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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10215
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My cat has hair loss at the base of s tail and scabs around

Customer Question

Hi my cat has hair loss at the base of his tail and scabs around his neck. Could the issues be related? He grooms quite a bit. He was a stray and I took him in 10 months ago. He was treated for fleas then. He is fearful of the outdoors now and runs out in the morning and evenings to do his business and immediately runs back in.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. John replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Thanks for writing in. My name is***** and I would be happy to help you. I do have a few questions for you to better assess your situation.

Is he still on flea prevention every month? If so, which one?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No he is not. The vet treated him once for fleas when he was rescued. I use a flea comb on him regularly and don't see fleas. I see some small white specks like dry skin. His fur looks healthy and shiny.I also have two other cats (both over 10) and they spend more time outdoors and never had fleas.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When he was rescued his eyes were in bad shape with keratitis from the feline herpes virus. I treated him with lysine and his eyes are now clear.
Expert:  Dr. John replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the information. The reason I ask is because his symptoms are very, very consistent with flea allergy dermatitis in cats. There really isn't anything else that causes those skin problems in cats when presented together. Now, in cats, I never expect to see the fleas on them when there is an issue because they groom so fastidiously that they actually eat the fleas. Some cats can show more severe symptoms of flea problems then others if they have an allergy to the flea saliva. With a true allergy, only a few fleas can cause a lot of problems. It is interesting that you mention the small white flecks. Does it look more like dandruff or sesame seeds. If sesame seeds, you are probably seeing dried tapeworm segments, which they get from eating fleas. If it is dandruff, then it could be a dry skin issue or even a skin mite called Cheyletiella. The "dandruff" may move when flaked onto a dark background if it is the mite. Other potential concerns are environmental inhaled allergies, food allergies, ringworm, scabies mites, tail gland hyperplasia (would be more oily around base of tail) and pemphigus (immune system problem). With his symptoms, though, I would seriously be thinking about flea allergies first, despite not seeing any on him. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Hope this helps.

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