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Hi, I am vetmom and I will happy to help you today with your cat. I attend many continuing education courses on feline medicine.
Many cats have multiple allergies to different things and can be often difficult to track down.
What flea/tick drops are you currently using?
Are the bumps and scabs present all year long or all they seasonal?
Hartz. They were formerly there all the time, but disappeared after we took beef out of the diet. Could it be related to flea bites, even though I don't ever see any fleas?
Yes, they can be related to flea bites, since a cat can be bitten by a flea before the medication has a chance to kill the flea. I prefer a product called Revolution. Generally, the OTC flea meds are products that contain ingredients that have been around for a while and the fleas have developed resistance to them.
I see. Where can I buy Revolution? And what about the product line Frontline?
"Opera" could have co-existing allergies as well. The bumps you describe are called "miliary dermatitis" and can be caused from different etiologies such as allergies, bacterial, or fungal infections.
Frontline Plus would be better than the Hartz in my opinion and is available OTC now. Revolution is still a prescription product as it prevents heartworms as well and Frontline does not.
What do you recommend in addition to changing flea drop product?
Some options here:
So, are heartworms something that I need to be concerned for my cat as well.?
1 - diagnosis the problem with tests such as skin scrapings, fungal cultures, skin biopsy, allergy testing, etc. And then treat accordingly based on the evidence.
2 - have your veterinarian give her a steroid injection and if she gets better, then you likely have a diagnosis of allergies.
3 - try an over the counter antihistamine called chlorpheniramine (trade name: Chlortrimeton). It comes in 4 mg. tablets, is inexpensive. The dosage is 1/2 tablet morning and evening.
Yes, heartworm disease is becoming more and more of a problem. Even indoor cats are susceptible. And unfortunately there is no treatment if they get heartworms. They either die acutely or develop severe respiratory issues. Prevention is the only way to deal with them currently.
OK. Is there anything more that I should know at this point?
Yes, if the steroid shot is helpful, she could take prednisone pills as needed to control the allergic symptoms. But I would try the antihistamine I listed above first.
OK. This is very helpful. Is there anything more that I should know?
First as in before trying prednisone pills. But you may have to get the steroid shot before hand.
There is a blood test for food allergies in animals. But most cats with food allergies have itchiness and scabs around their face.
Oh. I see. So it very well could be flea bites and maybe not the beef after all.
There is one more possibility. Occasionally I have seen cat with impacted anal glands have itchiness and scabs on their backs. These can be expressed by your veterinarian and see if it helps.
It would be cheap and drug -less
OK. The vet would, of course, know the difference and what to do in this case.
OK. Is there anything more?
Do you have anything else you would like to ask me?
No. This is been very helpful. Thank you so much. I hope you have a really great day!
My pleasure. Thanks for asking just answer. If you are satisfied with my answer, please click on the accept button so I can try and help other pets. If not, please let me know. Kind regards, vetmom
You have made my day. That is great news!! What flea product did you change to?
Thanks so much, vetmom