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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26286
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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My cat has scratched s chin until the hair is gone. what can

Customer Question

my cat has scratched his chin until the hair is gone. what can I do for him and what do you think caused him to do this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Jess K replied 1 year ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Jess. I am sorry to hear about your kitty. Can you tell me how long this has been going on for?

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'll follow up for Dr. Jess for you. Can you upload a photo of these areas to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if that icon is visible) or you can use an external app such as dropbox.com. I can be more accurate for you if I can see what you're seeing. Scabies (notoedric mange) and food intolerance can cause such pruritis (itchiness) about the face. Scabies shouldn't be the issue if Tiger is an indoor cat. If he's not, however, injectable or oral ivermectin as prescribed by Tiger's vet should be curative. Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that Tiger's immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from his vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (a hydrolyzed protein diet is my preference). A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time.

Finally, a miliary dermatitis - a papulocrustous eruption (scabby bumps) of his skin may have arisen. This is a peculiar hypersensitivity reaction in cats often due to a flea saliva allergy or atopy - allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites, etc. - and should respond nicely to a corticosteroid such as the prescription prednisolone.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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