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-   -   kitten has skin problem - Answered by Dr. Van Lienden (

indy gal December 16th, 2003 08:48 PM

kitten has skin problem
I noticed something on my 7month old kitten's leg, and I don't know whether to wait and see if it heals on its own, or if I should take him to the vet.

He has a long strip of hair missing on his hind leg, it goes from right above his foot to right below his rear end. The skin has some redness in some areas (like a very level lump, not sticking out from the skin, but not just redness either), and even some flakyness in other areas.

He doesn't seem to favor the leg and I've never seen him licking at it. I don't know when it started, just noticed it 3 days ago for the first time.

Any thoughts what it might be? Should I go to the vet or wait?

Luba December 16th, 2003 09:14 PM

Has the cat been outdoors or around any other animals?

Is it a possible injury from getting stuck somewhere and trying to pull it's leg out?

What does it look like to you?

ALWAYS if it's unusual go to the vet.

indy gal December 17th, 2003 06:58 PM

No, this is an indoor cat, so I have no idea what it could be. I hate to always go running off to the vet, but I don't like the look of it, and several days have gone by and it isn't getting better on its own.

Plus we have 2 kittens from the same litter, and only one of them has this. (Unfortunately he won't hold still long enough for me to get a good look at it).

Luba December 17th, 2003 07:35 PM

Well you can wrap the kitten in a towel, tucking its legs down gently so you can take a look at it. If whatever it is, is not healing then you should go see the vet.

petdr January 7th, 2004 08:16 AM

There are a few possibilities: an old trauma that now is more evident because the fur is falling out and not being replaced (usually a temporary condition, however I've seen some permanent baldness in severe injuries), an ongoing self-inflicted condition such as excessive licking brought on by itching or a psychological problem (one cannot observe an animal twenty-four
hours a day, and even though you may not actually see this behaviour does not mean it is not happening).

Itching can be a self-reinforced problem from an old insult, or any number of other conditions that are ongoing. As far as treatment is concerned, I would suggest determining the type of condition before any medication is used.

If this were an old injury, then no other treatment is usually indicated. If this has a psychological basis, then it will only be revealed when physical causes have been ruled-out. I wish that I could be more specific for you, but I believe that a veterinary visit is in order to answer your question satisfactorily.

Dr. Van Lienden

Dr. Raymond Van Lienden DVM
The Animal Clinic of Clifton
12702 Chapel Road, Clifton
Virginia, U.S.A. 20124

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