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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4277
Experience:  20 years of companion animal experience
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My cat wont stop licking and making wounds on herself

Resolved Question:

hi there, my cat has a skin problem and the local vet has ran out of ideas of what it could be, she has had it for a year and fits the description of a cat hotspot, or dermatitis. She is obsessively licking the wounds all the time, and when they get better, they always come back
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 5 years ago.
Hi, I'm Dr. Steve and I have a few questions. What are you using for flea control and have you seen any fleas at all on her. Are the raw spots scattered over her entire body or typically one area? When you changed her diet, what did you use and did she get anything in addition to her diet (anything at all)?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I use front line for flea control, I have never seen a flea on her ever. The spot started on her front right leg about a year ago, she licked it so it turned into a sore it's all scaly, red and bleeds when she obsesses over it, it heals and comes back all the time, she now has two more one on her belly and one on her other front leg. The food was Hills Feline Z/d 1.8kg. We were under strict rules to feed her absolutely nothing but this, and that exactly what we did for six weeks, at the end there was no change.
At the moment we have been told to put Elocon on the wounds and bucket on her head...
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for the information. I have to examine a dog and I will be back in 30-45 minutes, thanks for your patience.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok, I will be online for a while, and I have all my notes from my vet with me so I will be able to give you additional information if you need.
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 5 years ago.

Hi, It sounds like fleas are not the issue, you have used the best nonallergenic food and did the allergy food trial correctly? The only things left are allergies to an environmental allergen. These could be pollen, dust mites, dust, smoke, basically anything that people can be allergic to, animals can also. There are 2 ways to deal with allergies in cats. One is to treat the symptoms with steroids which don't seem to be effective long term for your cat. There is another product called Atopica by Novartis Animal Health Company. It is licensed for use in dogs, but has been used by veterinary dermatologists in cats and have had good response and few side effects. This is a capsule that has to be given daily for 30-45 days, then some cats can be reduced to every other day treatment. The other way to deal with allergies is to have an allergen skin test done, just like in people, to determine what Jasmine is allergic to and have her hyperimmunized to her specific allergen to buildup a tolerance. Similar to allergy shots in people. You may have to go to a university or veterinary dermatologist to have this done. I would suggest talking to your vet about using Atopica to see if it helps. Some vets aren't aware that you can use Atopica in cats and unfortunately I can't give you the dosage without examining Jasmine, but your vet can call the company or a veterinary dermatologist and get the cat dosage from them. If this doesn't work, then an allergy test may be the next step.

To address the behavioral aspect. There is no good way to diagnose behavioral issues like this. You either have to treat with antianxiety medications and see if that helps or you do the full treatment for allergies and see if the work, if the allergy treatment protocol doesn't work, ,then it may be behavioral. If you aren't opposed to using antianxiety medications, it may be quicker and less expensive to start her on antianxiety medicine while her current wounds are healing and in 30-45 days after she has been on antianxiety medicine you would know if they are working or not. Unfortunately this is all going to take some time to get results, so more patience on your part will be necessary.

There are many antianxiety medications available and vet can start you on what they feel is the best. I hope this has helped. Good Luck.


Please click the accept button if this has helped. Thanks.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you Steve, you have been very helpful.
I just have one more question, what are the few side effects of her taking Atopica?
And the antianxiety if she took that instead? Are you able to give me an estimated price range?

I have been thinking about having her have an allergy test for a while now, I think I am defintley going to so this. In her vet report she had the sore tested and the Diagnoses was, Pyotraumatic dermatitis, or identified as eosinophilic hypersensitivity dermatitis.

I have no idea what this means...
But this test was done on the 16/06/2009 and she is breaking out again.
My parents smoke in the house, but she now lives with me where no one smokes, she used to go outside at home but where I live she can't go outside, so even with a different environment this is still happening.

She has also had Clomicalm, Cortisone (sorry spelt that wrong before), Depo Medrol Injections, Neocort Cream, Elocon cream, Noroclav tablets 50mg, Drontal, Dexafort Injection.

I thought I should tell you these just incase they medications you suggest are the same as something I have already tried, I have even tried different litter in her cat box to see if that was the problem.
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for the information. Most of her medications are steroid based aimed at controlling the itching that she is doing. The lab report on her skin condition indicates an infection that is caused by her itching and the hypersensitivity part is referring to a possible allergic cause. The clomicalm is one of the antianxiety medications that I was thinking about, so she has had at least a trial of antianxiety medicine. I think with this extra information, that going forward with the allergy tests. The side effects I occasionally see in dogs is vomiting because of the cod liver oil that is used as a carrier in the atopica. This side effect seems to be much less of an issue in cats. Remember the atopica is doing the same thing that the steroids do, it just reduces the itching sensation so Jasmine is less likely to itch and cause her sores. It may work fine for you, but the allergy test and allergen hypersensitivity injections are what will help her not react to whatever she is allergic to. Good Luck and Thanks
Dr. Steve, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4277
Experience: 20 years of companion animal experience
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