Hello, Customer and welcome back to Just Answer.I'm so sorry to hear that Sammie has been experiencing these uncomfortable symptoms for about 3 years, now.From your description, it does sound like an allergy to something, and as I'm sure you know the list is quite lengthy. She could be sensitive to the laundry detergent and/or fabric softener you use, if she sleeps on your bed and/or you wash linen (towels, blankets, etc.) for her bed in the same brand. She could be allergic to any cleansers or carpet shampoos/powders you may use; scented candles, plug in air fresheners, cigarette smoke if anyone smokes in the house, etc., things along that line. Here is more information about allergies in cats: AllergiesChanging her to a grain free diet was great, but some cats are allergic to the protein source (meat) in their food and need a limited ingredient diet (LID) containing protein and carb alternatives. Royal Canin, Natural Balance and other manufacturers make these types of foods and they are usually available from your vet if they are not carried in your pet supply store.After all these years and your vet trying to resolve the problem to no avail, it might be a good next step to have Sammie evaluated by a veterinary dermatologist who will have the experience and equipment to hopefully, get to the bottom of this problem and then prescribe the most effective treatment. Taking a skin scraping (painless) from this general area for culture and analysis under a microscope would be helpful, as would checking her for ear mites which could be falling out of her ears onto the fur near her eyes/nose and causing this intense itching. Ear MitesOther external parasites like fleas (you don't necessarily have to see them) could also be a possibility. Indoor only cats can get fleas brought inside by humans on shoes and pantlegs.Keep her claws trimmed on a steady basis, so she does less damage with them when she scratches, and bathing the area with a warm dampened cotton ball, then gently patting dry, should help. I would recommend 'soft paws', which are vinyl nail caps put on the claws with a special adhesive, but they are usually difficult to get on and need to be replaced about every 6 weeks. They are inexpensive and sold in all major pet supply stores, so if you want to give them a try, they might cause Sammie to do less damage when she scratches in this sensitive area.Discuss with your vet if she should be given antihistamines or steroids now, to decrease the itching, just until you can get her seen by a veterinary dermatology specialist. Specialists are usually found in ER vet centers and Veterinary Colleges. You usually need a referral, which you can get from your regular vet.I hope all will be well with Sammie and the cause of the itching is diagnosed and treated, so she's feeling much more comfortable!If you have any additional questions, please do not rate yet, but click Reply to let me know if you need further assistance.If you are satisfied with the answer, kindly take a moment to rate positively so I receive credit from the site for my assistance. I'd appreciate it, thanks!Best regards,Cher
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX is so much to consider.
Regarding household products...what if we have been using the same products for as long as we have had Sammie? Can she develop an allergy anyway?
Her dry and wet catfood is fish/seafood based only - she doesn't like meat. She eats BG (Before Grain) and either Fussy Cat or Weruva - do those have allergens?
I feel so defeated with the poor vet visits, but we'll give it another go. Is there a way for you to recommend a vet or derm specialist in the Seattle area?
I would like to avoid ANOTHER lousy vet experience. Thanks.
Hi again, Customer and you're most welcome.Thanks very much for your excellent rating; it is greatly appreciated.In answer to your questions: re: the cleansers, laundry detergents, etc., if there have been no changes over the years, Sammie is most likely used to being in contact with these products, but just keep in mind that a cat can develop an allergy at any time, even from something that never adversely affected her in the past.Re: the food--some cats react badly to fish or meat protein in their food. The 'alternative' diets contain protein sources like rabbit and duck and carb sources like green pea and potato, which have been shown to not cause allergic reaction or less of a reaction.The brands of food you are serving sound great. Check the labels for any meat or fish by-products, corn, soy, gluten, wheat, dairy products, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, as these are common allergens for cats. If these foods are grain-free, they shouldn't contain any of the offending grains. The first ingredient should be real meat or fish.I understand how frustrated you are with the many vet visits (and it's no fun for Sammie, either). If you can provide your zipcode, I will be happy to research general vets and dermatology specialists in your area. Best regards,Cher
Ok. Good to know - I was not sure if cats could develop allergies over time although it makes sense.
The wet catfood is labeled "grain free." The first ingredient is usually tuna, tilapia, or salmon. And none of the items you listed above are in the contents - so that makes me feel better.
I live in Seattle, 98121. Thanks again, Marissa
Dr Alan Mundell, Animal Dermatology Clinic, 425-771-4600, Edmonds.
(I don't know how far Edmonds is far from you)
They don't list dermatology as a specialty, but you can call and ask and also see an internal medicine specialist.
Animal Dermatology Service
Dermatology for cats and dogs 6525 15th NW Seattle 98117
Animal Skin & Allergy Clinic
16418 7th Pl W, #B Lynnwood, WA 98037
Cats Exclusive Veterinary Hospital Cat specialists 19203 Aurora Ave N Shoreline 98133 206-546-CATS http://www.catsexclusive.com/
If no one else can help:
Washington State University School of Veterinary Medicine Free advice on ailments. Difficult to diagnose or treat, clinics available. Pullman 99164 509-335-0711 http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/
I found the last four above, here: http://www.c3seattle.com/special.html
Check out these feline vets in your general area:
Please let me know how Sammie is doing and if another vet/specialist will be of help to her. Thanks!
I hope all will be well with your furry girl!
Cher, this is so much more than I expected. Thank you! Marissa
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Sammie hasn't done much scratching for the last few days - I always wonder if it has to do with the weather. But we are taking her to the vet next week. We should no more after that visit.