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 Post subject: itchy cat - please help
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:51 pm 
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Who's Ted Leo?
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Location: Modesto, CA
Mar has allergies...for a month we were taking him in once a week to the vet and getting him injected with steroids. I just do not think it was the best route....1.) the crazy side effects and 2.) he is prone to panic attacks when we take him in (he pees on himself)...

I have been bathing him (sponge bathing him) weekly like the vet said with organic mild baby shampoo. He is back to getting dry scabby wounds and dry fur near his tail and is itchy.

We have ruled out food allergies. He is indoor but is allowed in the backyard (fenced in) when we are home...I want him to be healthy and happy. Any holistic remedies, food choices (he is not a vegan cat) or treatments?

I was looking at this:
http://www.petco.com/product/4003/Sentr ... Spray-4003

Any others recs?

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 Post subject: Re: itchy cat - please help
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:01 am 
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Would you mind telling me how you ruled out food allergies? I'm in a similar position with my cat. His itchiness waxes and wanes, and I've been told by the vet it could be many different things - fleas, ringworm, food allergies, environmental allergies, a virus, mites. I'm so frustrated because, so far, any of the "treatments" have made him much more miserable than the itching, but of course I want him to be 100% happy and healthy.

I don't mean to hijack this thread. I'm sorry I don't have any good advice, but I can commiserate on how frustrating it is. I hope you can find something that helps and Mar starts feeling better soon!


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 Post subject: Re: itchy cat - please help
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:58 am 
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We've had this issues for years with Nimrod. She is on a hypoallergenic duck and pea diet, although I'm not 100% sure she has a food allergy.

I am shocked to hear about the weekly baths and frequent steroid injections. These are really extreme measures, and could result in drug-induced Cushings and the baths could be contributing to the problem by messing up her skin.

I do suspect the flare-ups are seasonal and dust/pollen related. When she has a flare up, the skin around her eyes poofs up, and if she scratches it, it bleeds really easily. She also gets a puffy spot on her ear. In the worst cases, she gets little mosquito-like bumps on her tummy that are extremely itchy. If we don't cone her, they will become large sores and one time she even got a yeast infection because of the irritation/immune system reaction.

After many years and several tries with treatments, we've come to the conclusion that:

This is a part of our life - we can't control it 100%, only minimize the effects
Elizabethan collars are lifesavers for flareups. She hates it, but once the 1-2 days of itchiness pass, she can go back to normal with no scabbing
Fish oil -- buy top-brand (Nordic Naturals - they are free of toxins/fillers) every day
Softpaws so she doesn't scrath up her face
Clean the house with steam mops, dust often
Don't buy or use any cleaners with perfumes. I use mostly Better Life/unscented Method products
Hypoallergenic diet - no treats.

It cant be cured. Only maintained. Let me know if you have any other questions. I have plenty of experience with this:

eye swell-up, probably dust-related:
Image

she had an almost-deathly allergic reaction to antibiotic clavamox:
Image

The first time we saw the belly sores -- we had no idea what cat allergies even were at this point until it got way out of control:
Image

The dreaded cone (which actually calms her down during an itchy flare-up)
Image

My sweet Nimrod when she does not have allergy flare-ups:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: itchy cat - please help
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:52 am 
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I would suggest keeping your cat totally indoors. Your cat could be allergic to something outside this is pretty common. I am not big on steroids but they have helped one of my cats with asthma. If your cat continues to use them look into giving them at home either orally or sub Q a decent vet should be willing to let you do this. You could go get skin tests to see what your cat is actually allergic to so you are focused on the right things.

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 Post subject: Re: itchy cat - please help
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:55 am 
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Who's Ted Leo?
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egarmon wrote:
Would you mind telling me how you ruled out food allergies?



The vet said it has to be environmental, it really comes on during the hotter months...He is allergic to fleas and we give him Front Line and I brush him out daily.


erinwyso wrote:
I am shocked to hear about the weekly baths and frequent steroid injections. These are really extreme measures, and could result in drug-induced Cushings and the baths could be contributing to the problem by messing up her skin.


That is why we stopped taking him in weekly, not only was it $$$, it was making him a nervous wreck and he was still itchy with a host of other problems (eating up a storm, pooing on him self).

The scabs/sores are like the clavamox allergy pictures, actually Mar gets clavamox twice a year (he gets his teeth cleaned twice a year* and needs clavamox afterwards). He only scratches near his tail and lower back (no need for a cone) - so that is where I am washing him. The vet said since he is a big cat - he has a hard time grooming those areas. The vet said to wash the scabs off and keep him clean. I have unscented baby wipes and was using those on him but the vet said that was not good enough.

*I am trying to cut this back as well. Mar is 15, a cancer survivor and I hate putting him through vet stress. He has problematic gums that need cleaning and I cannot brush his teeth - I tried.

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 Post subject: Re: itchy cat - please help
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:55 pm 
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erinwyso, thank you for all the details and photos about Nimrod. What a pretty girl! I'm so sorry she has to go through all of that. My Simon's itching is not nearly that bad. He has only gotten an isolated (tiny) scab twice now, and never any large patches of hair loss. Nimrod is very lucky to have a family so devoted to taking such good care of her. It sounds like you have a good system down if the itching can mostly be resolved in 1-2 days.

missmuffcake, thank you for responding also. If it's a flea allergy causing the itching, it might help to keep him indoors. My vet said that the only way to really stop the flea allergy is to make sure the cat does not come into contact with any fleas at all. Even with flea medication the cat can still get bitten occasionally, which can cause a flare-up that lasts for weeks. It sounds like you really want him to be able to go outside for his quality of life so I'm not sure if you'd even consider that an option. Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: itchy cat - please help
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:34 pm 
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Who's Ted Leo?
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He only goes out though a bit, it is supervised and we bought this house specifically for him to be safe in the yard. He enjoys it so much...:/

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 Post subject: Re: itchy cat - please help
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:27 pm 
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Who's Ted Leo?
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Location: Modesto, CA
We talked to a bunch of people over the weekend. We are limiting his bath to bi-weekly and have added Missing Link to his diet. I also have bought him some spray (that he hates) to calm itchiness. We are going to switch to Advantage (currently using FrontLine) because it seems FL has been showing signs of not working as good...

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 Post subject: Re: itchy cat - please help
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:53 am 
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I don't really know how helpful this is but our dog has an awful flea allergy -- itching, scabs, red skin, hair falling out, etc. He's on flea meds but the problem is that he is allergic to the saliva and the meds don't help him from getting bit, it just kills off the fleas that have already bitten him. We have to take our pup out for walks and bathroom breaks but with a cat you might consider keeping Mars totally inside until it's a bit cooler and flea activity dies down. It literally only takes a few seconds outside for the fleas to find them. They live in the grass! :(

Hope your kitty gets some relief soon!!

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 Post subject: Re: itchy cat - please help
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:42 pm 
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I feel really horrible. :( So the lady who sold me Missing Link said to keep it in a cool dry place (she even said that is what she does) and I was giving M ar his daily dose when I read - refrigerate after opening...OMFG....he has been eating this a week now. He has not gotten sick - though he was coughing up a hair ball this morning. I assume the refrigeration is to keep the nutrients in the powder...

I tossed it - $15+ down the drain. He did not like it so I am just going to try giving him a few teaspoons of chia seeds a day - he did not mind those. His allergy-skin issue seems to have calmed down a whole lot so we are happy!

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