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Dr. Ann
Dr. Ann, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 128
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 20 years and a cat owner for 30 years.
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My cat is losing hair in clumps & leaving bald spots on her

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My cat is losing hair in clumps & leaving bald spots on her sides & pressure points like elbows. She recently was on a course of flagyl & she got steroid shots the end of June & end of July for asthma, but she's had not shots since then. She started losing her hair only 1 1/2 weeks ago, so it seems a little far from the steroids. Any suggestions on what could be happening? She also is on Revolution for fleas. Thank you.

HelloCustomer I understand how frustrating this must be for you. Since her hair is coming out in clumps, my first thought is that she could have ringworm. Has she been exposed to any other cats or kittens lately? If not, and she's never had ringworm before, then you have to start thinking allergies- including food allergies. Has her food changed in the last month or so? Any new type of treats? If it is any allergy, the steroids may actually have helped her. Have you taken her to your vet yet? They can do a wood's light exam to co a quick check for ringworm as well as a fungal culture if the wood's light test is negative. Skin problems have so many different causes but you have to start somewhere and these are th
e easiest and most cost effective tests to run. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions. Dr. Ann
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The vet has already sent off a test for ringworm, but she took a skin scraping & looked at it under the microscope & said she didn't think it looked like ringworm. The only new food I put her on was Fancy Feast Beef & Liver. I took her off after she started losing her hair, but it didn't improve. Any other suggestions?
DearCustomer The test for ringworm can take 4-10 days to turn positive, so that may still be your answer- time will tell. If it is ringworm, she can be treated, so that would be the easy answer. Other problems that can cause hair loss are allergies to the pollens in the air (although most cats with this type of allergy start showing signs before 4-5 years of age), food allergies- which can be hard to pinpoint and even mosquito bites! Wish I could help you more, but with skin it's one test at a time until you've ruled things out. Has she had bloodwork to make sure there are no underlying problems? I'm also assuming she is spayed- let me know if she isn't. Is she longhaired or shorthaired? And finally, have you changed laundry detergents. Also, is she itchy or just losing the hair. Let me know. Dr. Ann
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I just saw your reply. I see that you wrote it earlier, but I wasn't notified until a little while ago. Thank you for all of your thoughtful responses. Lillie has been spayed. I have killed a couple of mosquitoes in the house so that could be a possibility. She also has been lying on top of the furnace in the basement, which has a fiberglass wrapping on it. I wonder that could have gotten under her skin. The vet did blood work, but I don't have the results back yet. She did a CBC & thyroid. I'm not sure about chemistry, but I'm pretty sure she did that, too. What would be the treatment for skin allergies? Steroid shots? If it is, could she have had this condition for a couple of months, but since she got the steroid shots for her asthma it didn't show up? Let me know. Thank you.

Vicki Tierney
The treatment for skin allergies depends on the allergen, but steroid shots often do keep it controlled. I'd wait for the fungal results first- that is still a good possibility. I usually try to find the cause of the allergies. There is an allergy test that can be sent to Greer laboratories and if she is allergic to pollens, she can be desensitized with allergy shots. I would actually try a different food before going that route as the allergy test is expensive. But wait for the culture results before doing anything. You should also keep her from lying on the furnace in case the fiberglass is irritating here. Good luck and hope I've given you some helpful information. As I said before, skin problems are frustrating because there are so many things that can cause them.

Dr. Ann
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