Thank you for contacting JustAnswer with your questions. I'm sorry Grant is itching.
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I'd like to ask you some questions so that I can provide the best advice possible
-Has Grant had issues with itching in the past?
-Is his housemate itching at all?
-Itching can be caused by many skin issues.
-Allergies can occur to food or substances in the environment. Cats can develop allergies to food even if they have been on the food for months to years. Typically, it is the protein in the food they are allergic to. Itching and scabbing will typically occur year-round with food allergies. Feeding a prescription hypoallergenic diet for 12 weeks can help to determine if food allergies are present. Over-the-counter limited ingredient or skin support diets are not likely to be helpful as there is a lot of cross-contamination that has been proven to occur with these diets.
-Environmental allergies, to pollen and dust mites, are also common. These tend to get worse in certain seasons. Sometimes, they may not change if the allergen is always in the environment. Generally, these allergies are diagnosed by the response to treatment. Steroids may also be helpful to decrease itching, but can have some serious side effects like thinning of the skin, elevated liver value, increased drinking, increased urination, panting, and hunger. Cats are particularly sensitive to steroids and can develop diabetes. Hypoallergenic sensitization shots are typically recommended for cats.
-Environmental allergies can be helped dramatically with twice-weekly bathing in an oatmeal shampoo. Wet the fur with lukewarm water, lather well, allow the shampoo to stay on the fur for 5-10 minutes. Rinse the fur very thoroughly to be sure all soap is removed.
-Fleas can cause itching and scratching. Cats can be allergic to flea bites, so it may not take very many to cause severe itching. It is best to be sure you are using a flea treatment that kills the adult, egg, and larval stages of the flea even if you are not seeing fleas.
-Skin mites can cause very intense itching. A skin scraping is needed to find the mites. Some types of mites can be very difficult to find, so your veterinarian may recommend treating mites even if they are not able to find the little critters.
-Fungal and bacterial infections of the skin can also occur. Bacterial infections can be diagnosed by getting an impression of the area and looking at it under the microscope. Fungal infections require a special culture of the fur.
-It is not possible to say which of the causes, or possibly other causes, is what is bothering Grant.
-I would recommend that you apply a flea medication as described above if you are not doing so routinely. Make sure that the flea medication is labeled to kill all life stages. Only use flea medications labeled for cats, her size, and age. Treat all the pets in the house for fleas.
-Bathe her twice a week as described above. Make sure to wait at least 3 days after applying flea medication to bathe.
-You can also try antihistamines, although they are only effective in about 25% of allergy cases. Typically, I start with Benadryl. This can be dosed at 1mg/lb (5mg for her size) three times daily.
-Adding fish oil or omega fatty acids to her diet may help as well.
-If the itching is not improving within 3-5 days, I would recommend that you have her evaluated by his veterinarian to see if other treatments may be helpful.
-It could be. Sadly, many skin problems look similar and are tough to tell apart without more testing/treatment.
-I did send you some recommedations to try to help with the itching until you get into your veterinarian.
Were you able to see those or should I re-send them?
I hope Grant was able to get an appointment. Please feel free you reach out if you have any questions.
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