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My cat seems to have sensitivity along her spine from about…

Customer Question
My cat seems to...

My cat seems to have sensitivity along her spine from about the middle down to her tail. Whenever the area is touched, she begins nibbling on herself. She is 19 lbs. I've tried diet food and rationing and more exercise.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the cat's name?

Shiloh

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Shiloh?

She does get scared easily and has a stress induced UTI before but warms up quickly to people

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 8 hours by:
12/7/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,751
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Please let me know if you still need help. May I have an update on Shiloh, please? There are quite a few consideration in such a patient. I'm going to post my entire synopsis of the itchy cat for you and then the link to feline hyperesthesia so you'll have quite an overview of what I need to consider in cats such as Shiloh. Take your time perusing the information. There's a lot of it. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish once you've perused it.

Pruritic (itchy) cats are suffering from an allergic dermatitis the great majority of the time. Allergies to flea saliva, environmentals such as pollens, molds, dust and dust mites, and foods should be considered. In rare instances the mange mite Demodex might be responsible.

Our dermatologists tell us to apply an over the counter flea spot-on such as Advantage or a fipronil-containing product such as Frontline or, preferably, one of the newer prescription products to which fleas are less likely to have become resitant to, available from shiloh's vet even if fleas aren't seen. Cats can be such effective groomers so as to eliminate all evidence of flea infestation. Indoor cats can contract fleas because we walk them in on us and flea eggs and larva can remain viable in your home for months. Turning on the heater at this time of year then hatches the eggs. Flea saliva allergy is usually most evident on the saddle area – the area between the edge of the rib cage and tail. In severe cases, an anti-allergenic prescription corticosteroid such as prednisolone will work wonders for cats allergic to the saliva of the flea. Your other pets may not be allergic to the saliva of the flea.

Environmental allergies are usually addressed with prednisolone as well. In some cats an over the counter antihistamine such as chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton) dosed at 2mg/cat daily or diphenhydramine (Benadryl) dosed at 1-2mg/lb twice daily may be effective.

Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that Shiloh's immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. There are many prescription novel protein diets and the prototypical hydrolyzed protein diet is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (I prefer a hydrolyzed protein diet because it removes the possibility of my patient being intolerant to even a novel protein diet.). We usually see a positive response to these foods within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. A food intolerance can appear at any age and even if our cats have been eating the same food for quite some time.

Here's the link to feline hyperesthesia which should be an important consideration in Shiloh as well: http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/Health_Information/HyperesthesiaSyndrome.cfm?gclid=CjwKEAjwsYW6BRCTzvu5y8DPhi0SJABnGLlHvpLl_sZF6DG9I70lLI7WTVkxH017DayAYXp-yAXtJxoCIM_w_wcB

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
She did have fleas over the summer so that makes sense. When I had tried talking to my vet about it all she wants to do is a xray and give her pain pills.
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

A flea saliva allergy would be the best scenario. A short course of prednisolone in addition to rigorous flea control may be all that's necessary. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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