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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20229
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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Coco, a 6 year old feline has chewed the fur off all her

Customer Question

Coco, a 6 year old feline has chewed the fur off all her legs.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Did the cat have a fall?
Customer: No. She is an indoor cat and is given a great deal of attention.
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: Coco
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Coco?
Customer: She is a sweet cat but very jumpy. I am the only person in the house and she doesn't respond to any house guests. Coco is always fearful of noises. She\
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 months ago.

Hi,I'm Dr Scott. Welcome to JustAnswer, I am working on your question now, you can expect a written reply sometime within the next ten minutes or so.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 months ago.

Hello again

Hopefully this is something quite minor, however I have worked out an answer for you below.

This is actually a very easy question for me to answer as I have seen a great many cats like this in my consulting room over the years. This pattern of hair loss which Coco has particularly on the legs usually relates to allergic skin disease of the cat, this can suddenly strike in cats of any age group for no obvious cause. Unfortunately there is little you can do here on a home treatment basis so my advice has to be that you should have your vet take a look at the next opportunity as prescription drugs may well be required.

But lets talk about it a bit more ... There are a number of possibilities as to the allergen [ the cause of the allergy ]

1. It can be related to flea bites, the flea injects a small protein in to your cat's saliva when it feeds. If your cat has a predisposition then only one or two flea bites will set it off.

2. It can be related to other small proteins which get into the cat's blood stream via inhalation. Pollen and house dust are often implicated here.

3. Your cat could be allergic to something in her diet.

I am sure the above information is more or less accurate and that's all very well and good but what can you do about it? Well often it is difficult to work out precisely which allergen is causing the problem so these cats often get put on anti-allergy medication by your vet and this is satisfactory and works well but may not be a permanent cure and may have to be repeated a couple of times a year. This will make your cat much more comfortable though and the hair should grow back ...

Another approach might be to trial a commercial hypo-allergenic diet, I have know this work but it can take around six weeks to exert its effects and in that time you can only give this sort of diet and water.

It is possible to carry out allergy testing and I have done this a few times but the results can be unreliable. Of course you should be meticulous about flea control both on your cat and the house as flea bites even only a very few are often related to this condition as a trigger factor. But once the symptoms set in flea control alone is unlikely to resolve things.

If I have not covered your question fully enough or you would like to ask more I will be online for the next hour or so and I will be at your disposal.


Dr Scott
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