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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16303
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Our cat, a Russian Blue has an all over rash. Seamed to come

Customer Question

Our cat, a Russian Blue has an all over rash. Seamed to come on last spring/summer as weather got warmer. It has happen before and went away as weather cooled. It seams to be hanging on this time. She is not overly bothered by it, she does clean often and only scratches a little. She is raw and has thinning hair on back. We find no fleas or nits
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Based on the signs you have reported and the seasonal nature of previous flare ups, I would be quite suspicious that Misty may have a pollen based allergy. These can often cause diffuse irritation and rashes all over the body (as opposed to fleas that usually target over the back and tail base) and tend to have a seasonal distribution ( as opposed to home or food based allergies which can be year round). And I would note that if the winter isn't cooling as usual, then this may be why the signs are lingering.

In this case, you noted a range of treatments but its unclear if she is on any just now. If she isn't and her signs are mild, you can try her with an antihistamine. Most commonly we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/diphenhydramine-benadryl). A low dose (ie. 0.25mg per pound of their body weight twice daily) can just be enough to reduce that allergic irritation. Alternatively, you can also use Cetirizine (just 5mg for a cat) once daily. For either, we like to keep the dose low, since it can cause drowsiness (just like people). And of course, these shouldn't be used if your wee one has any known health issues or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first.

Otherwise, in more severe cases, we do sometimes use steroids or immune modulating drugs like Atopica. So, you could speak to her vet about these if she isn't on one already or swapping to Atopica if the steroids aren't getting this under control for her.

In regards ***** ***** means to at least help her give her skin a break, I would note that it can help to have cats where baby tshirts or even e-collars to block their access to the skin. If she is scratching herself raw, then you can also clip her nails short, cover them with nail covers (ie SoftPaws) or even baby socks. These are just means to reducing the self-trauma she is causing to help give her skin time to heal and hair toregrow.

Finally, as I am sure you can appreciate, these treatments tend to block the issue but not address it fully. So, if you wished to do that then you could speak to her vet about allergen testing and immunotherapy. This is where they test (via blood or intradermal skin testing) to pinpoint which pollen is triggering her signs. Once we know which it is, you can potentially remove the offending plant if its in a small concentration around her or more practically she can be treated with an immune-vaccine to retrain her immune system not to react to this. So, that could be a longer term option for Misty if we test for which allergen is setting her off.

Overall, her signs do sound allergic in nature and if she is showing rashes everywhere during certain times of the year, then we'd be most suspicious of an environmental/pollen allergy. Therefore, we can use the above to help soothe her skin and those further tests and treatments to help manage her signs and keep her comfortable.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. *Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need, as this is the only way I receive credit for helping you today. Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

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