How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr Pete Your Own Question

Dr Pete
Dr Pete, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3004
Experience:  Bachelor of Veterinary Science University of Melbourne
11090950
Type Your Cat Veterinary Question Here...
Dr Pete is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My Cat is losing hair and has like a scab like bumps on his

Customer Question

My Cat is losing hair and has like a scab like bumps on his skin on the sides of his neck and above his butt where his tail is... Anything I can do to help him?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Pete replied 5 years ago.

Hi John

This is almost certainly a very common problem in cats called miliary dermatitis. The causes can be complex but there are two main parts to it. Allergy and overgrooming.

Often the allergy is the main part and certainly fleas feature high as a cause of the allergy. Because your cat has the sores over the top of the tail I would be very suspicious of fleas being involved. This is a classic site for that. Make sure you control fleas well, preferably using one of the very effective and safe topical applications (Advantage, Frontline, Revolution). In addition keep the bedding clean and thoroughly vacuum areas that the cat frequents to clear environmental stages of the flea. It only takes one flea to trigger the reaction in an allergic cat. The allergy can be to other environmental factors and these can be harder to control....dust mites, pollens, etc.

Now the overgrooming component can be a secondary cause or it can occur on its own. The cat's tongue is very rough and can easily damage the skin. Overgrooming can occur if the cat is a bit itchy but also as a response to anxiety. If there are already small hives on the skin from an allergy, the overgrooming quickly scrapes the surface of these hives and produces the multiple little sores or scabs. But overgrooming can occur on its own as a cause often related to things that the cat sees as a worry. This can be new cats in the neighbourhood, changes in the home, a new pet in the household or noisy builders next door. Cats are very sensitive to change and quite astute. The cause can be quite subtle from our point of view.

So how do we treat the condition? If you control fleas and I suspect that may be the issue that will clear the rash alone. Otherwise a small dose of cortisone quickly fixes the problem. Obviously you will need to see your vet for this. However if the cause persists the rash may return. It can be a seasonal problem. Nowhere near as effective as cortisone but available over the counter from your pharmacy is the anti-histamine !-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:SimSun; panose-1:2 1 6 0 3 1 1 1 1 1; mso-font-alt:??; mso-font-charset:134; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3NNN-NN-NNNN22 0 262145 0;} @font-face {font-family:"\@SimSun"; panose-1:2 1 6 0 3 1 1 1 1 1; mso-font-charset:134; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3NNN-NN-NNNN22 0 262145 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:SimSun;} @page Section1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:36.0pt; mso-footer-margin:36.0pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> Benadryl Allergy (diphenhydramine)

Ensure it is not the combination product (Benadryl Allergy and Sinus). Dose him at 1 mg/lb and this may provide some relief.

 

If anxiety is more involved than allergy then tackling the reason for that anxiety can be difficult, often out of our control. But anti-anxiety medication can be very effective. Your vet can help out with this too. I generally use Clomicalm with good effect. It is only registered for use in dogs in the US (if that’s where you are) but only due to licensing issues. Most vets will use it in cats too.

So you need flea control first and then if necessary a visit to your vet should see this rash clear quickly.

I hope I've helped here.

Regards, Peter

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3053
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3053
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    4146
    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3980
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/bigislandvet/2013-2-21_214244_IMG0357.64x64.JPG Dr. Michael Salkin's Avatar

    Dr. Michael Salkin

    Big Island Vet

    Satisfied Customers:

    3268
    University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 41 years of experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3188
    12 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2873
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PE/petdrz/2012-6-7_16239_MeandDoncropped.64x64.JPG Dr. Z.'s Avatar

    Dr. Z.

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1936
    Over 25 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Cat Veterinarian
Dr Pete
Dr Pete
602 Satisfied Customers
Bachelor of Veterinary Science University of Melbourne