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I have an older cat with FIV. In the past week he has

Customer Question
I have an older...

I have an older cat with FIV. In the past week he has started to become itchy and has bald patches on the back around his tale and a strip on each side going from his tail to the middle of his back. We thought he had fleas so we treated him with Frontline and our other cat. The other cat has no symptoms of losing fur or itching. He has also lost interest in eating his wet food. Could it have something to do with his FIV?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Using the wrong medication for fleas can be dangerous. You should definitely talk to the Veterinarian. What is the cat's name and age?

Sylvester and as he was a rescue, we believe he is about 6 yrs old

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

No, he's been a very healthy cat up to this point despite his FIV

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 16 minutes by:
12/17/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian replied 5 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 22,830
Experience: Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

Now based on Sylvester's signs, this does sound suspicious of flea allergy dermatitis. And it just takes one bite by a flea with flea saliva sensitive cats (and often it is just one cat we see signs with just as one member of a human family can have hayfever). So, you were right to treat for fleas but do keep an eye that they remain free of fleas (and flea dirt) because Frontline has been showing some treatment failure as fleas become resistant to it. Otherwise, we need to actually treat the allergic reaction that makes them itch at the same time. To do that, you can give him an OTC antihistamine. Most commonly we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/diphenhydramine-benadryl). A low dose (ie. 0.25mg per pound of their body weight twice daily) can just be enough to reduce allergic irritation. Alternatively, we can use Cetirizine (just 5mg for a cat) once daily. For either, we like to keep the dose low, to avoid drowsiness. Of course, double check with your vet first if your wee one has any known health issues or is on any other medication you didn't mention.

Otherwise, I would just note that while his itchiness isn't likely related to the FIV, appetite loss is a vague sign that can be. Of course, it can also be caused by oral discomfort (often bad teeth), or nausea (even without vomiting) from GI infections, dietary indiscretions, organ issues, pancreatitis, etc. Therefore, if his appetite doesn't pick up as you treat the itchiness, we'd then want to consider a check up with his vet to just make sure we don't have anything more serious here. If we do, he may need antibiotics, anti-nausea medication, +/- appetite stimulants. But again we'd hope that if we address his skin issues that may make him feel better and get him eating.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian replied 5 months ago
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.
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