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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28566
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My cats fur has suddenly begun falling out in clumps. What

Resolved Question:

My cats fur has suddenly begun falling out in clumps. What is the cause and what shouldi do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
Hi - Can you tell me please if you're seeing Cinder scratch or bite herself more than expected in our cats?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 years ago.
Thank you. Shedding is a normal phenomenon in cats but some cats shed more than others - a common owner complaint - but perfectly normal for certain cats. Shedding may be seasonal or year round. In many cases in spite of hair loss, no alopecia (hairlessness) or skin abnormalities are associated. The top differentials include superficial pyoderma - usually a staph infection but rare in cats - anagen or telogen defluxion (the most common finding) - a rapid and sudden hair loss in either the resting or growing hair phase secondary to an underlying disease or stress, drug administration, infection, metabolic disease, fever, and anesthesia - dermatophytosis (fungal infection) - demodicosis (a mange mite called demodex) - and various endocrine (hormonal) diseases - rare in the cat. Because so many things can cause what you're seeing I have to perform skin scrapes on these cats and also examine the skin's cytology (cells and organisms) to pinpoint what the etiology is. In the rare case in which my patient doesn't remiss on its own I have to biopsy the skin for an answer. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She has. Already developed bald patches on her lowe back. My other concern is we are in northern Montana and.
anticipating very cold weather.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 years ago.
If her hair loss/bald patches are seen primarily on her saddle area we first think of either a flea saliva or food allergy. It would be hard for me to imagine a flea problem in Northern Montana at this time of year (unless your heater has caused a flea egg hatch and flea larval molt) and flea allergies are quite pruritic (itchy) so I would think you'd see a lot of scratching and biting at herself. A food allergy can emerge at any age and usually is manifested "rear and ear" - itchiness in the rear area and about the face and ears. We address food allergy with prescription hypoallergenic diets - diets with just one novel animal source protein such as venison or kangaroo - available from Cinder's vet. This allergy, too, should be pruritic so I'm wondering whether or not Cinder is a "silent groomer". Silent groomers wait until the dead of night to excoriate their skin and mislead us into thinking that their skin disease is non-pruritic. If there's any possibility that these allergies may be the case, Cinder's vet will likely dispense (or inject) a corticosteroid such as prednisolone which has the ability to break up "allergy attacks". There really aren't any other etiologies that would be expected to manifest primarily in the area you've described. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. My best to Cinder!