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norina
July 19th 08, 06:21 AM
i rescued an american shorthair pure bred cat that has a terrible skin
disease fur falling out & raw, is this common for this breed, & hard
to cure, the vet said it could be allergies or stress, i addressed
both but getting worse. I'm to the point that I will take her to the
humane society because i can't afford it.

jmc
July 19th 08, 04:09 PM
Suddenly, without warning, norina exclaimed (7/19/2008 1:21 AM):
> i rescued an american shorthair pure bred cat that has a terrible skin
> disease fur falling out & raw, is this common for this breed, & hard
> to cure, the vet said it could be allergies or stress, i addressed
> both but getting worse. I'm to the point that I will take her to the
> humane society because i can't afford it.

First, "American shorthair" is not a breed - it's a polite way to say
"moggie" or "cat of indeterminate breeding" or "Heinz 57" if that's even
used these days. Sorry, your kitty isn't a purebred :) but that's a
good thing!

Second, more information would be helpful. Did she have symptoms when
you adopted her, or did it start later? If later, how long after
arriving did you notice the problem? Is your cat's fur actually falling
out, or is she self-mutilating (over-grooming or "fur mowing"). Is the
fur gone in all-over patches, or in just one or two particular spots?
If so, where? Pictures would be helpful if you can post some.

Is you cat all-indoor, outside, or both? Are there other animals or
children in the house?

I went through a similar time with Meep, though not as severe as your
kitty. She was fur-mowing her belly, but not when I was watching,
usually. A long course of a corticosteroid (I forget the name) seemed
to help, and she's completely furred now after moving countries and a
course of amitryptyline. Probably won't ever know for sure but I
suspect it was a combination of allergies and stress.

It's easiest for the vet to eliminate allergy problems first. Once
that's eliminated, the hard part is figuring out why your kitty is
stressing, and how to deal with it.

Good luck, and please don't give up on your kitty!

jmc

MaryL
July 19th 08, 06:31 PM
"norina" > wrote in message
...
>i rescued an american shorthair pure bred cat that has a terrible skin
> disease fur falling out & raw, is this common for this breed, & hard
> to cure, the vet said it could be allergies or stress, i addressed
> both but getting worse. I'm to the point that I will take her to the
> humane society because i can't afford it.

Did your vet test for ringworm? It's an easy test, and it's important to
know if this the problem (so you can correctly treat it).

MaryL

zob
July 19th 08, 11:05 PM
On Fri, 18 Jul 2008 22:21:32 -0700 (PDT), norina >
wrote:

>i rescued an american shorthair pure bred cat that has a terrible skin
>disease fur falling out & raw, is this common for this breed, & hard
>to cure, the vet said it could be allergies or stress, i addressed
>both but getting worse. I'm to the point that I will take her to the
>humane society because i can't afford it.


My Yoda has a similar chronic condition. The veterinarians used to
tell me that it was an allergy to flea bites, which made no sense to
me since he has been a strictly indoor cat his whole life. I used to
have to get him expensive steroid shots every months or so, or he
would get "bumps" all over, then those bumps would turn into clumps of
fur that he would dig out, sometimes get raw and he'd also throw up
from the constant hair he was ingesting. He'd itch and be miserable,
if I didn't love him so much I couldn't have dealt with it. Another
vet suggested that it was a food allergy and put him on a very
expensive prescription food diet (duck and green peas) which he hated
and refused to eat (he would scratch the floor around his food dish
and try to "bury it!)

I had tried various commercial foods, none of which made a
difference. Finally about 6 months or so ago I found a solution! I
bought a bag of "Good Life for Indoor Cats" cat food at Walmart of all
places, and within 3 weeks his allergies cleared up and he has not had
them since! He loves the Good Life food, and I can only assume that
he is allergic to processed grains. The Good Life is all natural
vegetables, whole grain brown rice and chicken. It's not expensive
either. Yoda and I are both now very happy campers and the only
unhappy one is the veterinarian who is not getting hundreds of my
dollars for those prednisone shots and frequent visits.

Oh yeah, one other thing. I also bought a metal "kitty comb" and comb
his coat every day. He *loves* it, and because he is still prone to
skin conditions, it keeps his skin stimulated and any loose fur
removed. No more hairballs or throwing up, and Yoda loves our little
"bonding" sessions in the evening. He comes running when he sees me
get out the comb!

YMMV of course. Every cat is different; I hope that you find your
solution. It took me nearly three years to find what worked for Yoda
and to get him off those darned steroid injections.
---
Zob

Cheryl[_4_]
July 20th 08, 04:02 AM
"norina" > wrote in message
...
>i rescued an american shorthair pure bred cat that has a terrible skin
> disease fur falling out & raw, is this common for this breed, & hard
> to cure, the vet said it could be allergies or stress, i addressed
> both but getting worse. I'm to the point that I will take her to the
> humane society because i can't afford it.

I sure can relate. My Shamrock used to have the worst skin problems and I
was unable to get it under control for so long, and he was miserable and
constantly had infections that needed treatment using antibiotics and
frequent steroid shots. I often thought this is no way for him to live and
often thought about having him put to sleep, because even the steroid shots
were losing their effectiveness. Then I found out about a vet dermatologist
and made an appointment. It wasn't cheap, but neither were all the tests
done with no resolution and a still-miserable cat. His allergies didn't
seem to be seasonal because he flared up year round.

The dermatologist did allergy testing and he tested strong positive to many
environmental allergens such as dust mites, molds, pollens and even cat
dander. Not fleas, though, surprisingly. In humans these allergens
manifest as symptoms that affect the respiratory system and eyes, nose. But
in cats, these same allergens usually cause skin eruptions.

She (the doctor) had me give him allergy shots concocted from the things he
is allergic to. We did this for a year, and he still had occasional steroid
shots for a little extra help when needed, but not as many as he'd needed
before.

Eventually these shots stopped working. Called the vet back again and she
had me try him on Atopica (cyclosporine). It was off-label for cats, but
she'd had luck with it for some of her clients. It was hard to find the
right dose, and at first it made him vomit if there was food in his stomach
when he got his dose, but now I know when to give it to him, and how soon
after his dose she should eat before he throws up. It has potential side
effects, and is still off-label for cats, and he still needs a yearly
steroid shot in the Spring to help out when the allergens are at their peak,
and Atopica isn't cheap, but to go from thinking about euthanasia about 5
years old to a mostly comfortable cat now is worth it, IMO.

Good luck and I hope you don't have to give up on your cat.