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Dr. K
Dr. K, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 7544
Experience:  13 years experience as Veterinarian
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My cat chews his hind leg to the point he is raw. Is there

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My cat chews his hind leg to the point he is raw. Is there any kind of wrap or possibly a pullover, flexible wrap that I can use. I have tried vet wrap and he eventually pulls it off. He wears a cone but I do not wan him to have to wear it all of the time. My local vet tells me that he has arthritis and we give him glutamine for that.

For how long has he been chewing at his hind end like this?
Is he having trouble walking?

Dr. K
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

At this point he has been chewing this area since September 2008. We had used the cone then and it was nearly healed so we removed the cone. Then he went back to it. So we took him back to the vet and he (the Vet) x-rayed the area and said he had arthritis (that was his opinion).


Our cat does not seem to have a problem walking.

Honestly, I have never heard of a cat tearing at his legs like this for arthritis. Usually, this level of chewing is due to a problem with itchiness. Also, if a cat has arthritis bad enough to make him chew at himself...he really should not walk normally. He should show visible signs of stiffness and pain when walking. So, I would really recommend taking him to a different vet for a second opinion about what is causing him to chew at his rear like this.

The most common reason that a cat is going to constantly chew at their fur in this specific area is flea infestation. Your veterinarian should thoroughly evaluate your cat for the presence of fleas, and the kitty should be on a monthly safe and effective flea preventative such as Advantage, Frontline, or Revolution. Even if you do not see any fleas on your cat, if she is allergic to the flea saliva, then just one flea on her can drive her absolutely crazy. For this reason, all cats and dogs in the house should be on an effective montly preventative product. In some cases, cats can cause themselves a secondary bacterial infection in their skin (pyoderma) which needs to be treated with oral antibiotics for several weeks.

Other common causes of this behavior in cats are feline scabies and cheyletiella. Scabies and cheyletiella are both mite infections that can be diagnosed with a test at the veterinarian called a skin scraping. This is treated with oral or injected ivermectin given over the course of several weeks.

In some cases, cats do this activity as an anxiety or compulsive disorder. This usually responds to treatment with serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as fluoxetene and paroxetine. In some cases tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline are efficacious.

I am attaching some client information handouts that I use in my practice that discuss these conditions in more detail. I hope that you find them useful.

Click Here
Click Here 2

I hope that this information is of help to you, and that your kitty feels better soon. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Dr. K.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I don't believe he has fleas. I do feel he is a nervious cat, so to speak. I have heard of separation anxioty.
Cats are not usually prone to separation anxiety, but they do have other types of anxiety disorders that can result in this type of compulsive chewing behavior. I do hope that you are able to take him to another doctor for a second opinion, and that you can get him on a treatment program that will end this behavior.

Dr. K

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