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Rebecca, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15368
Experience:  I have more than 30 years of veterinary practice experience.
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Hi, Im going to try to make a long story short. My white

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Hi, I'm going to try to make a long story short. My white 7 yr old cat all of a sudden started to itch and get a brown discharge in his ears. He's been itching his ears, face and neck and has removed some fur and left scratches on the outside of his ears. He has brown crusties in the tearducts and around his lower eyelids. He now has a large patch of fur on his stomach that is missing. He's been watching his private constantly and it's a little bit inflamed and has a brown discharge that turns into a crust that is hard for us to wash off for him. He's been shaking his head a lot and grunting. He's very uncomfortable. Our vet gave him 2 steroids, prednisolone first and then prednisone. They did work but after the pills were done, all the symptoms slowly came back. She had me switch him to a hypoallergenic diet and it helped a little but not much. She tested him for ringworm and that came back negative. She gave me an eye ointment and animax which seems to help but does not cure him. He's been itching so much that we looked online and found to rub vinegar into the skin on his neck and it does help the itch but doesn't cure him. My vet has no idea what is wrong with him and neither does the second doctor I tried. They suggested bringing him to a skin doctor. I feel like it's something more than that inside him. I'm desperate for some help in researching what else we can test him for. Any ideas what could be wrong with him?

I am sorry to hear about Skippy.

My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.

It will help me to answer you if I can get a little more information.

Were any skin scrapings or skin biopsies done?

What was the hypoallergenic diet you tried?

This will help me to answer you, and not to recommend something you have already tried.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi rebecca, no i havent done any skin scrapings yet. He is on royal canin hypoallergenic hydrolyzed protein food but he would steal a few snacks of our food as well once in a while
Thank you for that information about Skippy.

This does sound like it could be allergies, especially since he responded to the prednisone and prednisolone. The hypoallergenic diet has to be tried, with absolutely no cheating, for at least a month or more. If he is stealing snacks, then it still could be food allergies. And the hypoallergenic diet only treats allergies to food; if he is allergic to things like pollen it will not make a difference.

If no skin scrapings or skin biopsies have been done, that is something I would try before sending you to the skin specialist. You could also try a medication called cyclosporine, if the steroids helped. If that helps, it is some sort of allergy.

It could be internal disease; sometimes things like liver disease can cause skin problems and itching. A skin biopsy might help to tell you that.

So if this were my own cat, I would probably do a skin scraping to look at skin cells and hair follicles under a microscope. If that showed nothing, I would send some skin biopsies ( this can be done with sedation, using what looks like a tiny cookie cutter to get some skin plugs) and send the biopsies to a pathologist who specializes in skin conditions. Based on those findings, would determine what I do next. I would probably start back on prednisolone after the biopsy to keep him comfortable while I wait for the results.

Please let me know what else I can help with or answer.


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Thank you for the great rating!