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Old July 1st 03, 01:09 PM
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Default Self Mutilation (Long)

I'm sorry to hear about poor Java, I can sympathise as my cat Joe had
a dreadful problem a couple of years ago when, for no noticeable
reason he started scratching at his nose until he was raw and
literally dripping blood. Vets (3 different ones) were at a loss as to
the problem. Joe eventually saw an animal skin specialist based at my
local university (Sydney). It turned out that Joe was allergic to
mosquitos - a mild steriod cured the symptons, and while I don't like
him being on steroids it is better than his self mutilation.

Here are a couple of my ideas:

1) Diet.

Another area of concern I personally have with todays dry and wet
feline diets are that while they have the correct nutrients/ vitamins/
minerals/ protein/ fat/ fibre bla bla bla they are still highly
processed and contain a vast array of additives - regardless of the
quality of the food. I can not imagine for a second that a truly
healthy diet can come out of a single can or packet - for a feline as
much as for a human. By the way, I'm not trying to start a gigantic
thread about the virtues of any pet food I do think it is important to
recognise that any purchased cat food is not as "whole" as it's
natural wild diet. Some people have had remarkable results in cat
health issues by switching to a homemade natural cat food (there are a
few website like that offer a good explanation to the
approach also check out some of Dr. Strombeck's homemade pet food -
found via google search?), this could be a good way to identifying a
possible allergy to something in processed cat foods - even if it is a
temporary switch just as a test.

2) Type of practitioner

It is always good to get a second opinion or seek a specialist (as I
did with Joe). There are some vets here that are also trained as
naturopaths and other alternative medicines. If you have already spent
1,000 Pounds then I expect it is worth spending a little more on
alternative medicine. My sister's siamese was brought back from near
death at the age of 16 and is now a healthy 20 year old. This
eventuated when her regular vet could not identify his sickness which
turned out to be a dietary problem as was fixed with a change of diet.
So perhaps it is worth giving a wholistic vet a try? If you need any
help finding one don't hesitate contacting me (yes I'm stupid enough
to have my real email address listed).

I hope you have some luck with Java's problem.