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Hair loss and losing weight

January 2nd, 2010, 02:01 PM
I have a ten year old cat that had a large bald spot on his back two months ago, the vet gave him an allergy shot and flea meds. Since then he has been losing weight and now has hair loss on legs and thighs. I'm going to get him in the vet Monday, but am wondering if these could be signs of thyroid problems, even though he had a CBC &thyroid check last February. He is strictly an indoor cat, and now lives at my mother in laws, which makes me wonder if it could be allergies. Do cats lose weight with allergy problems?

Dr Lee
January 23rd, 2010, 02:05 AM
...the vet gave him an allergy shot ...wondering if these could be signs of thyroid problems, even though he had a CBC &thyroid check last February. Do cats lose weight with allergy problems?

What kind of allergy shot? If it is depo medrol, please beware. This is a common allergy shot. It does carry a risk of temporary or permanent diabetes with its use. While I do use this medication, I use it judiciously due to this risk. Sometimes it cannot be avoided. But still.

Could it be from thyroid? Possibly. Last Feb was almost a year ago. Not a bad time to have a full panel anyways.

Weight loss with allergies? In severe allergic cases, pets can lose weight due to the incessant itching that is occurring. The condition can lead to lack of proper sleep and feeding schedule which leads to weight loss. However I would look for other causes first (such as thyroid) which may be more common. Also there should not be a huge weight loss, nor one that markedly influences the muscle condition.

Please let us know how it goes. :pawprint:

January 23rd, 2010, 11:13 AM
Thank you very much for your reply. Yes, the shot was Depo-Medrol, and it doesn't seem to be working. His thyroid panel came back good, so the vet is still leaning towards allergies, even though none of the bald areas have sores, which he thinks they should with allergies. We gave him to my mother-in-law in Sept. bacause he was spraying, and she was letting him in her basement. We stopped that, thinking mold might have done it. That wasn't the problem. We had her put him on Cat Chow, which he was eating at our house, and stop the Friskies can food, which we didn't give him. I think its too soon to tell if that worked. He lost about a half pound, which isn't bad, but from the waist down has lost a ton of hair. Its going to be hard finding a solution, but I'm going to skip the next shot for sure, he doesn't need any more problems. Thanks again.

Dr Lee
January 23rd, 2010, 03:16 PM
If we are going to look into food changes then I have two recommendations. 1) members here can help give you some holistic and/or raw food diets or 2) there are prescription food that have hydrolyzed protein. (hydrolyzed protein is molecularly reduced in size to avoid allergy stimulation). When a pet is allergic to food, they are usually allergic to more than one protein in the diet. Unfortunately there are a lot of cross over proteins in various diets. As a result, trying different over the counter foods has a lower chance of working.

Another option is to go with a dermatologist. They can help look for the underlying cause of the itching.

Has a skin scraping been done? Cytology?

Typically allergies should respond to depo medrol. If there is no improvement, then infections (bacerial, fungal) and parasites (mites) should be ruled out. If it is allergic, then oral steroids (prednisolone oral is much safer than depo medrol) or cyclosporine may be considered.

I hope that helps. :pawprint:

January 24th, 2010, 05:05 PM
Thank you once again, I printed out your ideas and I'm going to show them to my mother in law, and the vet if theres no improvement within the next week.