How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Karing Your Own Question
Dr. Karing
Dr. Karing, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 429
Experience:  General veterinarian with a special interest in internal medicine and emphasis on individualized care.
24928096
Type Your Cat Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Karing is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We have a 3 year old male cat that has recently started

Customer Question

We have a 3 year old male cat that has recently started pulling the hair from the upper part of his paws and legs. We've visited several vets and none seem to have an explanation for this behavior. It's so severe that the area looks raw, Any ideas?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Did the cat have a fall?
Customer: No. I forgot to mention that it's both front paws. Other than that he is very playful and loves being near us.
JA: The Veterinarian will ask you more detailed questions to find out what is causing this. It might be a fracture. The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Flexi
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Flexi?
Customer: He loves to play fetch and run through the house as fast as he can. He's never been abused, or hurt in any way.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Karing replied 7 months ago.

Hi there,

I'mCustomerand I would be glad to help with your question. There are several possibilities for what is happening to Flexi.

Itchiness/allergies: consider flea infestation and provide an effective monthly topical treatment for two months such as Cheristin to rule-out flea hypersensitivity (i.e. meaning you may see no fleas but that is still the issue) https://www.amazon.com/Elanco-Animal-Health-33385-Cheristin/dp/B00I9ZUL02/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477670316&sr=8-1&keywords=cheristin, also consider food allergy which can only be explored via 10 weeks use of a hypoallergenic oir limited ingredient diet and lastly environmental allergies (i.e. pollens, dust mites, etc.). A trial treatment on steroids can be performed to assess for atopy (and flea hypersensitivity) BUT this can have side effects and risks so exploring other options first may be advised.

Infection: bacteria, yeast, fungal and mite infection may play a role in Flexi's excessive grooming. Sometimes, but not always, the problem starts as itchiness but progresses to include infection. One clue is did the hair loss occur first and then you noticed redness later or not. Regardless, skin cytology is advised to evaluate for bacteria and yeast and topical or oral medications can be prescirbed as indicated. A skin scraping is necessary to rule-out demodex gati (mange of this type is rare in cats) and a fungal culture is necessary to rule-out ringworm: this is important for all cats with skin disease. There are other mites such as sarcoptic and cheytiella which can be hard to diagnose but treated easily with Revolution topically: these are contagious usually not limited to a small area of the body. Sometimes the appearance of the lesions and your cat's history will make your vet more suspicious one or more of these less common issues.

Eosinophilic granuloma complex: this is a very itchy condition that usually arises from an allergy. It has a distinct appearance to those familiar with it. It is best diagnosed by skin biopsy but a cell sample collected with a scraping will have many eosinophil white blood cells present. Treatment is with immunosuppressives and hopefully eliminating the trigger such as fleas.

Psychogenic alopecia: diagnosis of exclusion in which cat chooses to barber hair due to an obsessive compulsive disorder that may be brought on by stress. This can only be concluded after all other reasonable options have been eliminated. Treatment is with reduction of stress through play, providing adequate resources for food/water/vertical spaces as well as pheromone therapy (i.e. Feliway) and some cats require anxiety medication such as Prozac.

There are other less common causes of skin disease and I think those are less likely in a 3 year old cat. However, before you elect to put your cat on long term medication for anxiety or steroids for an allergy that you may not be certain of, I would recommend a chemistry profile, complete blood count and skin biopsy for histology.

So if Flexi were my patient and his exam was normal aside from the lesions you describe. I would recommend cytology and a skin scrape. I would talk with you about whether he is itchy at all elsewhere on his body and if you have other pets, do they have any symptoms. Based on that information, I would discuss the pros and cons of a fungal culture for ringworm and a trial treatment for mange/mites with Revolution. Assuming we don't need to use Revolution and the cytology and skin scrape were negative, then I'd recommend Cheristin for two months and a short course of oral prednisone. If that failed, then we'd have to reevaluate and consider other avenues. Please note topical steroids are less efffective in cats because they will lick off the treatment. It is still an option but do use a veterinary variety such as this: https://www.amazon.com/Zymox-Pet-Spray-Hydrocortisone-2-Ounce/dp/B0025YKUIQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477671680&sr=8-1&keywords=cat+topical+steroid

and distract Flexi for 5 minutes after application by feeding him or holding him (i.e. also avoid contact with eyes).

I hope that the information I provided has been helpful. Please remember to select REPLY TO EXPERT if you have more questions or would like additional information. It is my goal to provide you with the most complete information possible prior to you leaving a feedback rating. If you received all the information you needed, then kindly submit a rating.

Normal
0
false
false
false
EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE<w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" DefUnhideWhenUsed="true"
DefSemiHidden="true" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99"
LatentStyleCount="267">
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="0" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Normal"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="heading 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="10" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Title"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="11" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="22" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Strong"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="20" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="59" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="34" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="List Paragraph"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="29" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Quote"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="30" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Quote"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/>/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

Psychogenic

Related Cat Veterinary Questions