Have Cat Questions? Ask a Cat Vet Online.
You can post a photo or file on this thread if you have a toolbar.
You will have a toolbar with certain browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Explorer) and not with others (Chrome, Safari).
So, if you have a toolbar, then here is now to post them:
You need to post your files on your question page, so the expert can see them. On your question page, there is a tool bar above the reply box at the bottom of the page. If the tool bar is not showing, click "show tool bar". Once you have the tool bar showing, here are the instructions for posting your files:
For graphics, click the tree icon and then browse to choose a GIF, PNG, or JPG. Upload and then insert it.
For zip files, PDFs, or spreadsheets, you need to use the link tool. Enter text (like "download this") in the reply box and then double-click to highlight it. The link is the tool to the left of the tree. In the upper right corner is a browse dialog box, which you can use to locate your file. Select it and then insert the link. Use the Preview button if you want to test the link and see if it works correctly.
File size is limited to 1 MB.
For files bigger than 1MB, go to a free file hosting website such as MediaFire.com (Photobucket.com, Snapfish.com, Flickr.com) and click on the Upload button. Then navigate to your file and select it, and click the Start Upload button. When the uploading has completed you will be given a link to download the file. Copy the link and paste it in your question, and the Experts will be able to click on the link to download the file.
If you do not have a toolbar, then you can email your files to [email protected] and the moderators will forward them to the expert. Make sure you send from the email address that you used to register for the site, and make sure you mention who the files are for!
Hope that works for you! Fiona
1. Pumpkin has access to the outdoor patio.
2. Yes, I have other pets that are indoor/outdoor. They all get same flea treatments as mentioned above.
3.About the same year round.
4. Pills, Prednisolone, 5 mg, 1 tab twice daily for 5 days , 1 tab once daily for 5 days and .5 tab once for for 5 days.
I have sent photos to [email protected] and it was rejected because the file was too big. I ended up sending 3 separate emails with 2 photos each, total of 6, ending in #'s, 55, 56, 57, 59, 60, and 61 of Pumpkin's skin. Please let me know if you received all of them and if you need me to send more.
Thank you Dr. Fiona.
Attachments are only available to registered users.
1. The area where pumpkin has more of these scabs that you see in the picture is on his back and they go from his tail (the tail part next to his bottom) to about where his front legs are as a marker yet, they are on his back. He has had a few under his neck, yet none are there presently. He has small red dots are his belly, about the size a large period dot. I will send you a picture of his belly; I still need to take some and send them to you, most likely tonight. The pictures I have are of his back and that is where he has these scabs. It is an area of 2- 3 inches wide and they look like a line somewhat and are from the bottom of his tail to just past the middle of his back toward his neck.
2. The scabs on his back, the ones that are in the photos are about the size of the smiley face icon in the tool box above this box.
3. Yes, he is very itchy; miserable. That is why I am asking for your help. His skin is very sensitive. Yes, I see him chewing/licking/biting his hair off of his back.
4. No, he doesn't have any lesions or scabs on his feet or between his foot pads.
5. He doesn't really have any scabs on his throat, neck, or head.
6. Yes, he is still on flea control and all of the pets are always treated at the same time. As mentioned above, I have used just about everything for fleas and maintain the house and yard regularly. They have been on advantage topical flea treatment currently and sometimes, I apply it every 3 weeks rather than the 4 and it has been kept up on. And as I have said he seems to get worse after the advantage topical flea treatment.
The second microchip was placed ~ in the spring of 2008 and this is when his skin began to have the continuous irritations.
What you are describing sounds like Miliary Dermatitis.
This is an allergic skin condition in which the itchiness and scabs are typically in the tail head area, and the back legs. The skin is very itchy and the cat chews, licks, and scratches. Kitty may also "ripple" the skin often.
The skin has many small scabs and bumps (just like your photos) - supposedly they look like millet seed which is where the name comes from.
Here are some links to further information about this condition:
Miliary Dermatitis is caused by an underlying allergic condition.
The most common allergy is a flea bite hypersensitivity (flea allergy dermatitis, FAD).
With FAD, all it takes is ONE flea bite to cause this problem. It's kind of the same as how some people are allergic to bee stings. For most of us, a bee sting hurts a bit but isn't really a big deal. For others, however, a single bee sting can make their whole arm swell up or even cause an anaphylactic reaction that can be life -threatening.
In the same way, animals who have FAD get insanely itchy over a single flea bite.
In your situation, Pumpkin may have 1 flea bite a month when he goes outside. This would be enough to make him itchy! So, even though you may not see any fleas on your cat if a single flea hops on, takes a bite and then hops off, this cat could be insanely itchy for weeks!
This is an allergic problem that tends to get worse as the animal ages. Although I have not read any reports of it being triggered by placement of a microchip, if that stimulated his immune system it is possible.
Here is more about flea control: http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=1&cat=1333&articleid=590
For more information about flea allergy dermatitis, you can check out these links:
Since this may be what has triggered your itchy cat's Miliary Dermatitis, I would strongly agree that you should treat Pumpkin with Advantage or Frontline. In Canada, you can only get Advantage through a veterinarian, but in the USA you can get Frontline at large pet supply stores (Pet'SMart, etc), or even on-line. Frontline is SAFE and effective.
Miliary dermatitis is generally treated with corticosteroids, or in a mild case with antihistamines and essential fatty acids.
You could start Pumpkin on essential fatty acids as they are helpful at decreasing inflammation and improving skin health.
Here's a link to one example:
Antihistamines are much less helpful in cats than they are in humans and will significantly help only 25 to 30 percent of cases. You mentioned that you have tried them with little effect. They are often prescribed since they are relatively safe drugs when compared to corticosteroids. Some cats respond better to one antihistamine than another, so veterinarians usually try two or three different types before giving up on them. I usually start with chlorpheniramine in cats as you mentioned.
Here is more about it:
Another choice would be atarax:
So, in summary, what you are describing sounds like Miliary Dermatitis. This is an allergic skin condition. Often it is due to an underlying sensitivity to a flea bite. However, there may be another cause of the allergic dermatitis.
If Pumpkin remains itchy despite prednisone, I would add in DermCaps, and even consider injections of DepoMedrol. It is a long acting steroid, and somteimes really allergic cats need something that strong to control their symptoms.
Your veterinarian would need to examine Pumpkin in order to be able to prescribe corticosteroids but if you wanted to try something else before seeing the vet, you could treat start him on Derm Caps, and could even consider antihistamines (doses in link above). Unfortunately, the best way to resolve this compeltely and without drugs would be to keep ALL the animals strictly indoors to avoid 100% of flea contact.
I hope that helps!
If this has been helpful, please "Accept" my answer and leave feedback.
If you need more information, just click on reply and I will still be here to provide it!
The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.
Thank you; I appreciate all of the information. I thought you may come back with that. I am wondering though, can one flea cause all of those scabs; that is what I do not understand. And, he is currently on Advantage topical flea treatment as I have mentioned and the scabs and itching become worse after the application. Do you know anything about this? I have used Frontline before as well as mentioned and it seems to do no good. I understand that you may think it is fleas and although I see none on him and he has the skin and fur that show them, I am not saying it is not possible. I am just wondering why he has never had this skin problem before from fleas. Although I have always treated for fleas, I am especially more proactive with flea control since his skin condition than I have been in his previous years. He eats tuna wet cat food daily; do you think he receives the EFA's from this? I will check out the derm caps. I may possibly go the medrol injection route to see if it may help get him through this. Thank you for all of your help.