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Grooming problem

November 3rd, 2008, 09:31 PM
I've posted a couple of times about my sick cat and am wondering if you guys can help me again. My cat Snowball, who is 15 years old, was recently diagnosed with oral cancer. Apparently there is a tumor under/on her tongue.

Among a ton of other problems, I've noticed (it's hard not to) that her fur/skin is turning brown. She's licking herself a lot and I'm wondering if it's because of the tumor in her mouth collecting bacteria.. and then she licks her fur, spreading the stuff. It's all over her face and her front legs. I've attached some photos to show you how bad it's getting.

I've tried giving her a bath (something we've never ever given her) but she won't have any of it. I've tried hydrogen peroxide with cotton balls, but it doesn't really come off... plus I can only clean her for about 15 seconds before she gets a bit violent. I'm going to pick up some dry shampoo and try that... but I have a feeling it wont work too well for that problem. It'll probably help clean up the smell (she smells awful) but not anything else.

Have any of you seen this problem before? I don't know what to do! My vet seems to ignore it every time I bring it up because she has so many other problems to deal with, so I'm not getting any help there. What about those neck things that prevent them from licking themselves? I've always thought they were kind of cruel, but I don't know...

Agh! I just feel awful for her. When I was a little girl I remember my mom saying to me that cats are clean animals and deserve to have clean litterboxes (she was teaching me to empty the LB every day)... that's always stuck with me and even now I feel like I should be doing everything I can to help her get clean -- she deserves it.

Any ideas? Thanks so much in advance for your help!

November 3rd, 2008, 10:23 PM
My experience is with dogs, not cats, but we've had some experience with discoloration fo the fur by saliva.

Is the fur stiff or does it feel normal?

I wouldn't use a cone on her to prevent her licking--she'll feel better if she's allowed to groom. I think if the fur feels normal, I wouldn't worry about the color of it. It might look a little odd to you, but probably doesn't matter to her.

November 3rd, 2008, 11:42 PM
The fur doesn't feel normal... she's been pulling out clumps of hair for months now, so all the area's that she's been licking are all matted and gross. The part of her face that's she's licking doesn't feel normal either because it's permanently wet from her licking it. :(

November 4th, 2008, 01:15 AM
Is she on any medications? Some meds can cause fur to turn brown.

Has she had recent bloodwork done? Kidney and/or liver disease can also cause it.

But most often licking is caused by allergies and grains are the biggest culprit. What are you feeding her?

November 4th, 2008, 01:51 AM
Well, she's not on any meds... but her kidney's are failing, so I guess that can explain it. I'm feeding her wet cat food that is grain-free. Any idea's on how to at least clean it up? Have you used any products that are safe and worked?

It probably doesn't bother her, but it just drives me nuts because it smells so bad and she's been a clean cat her whole life and she doesn't deserve to be dirty like that. Poor girl...

November 4th, 2008, 02:16 AM
I don't have any experience with this type of problem. You may have some luck with this product although it is made for canine tear stains....