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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 11253
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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my cat is covered with scabs, mainly on the back of the neck,

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my cat is covered with scabs, mainly on the back of the neck, and has lost fur on is sides with a few raw hairless patches. He acts normal and we have been fighting fleas for months. Is this an allergic reaction to fleas? and is there any medication than can help with the scabs and loss of hair, while I keep putting frontline flea drops on him every month? The scabs seem to go away temporarily within a week or 2 after applying flea drops. He is a persian and use to be a very pretty long haired cat, but now he's lost hair and his tail isn't as bushy as it use to be.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. John replied 8 years ago.
Hello. Thanks for writing in. I agree that this is all related to the fleas. Scabs around the next are common with fleas in cats. It could very well be a flea allergy. If you haven't treated your house and yard for fleas, do that ASAP. Once you are having a flea problem, you are already 3 months behind, so it will take that long to get it under control. You have to make sure you have treated the premises as well. Vacuum often as this removes most of the flea eggs and larva. I recommend switching from Frontline besides it may not be working long enough. It has been around a long time, and there is resistance. I would recommend using Vectra instead. It is a brand new product, and it also has an insect growth regulator in it. No other flea preventative has this. I would recommend trying to get some Knockout spray for the premises. It also has an insect growth regulator. This is key for premise control. Talk to your vet about getting the Vectra (you can't buy it online) and prednisone for itching, assuming there are no other issues like diabetes that may make prednisone contraindicated. You may be able to find the Knockout Spray online. I would apply the Vectra every 2 weeks for 3 treatments then monthly. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thank you so much for this answer, it really helps alot. There is one other thing that I forgot to mention before I accept this answer. My cat used to be very healthy and solid bodywise (muscular toned) and also has had fleas before in which none of the scabs, hairloss and itching began until about a year ago. He also has lost weight, which was hard to notice at first with all the hairloss, however, he is very flabby now in his lower abdomin region and the best way to describe it is, he lost weight in his belly/intestinal area but his skin didn't shrink to compesate his weightloss. Is this all most likely related to the flea allergy or could it be something else with the loose skin? Like I said before, he acts normal and seems to eat normal also. thanks for your answer and I will accept after this.

Expert:  Dr. John replied 8 years ago.
Well, sometimes, when the fleas are bad enough with a cat or dog, they do so much itching and feel so bad that there appetite may decrease. Weight loss can occur from this. To be on the safe side, I would recommend getting some bloodwork to check for diabetes, liver function, kidney function and thyroid function - all of which can cause weight loss. You might also want to get a fecal exam to make sure he doesn't have any worms. Tapeworms are very common with fleas. Cats get them from eating the fleas. Hope this helps.
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