous Farmer, and you want to find one manufactured by Kan Herbals because of the quality of the herbs and consistency of the formula. It is much cheaper if not purchased from Kan Herbals but a distributor, though which one is cheaper depends on shipping costs and sale prices, which vary.
 
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minka

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Originally Posted by farleyv

I have had cats with that....I believe it is Alopecia ...or "hot spots".

My vet said it can be from stress...or compulsive behavior in his case.

We eventually had to have our cat wear a cone collar to prevent him from licking.

I believe there are others on the forum with the same problem at some point. You can google the symptoms and find more info.

But, I would have him seen by vet, as there are other causes too.

Good luck!
I hope it's not stress or compulsion. Those are so much harder to treat. :[



LDG, thank you for the thoughtful response.


Two of the four cans I feed him are grain free. The others have a small amount of brown rice.

Is yeast extract okay or is it yeast in general that causes irritation?

When you say 'too hot', do you literally mean temperature wise, or is that a term that has to do with Chinese medicine?

I didn't think that he was over-grooming himself in general, but that maybe the skin there feels funny since it's loose from losing 6 pounds since I got him. (A good thing. :p) But maybe he is... X___X idk.
 

ldg

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Yeast in general can be an allergan. And even if they're not allergic to rice, Brewer's Rice can be a problem.

And when I say "too hot," it's a term used in Chinese Medicine. But once she said that... I noticed (it was late fall into Winter) that he LOVED lying in the front windshield where it was soooooooo cold. Once we got him back on track, he started finding all kinds of new places to curl up, including the bedroom LOL (we just rescued him last year, and there's no consensus as to whether he's 3 or 4. Definitely had contact with humans before, but definitely never lived inside before).

But if your kitty is missing fur like that on his abdomen and his front leg(s), he's overgrooming.
If you didn't notice it, then it's because he's not being manic about it, which leads me to think it's not a a stress/behavior reaction so much as... an extreme yin deficiency.
Chumley's abdomen wasn't quite that bad by the time we went to the holistic vet. But the entire area had been... nibbled down. It literally looked like a little lawnmower had run across it. I think Chum's problem was a combination of things - whatever caused the yin deficiency and allergies. Could be related to the FIV and his immune system. Whatever it was... it's fixed. In fact, we really want to retest his FIV antibodies. It'll just have to wait until we can afford to do it. She's treated FIV kitties before and had them subsequently test negative for FIV. I suspect, but don't know, that Chum being "back in balance" while he was in a transitory state with the FIV might have tipped the balance, and he might actually no longer be FIV+. It IS possible.

When she first saw him, the vet said "The poor guy's ripping his hair out because he's too hot!" She didn't mean fever.

Now that he's been on the Prosperous farmer, I'd have to say it doesn't seem like he has allergies. Brewer's yeast is in several foods we feed. Some we feed do have whole rice, barley, or oats, and his pill pockets do have wheat gluten in them. He can't stand peas or carrots and won't eat them if they're in any of the food LOL. Allergies really don't seem to be his problem at this point (though I don't know what regular exposure to normal triggers would do).


Congrats on the weight loss, though! I know that can be tough.

All I know is that what your kitty has is indicative of an immune-related problem. Western meds don't manage immune-related problems very well. Diet can. Chinese medicine manages immune-related problems (no matter the cause) really well in my experience and in my vet's experience.

 

ldg

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BTW, he eats only wet food at this point, and I do mix water into it. We rotate Evo, Holistic Select, Weruva (I pick out the peas and carrots), Before Grain, Fancy Feast as a treat every once in a while (only the classic formulas, as the rest have wheat gluten), Ziwipeak, some Wellness (only the ones with no potato starch)... and ... I think that's it.
 
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minka

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Hmm, well, I don't think that he's hot in the real sense like it sounds Chumley was. He does fine in our hot garage when I have to put him out while I'm vacuuming, but I suppose I'd find out for sure this winter. I don't think I had him when we had that big snow storm earlier this year...

It'd be nice if I could just give him an herb and make him magically better.
I think what I will do first however, is visit my regular vet to see whether they think it's normal or not. I have seen other pets with less hair there before (especially if they are overweight), so I'd like to make sure it Is a problem before I shell out tons of money for holistic. X__X Especially since it's such a perfect shape, it makes me think the hair there is just funky because of how fat he was. I know with cats of his original size and over, they can get urine scalding and what-not, and since he is a boy, well, maybe that's what happened... ??

Thanks. The first 6 pounds or whatever weren't too hard. It's now that we are getting Under 1 can a day that he's getting cranky. xDD

Grim's also only on wet food: Innova, Before Grain, Blue Buffalo, and Authority.
 

ldg

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Of course take him to the vet! That's always #1. We've just had good success with a vet also trained in alternatives. If there's one you can get to that's trained in Chinese meds, something other than steroids or elavil (standard western approach) might correct the problem, rather than treat the symptom, it's something to consider.

I don't know that I classify Chumley's treatment by his vet as "magically" making him better. There is a science behind it, and it is far, far older than western science. It may not be as effective at things western medicine is, and western medicine may not consider it "science" in the traditional sense of the word. But it isn't magic IMO, and for both me and my cats, it has produced results where western medicine hasn't.
 
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minka

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Oh no, I wasn't saying that your treatment of Chumley was magic, but just that it would be nice if there was a magic herb that could make my kitty better.
 
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