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jools
September 23rd 05, 04:00 PM
Hi

A while back we took-in a stray neutered tom cat which wasnt in the greatest
of conditions. It had a number of chunks of hair missing and was quite
scabby - which I initially assumed he got fighting with other cats.

Although his general overall condition (put on weight) has improved he is
still fairly scabby along the spine to base of tail, a little around the
neck, shoulder and a little on the front legs. He also has a relatively bald
lower abdomen. The area at the base of the tail/spine regularly looks like a
barber has used a No.3 clipper on him.
..
He does seem to be a bit of an excessive groomer and like to have a thorough
washing session before settling down - but once he settles he seems to sleep
very peacefully.

The cat is really nice, friendly, likes to play, is gentle, generally likes
attention, and gets on well with our other cat (female). He is a tad nervous
but is getting better.

He has established our garden as his territory and will see-off any cat that
comes near, with the exception of our other cat.

We have taken him to the vets a couple of times where he has had a cortisone
injection, a course of antibiotics, pre-emptive flee treatment (Frontline),
anal sacs emptied - but no noticeable change. I was surprised that the vet
prescribed Frontline which I understand only kills flees/ticks which may be
present but does not touch possible mites - I would note that we have not
seen any flees nor does our other cat show any signs of having them.

The vet is *very* keen to put him on a food trial (which they sell), but we
know that both these cats like to hunt wildlife (mainly field mice) and
regularly catch and often eat them - which would presumably compromise the
trial. His normal diet is Whiskas pouches, Whiskas cat milk and Go-Cat dry
biscuits. He seems to have a healthy appetite and likes his food.

At the moment I don't see how sensibly to go forward to solve this problem.
Assuming that the problem is feline miliary dermatitis caused by an
allergy - the possible causes could be endless.

Does anyone know if it is possible to determine the cause of the allergy by
carrying-out a skin test - as you would with humans? Also, can a blood test
be used to determine an allergy?

shortfuse
September 23rd 05, 04:33 PM
Rainbow had the same things...sounds like your cat is allergic to
fleas..which is the case with Rainbow

--
Barbara Polans
Independent Mary Kay Consultant
740-773-9878




"jools" > wrote in message
.uk...
> Hi
>
> A while back we took-in a stray neutered tom cat which wasnt in the
> greatest of conditions. It had a number of chunks of hair missing and was
> quite scabby - which I initially assumed he got fighting with other cats.
>
> Although his general overall condition (put on weight) has improved he is
> still fairly scabby along the spine to base of tail, a little around the
> neck, shoulder and a little on the front legs. He also has a relatively
> bald lower abdomen. The area at the base of the tail/spine regularly looks
> like a barber has used a No.3 clipper on him.
> .
> He does seem to be a bit of an excessive groomer and like to have a
> thorough washing session before settling down - but once he settles he
> seems to sleep very peacefully.
>
> The cat is really nice, friendly, likes to play, is gentle, generally
> likes attention, and gets on well with our other cat (female). He is a tad
> nervous but is getting better.
>
> He has established our garden as his territory and will see-off any cat
> that comes near, with the exception of our other cat.
>
> We have taken him to the vets a couple of times where he has had a
> cortisone injection, a course of antibiotics, pre-emptive flee treatment
> (Frontline), anal sacs emptied - but no noticeable change. I was surprised
> that the vet prescribed Frontline which I understand only kills
> flees/ticks which may be present but does not touch possible mites - I
> would note that we have not seen any flees nor does our other cat show any
> signs of having them.
>
> The vet is *very* keen to put him on a food trial (which they sell), but
> we know that both these cats like to hunt wildlife (mainly field mice) and
> regularly catch and often eat them - which would presumably compromise the
> trial. His normal diet is Whiskas pouches, Whiskas cat milk and Go-Cat dry
> biscuits. He seems to have a healthy appetite and likes his food.
>
> At the moment I don't see how sensibly to go forward to solve this
> problem. Assuming that the problem is feline miliary dermatitis caused by
> an allergy - the possible causes could be endless.
>
> Does anyone know if it is possible to determine the cause of the allergy
> by carrying-out a skin test - as you would with humans? Also, can a blood
> test be used to determine an allergy?
>
>
>

~*Connie*~
September 23rd 05, 04:41 PM
he COULD have mange, did the vet consider that? If the scabbing isn't
better a few weeks after the frontline, then its probably not a flea allergy
as the frontline would have killed them all. Food allergies are pretty
prevalent, and it couldn't hurt to do the food trial, but it will take
several weeks to see a difference.

Good luck

"jools" > wrote in message
.uk...
> Hi
>
> A while back we took-in a stray neutered tom cat which wasnt in the
> greatest of conditions. It had a number of chunks of hair missing and was
> quite scabby - which I initially assumed he got fighting with other cats.
>
> Although his general overall condition (put on weight) has improved he is
> still fairly scabby along the spine to base of tail, a little around the
> neck, shoulder and a little on the front legs. He also has a relatively
> bald lower abdomen. The area at the base of the tail/spine regularly looks
> like a barber has used a No.3 clipper on him.
> .
> He does seem to be a bit of an excessive groomer and like to have a
> thorough washing session before settling down - but once he settles he
> seems to sleep very peacefully.
>
> The cat is really nice, friendly, likes to play, is gentle, generally
> likes attention, and gets on well with our other cat (female). He is a tad
> nervous but is getting better.
>
> He has established our garden as his territory and will see-off any cat
> that comes near, with the exception of our other cat.
>
> We have taken him to the vets a couple of times where he has had a
> cortisone injection, a course of antibiotics, pre-emptive flee treatment
> (Frontline), anal sacs emptied - but no noticeable change. I was surprised
> that the vet prescribed Frontline which I understand only kills
> flees/ticks which may be present but does not touch possible mites - I
> would note that we have not seen any flees nor does our other cat show any
> signs of having them.
>
> The vet is *very* keen to put him on a food trial (which they sell), but
> we know that both these cats like to hunt wildlife (mainly field mice) and
> regularly catch and often eat them - which would presumably compromise the
> trial. His normal diet is Whiskas pouches, Whiskas cat milk and Go-Cat dry
> biscuits. He seems to have a healthy appetite and likes his food.
>
> At the moment I don't see how sensibly to go forward to solve this
> problem. Assuming that the problem is feline miliary dermatitis caused by
> an allergy - the possible causes could be endless.
>
> Does anyone know if it is possible to determine the cause of the allergy
> by carrying-out a skin test - as you would with humans? Also, can a blood
> test be used to determine an allergy?
>
>
>

Elizabeth Blake
September 23rd 05, 04:49 PM
jools wrote:
> Hi
>
> A while back we took-in a stray neutered tom cat which wasnt in the greatest
> of conditions. It had a number of chunks of hair missing and was quite
> scabby - which I initially assumed he got fighting with other cats.
>
> Although his general overall condition (put on weight) has improved he is
> still fairly scabby along the spine to base of tail, a little around the
> neck, shoulder and a little on the front legs. He also has a relatively bald
> lower abdomen. The area at the base of the tail/spine regularly looks like a
> barber has used a No.3 clipper on him.
> .
> He does seem to be a bit of an excessive groomer and like to have a thorough
> washing session before settling down - but once he settles he seems to sleep
> very peacefully.

<snipped>

My cat Tiger (15 year old female, indoors only) has had scab problems
on & off. She has also suffered with what I call "ear skank" her whole
life. Brown, waxy goo builds up in her ears and she spends a lot of
time scratching them with her back claws. She's always ended up with
scab on her head because of this, but just last night as I had her in
my lap I found them all over her body. All in the places you described
- along the spine, base of the tail, head/neck/shoulders. I didn't
even check her legs. In the past she had also lost all the fur on her
abdomen and the inside of her back legs.

She was put on antihistimines, given antibiotics, special shampoo
(bathing a cat 3-4 times a week is NOT fun) and then put on a
prescription diet to rule out a food allergy. Nothing helped. The
scabs would eventually go away and she'd be fine. Her last scabby
episode was a couple of years ago already and she had been clean since.

She has no fleas or ticks since she is an indoor only, city apartment
cat. My other cat has none of these symptoms. Tiger is also an
obsessive groomer, and probably a little obsessive in general. Other
vets had diagnosed her as just having behavioral problems. I don't
know how she manages to scratch herself up all along the spine, though.
She's due to go to the vet in a few weeks and since I haven't liked
either of the last two she's seen, I'm taking her someplace new.

--
Liz

jools
September 23rd 05, 05:14 PM
"~*Connie*~" > wrote in message
...
> he COULD have mange, did the vet consider that? If the scabbing isn't
> better a few weeks after the frontline, then its probably not a flea
> allergy as the frontline would have killed them all. Food allergies are
> pretty prevalent, and it couldn't hurt to do the food trial, but it will
> take several weeks to see a difference.
>
> Good luck
/snip

Hi Connie

The vet didnt mention mange, but if it was mange then I would have expected
our other cat to be showing similar symptons, as they live in close
proximity.

My understanding of a flee allergy is that its from the bite of the flee not
the flee itself. I dont believe either of my cats actually have flees and
used Frontline as a premptive treatment. However, if this is the problem I
dont see how it can ever be solved because if a flee lands on the cat it
will bite-it before the flee treatment can kill the flee. Frontline is non
systemic and requires contact with the flee, but is unlikely to kill the odd
flee before it has bitten the cat. And if a systemic (via the cats blood)
solution is used such as 'Program' then the flee has had to bite the cat to
be killed - the damage would be done in both cases and the cat would react
to the bite. But I am pretty sure that the cat does not have flees.

Regarding a food trial, I am unclear as to how meaningful this would be when
the cat hunts and often eats field mice, which would presumably compromise
the trial.

Many thanks for taking an interest.

Jools






But if it is from an odd flle bite which it

Jennifer
September 23rd 05, 05:55 PM
jools wrote:

> Although his general overall condition (put on weight) has improved he is
> still fairly scabby along the spine to base of tail, a little around the
> neck, shoulder and a little on the front legs. He also has a relatively bald
> lower abdomen. The area at the base of the tail/spine regularly looks like a
> barber has used a No.3 clipper on him.

As you've probably gathered from the other responses, those are
symptoms of some kind of allergies, not necessarily to fleas. I had a
cat with the same symptoms every spring and fall. We never figured out
what she was allergic to, and none of the allergy treatments helped
much. Except for being scabby for a month or two every year, it didn't
really seem to bother her, so we just stopped worrying about it.

Allergy tests in cats exist, but are expensive and unreliable, from
what I've read and been told.

It might be a good idea to change his food, anyway. Isn't Whiskas one
of the "bad" brands? Google this group (and the web) for more info on
better quality cat foods that don't cost any more than grocery store
brands :)

--
Jennifer

jools
September 23rd 05, 08:21 PM
Thank you all for the helpful replies.

On reflection, although I initially had some doubts as to whether the food
trial would be compromised by the cats supplementary eating of wildlife, I
think the change to a hypo-allergenic diet for a couple of months is the
logical way forward.

So its off to the vets tomorrow to pick-up their 'wonder food'

Jools

Cheryl
September 23rd 05, 10:24 PM
On Fri 23 Sep 2005 11:00:58a, jools wrote in
rec.pets.cats.health+behav
o.uk):

> Does anyone know if it is possible to determine the cause of the
> allergy by carrying-out a skin test - as you would with humans?
> Also, can a blood test be used to determine an allergy?

Yes. The skin you've described is exactly the same as my cat's
problems. When he was rescued, he had scabby skin sores, and it was
attributed to cat fights. When they never cleared up, and got
worse, the hunt for the problem began. I took him to a
dermatologist (after way too much time - heck, I never knew they
existed!) and he was tested the same way humans are. No, blood
tests can't determine allergies. My cat is on allergy shots. His
pallative treatment up until a diagnosis was Depo Medrol shots at
the widest interval we could get away with. The average was 2
months. It's now been close to 3 months since he's had a Depo shot,
and starting allergy shots (desensitization therapy) and that's a
record for him. He *is* just starting to flare up right now
though, so the dermatologist changed the allergy shot schedule a
little bit. And, he'll get another Depo shot as soon as it gets
here (I administer all shots at home).

With cats, only inhalent allergens are verifiable through skin
tests. However, they did test for flea allergy, and that is clearly
not inhalent. The dermatologist said food allergies can't be tested
for other than through an elimination diet trial.


--
Cheryl

IBen Getiner
September 23rd 05, 10:27 PM
jools wrote:
> Hi
>
> A while back we took-in a stray neutered tom cat which wasnt in the greatest
> of conditions. It had a number of chunks of hair missing and was quite
> scabby - which I initially assumed he got fighting with other cats.


Pick those scabs and let the pus run free.

Phil P.
September 23rd 05, 11:50 PM
"jools" > wrote in message
.uk...
> Hi
>
> A while back we took-in a stray neutered tom cat which wasnt in the
greatest
> of conditions. It had a number of chunks of hair missing and was quite
> scabby - which I initially assumed he got fighting with other cats.
>
> Although his general overall condition (put on weight) has improved he is
> still fairly scabby along the spine to base of tail, a little around the
> neck, shoulder and a little on the front legs. He also has a relatively
bald
> lower abdomen. The area at the base of the tail/spine regularly looks like
a
> barber has used a No.3 clipper on him.
> .
> He does seem to be a bit of an excessive groomer and like to have a
thorough
> washing session before settling down - but once he settles he seems to
sleep
> very peacefully.
>
> The cat is really nice, friendly, likes to play, is gentle, generally
likes
> attention, and gets on well with our other cat (female). He is a tad
nervous
> but is getting better.
>
> He has established our garden as his territory and will see-off any cat
that
> comes near, with the exception of our other cat.
>
> We have taken him to the vets a couple of times where he has had a
cortisone
> injection, a course of antibiotics, pre-emptive flee treatment
(Frontline),
> anal sacs emptied - but no noticeable change. I was surprised that the vet
> prescribed Frontline which I understand only kills flees/ticks which may
be
> present but does not touch possible mites - I would note that we have not
> seen any flees nor does our other cat show any signs of having them.
>
> The vet is *very* keen to put him on a food trial (which they sell), but
we
> know that both these cats like to hunt wildlife (mainly field mice) and
> regularly catch and often eat them - which would presumably compromise the
> trial. His normal diet is Whiskas pouches, Whiskas cat milk and Go-Cat dry
> biscuits. He seems to have a healthy appetite and likes his food.
>
> At the moment I don't see how sensibly to go forward to solve this
problem.
> Assuming that the problem is feline miliary dermatitis caused by an
> allergy - the possible causes could be endless.
>
> Does anyone know if it is possible to determine the cause of the allergy
by
> carrying-out a skin test - as you would with humans? Also, can a blood
test
> be used to determine an allergy?


Could be demodex mites. These mites aren't easy to spot because they burrow
deep into the skin and feed on the roots and tissue around the hair
follicles. You'd probably need to do a skin scraping to confirm a
diagnosis.


Phil

Jason James
September 24th 05, 08:46 PM
"jools" > wrote in message
.uk...
> Hi
>
> A while back we took-in a stray neutered tom cat which wasnt in the
greatest
> of conditions. It had a number of chunks of hair missing and was quite
> scabby - which I initially assumed he got fighting with other cats.
>
> Although his general overall condition (put on weight) has improved he is
> still fairly scabby along the spine to base of tail, a little around the
> neck, shoulder and a little on the front legs. He also has a relatively
bald
> lower abdomen. The area at the base of the tail/spine regularly looks like
a
> barber has used a No.3 clipper on him.
> .
> He does seem to be a bit of an excessive groomer and like to have a
thorough
> washing session before settling down - but once he settles he seems to
sleep
> very peacefully.
>
> The cat is really nice, friendly, likes to play, is gentle, generally
likes
> attention, and gets on well with our other cat (female). He is a tad
nervous
> but is getting better.
>
> He has established our garden as his territory and will see-off any cat
that
> comes near, with the exception of our other cat.
>
> We have taken him to the vets a couple of times where he has had a
cortisone
> injection, a course of antibiotics, pre-emptive flee treatment
(Frontline),
> anal sacs emptied - but no noticeable change. I was surprised that the vet
> prescribed Frontline which I understand only kills flees/ticks which may
be
> present but does not touch possible mites - I would note that we have not
> seen any flees nor does our other cat show any signs of having them.
>
> The vet is *very* keen to put him on a food trial (which they sell), but
we
> know that both these cats like to hunt wildlife (mainly field mice) and
> regularly catch and often eat them - which would presumably compromise the
> trial. His normal diet is Whiskas pouches, Whiskas cat milk and Go-Cat dry
> biscuits. He seems to have a healthy appetite and likes his food.
>
> At the moment I don't see how sensibly to go forward to solve this
problem.
> Assuming that the problem is feline miliary dermatitis caused by an
> allergy - the possible causes could be endless.
>
> Does anyone know if it is possible to determine the cause of the allergy
by
> carrying-out a skin test - as you would with humans? Also, can a blood
test
> be used to determine an allergy?

I would change Vets, unless they can give a definitive reason why they think
his skin and coat condition is at it is.
Humans can get exact diagnosis for their skin problems,..cats should be no
different.

Jason