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Old January 5th, 2018, 06:12 PM
equinelove93 equinelove93 is offline
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Question Cat rapidly losing hair. No answers from vets.

Hey everyone.
I'm posting for my girlfriends cat who for 4 months now has been losing massive clumps of hair.

The cat is a 5 year old, female spayed DLH.

She is constantly licking herself. Everyday we find massive clumps of hair around the house. She has chewed off all the hair on her abdomen and has recently moved to chewing hair of under and around the tail.

We have gone for quite a few vet visits and spent hundreds of dollars so far to figure out what could be going on. We have change to a grain free limited ingridient diet and have tried 3 different formulas to see if it's a food allergy.

The vet suggested it could be stress and we were given feliway (feline pheromone diffuser). Fleas had been ruled out by the veterinarian. The vet suspected a possible urinary problem which the original sample came back positive for crystals but a second urine sample taken from her bladder grew absolutely nothing in the lab and we were told to discontinue giving her antibiotics. We had asked about mites but the vet didn't believe it was and did not think a skin scraping was nessissary.

As for the cat she seems happy. She plays, eats drinks and uses the bathroom just fine. She gets alot of affection and play time. She has free roam of a large house and doesn't seem to be anxious or in pain.

Me and my girlfriend are stumped from where to go from here. The cost of vet bills are getting very high.

Has anyone experienced a similar issue with one of their cats or have any ideas or suggestions. Right now we are stumped.
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Old January 6th, 2018, 12:11 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

Hopefully you can get some information here on the forum that will assist you.

Is she on wet food or dry food?

Is your house air dry or have you got a bit of humidity?

I have found that excessive hair loss can sometimes be caused by dry skin causing dandruff and excessive licking.

I've found also over the past few years using a good quality Omega 3 fatty acid supplement that it has reduced the amount of hair loss, pretty well eliminated dandruff and cut back on the licking.

Stress will have some effect on this as well. It's extremely hard to tell if an animal is stressed - the Feliway will help. Rescue Remedy added to the drinking water will also help to relieve stress.

Let me know what the food is that you are feeding and I can go from there.
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Old January 7th, 2018, 07:36 AM
equinelove93 equinelove93 is offline
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Hi there thanks for the reply.

Currently she is on dry food. She is a bit of a picky eater but is eating performatrin ultra salmon and potato limited ingridient formula. She has been tried on grain free chicken, and grain free turkey formula but only slightly has the salmon formula helped a tiny bit mostly with her coat.. Have been considering switching to wet food.

She does have very dry, skin and coat. I have been supplementing her with omega 3s every meal with grizzly salmon oil.

Lately the past few days the house had been very dry because here we've been in -30 degree weather so the heat is on high. But her hair loss and chewing started back at the end of September where we had some pretty mild and humid weather up even into late October.

Also I should mention that she was treated on her fist visit with feline acne and was given injection of antibiotics.it did clear up for about a month but is back now. So am wondering if it is stress related. But I can definitely try some more calming remedies as we haven't noticed any benefits from the feliway.
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Old January 7th, 2018, 11:12 AM
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I don't know much about thyroid problems in cats, but one of the first symptoms we've typically seen in our dogs that are developing hypothyroidism, is excessive shedding/hair loss. Is that true of cats, too? Has she had her thyroid levels checked recently?
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Old January 7th, 2018, 10:24 PM
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I think you should take time, but switch the kitty over to a good quality wet food gradually. Do some research into it.

It has been a long time since I have used canned cat food. I make my own raw food for our cats, and have been for years, but its not everybody's "cup of tea". So the next best thing to do is go for quality canned.

One of the major reasons for it is because of the moisture content. With cats being a desert animal, they rely on their food for the moisture content to maintain the body. Consequently cats have a very low tolerance to thirst.

If they are on dry food, they are constantly dehydrated to a degree. To demonstrate this point: when my 3 cats were on dry food, I was getting between 59 and 69 days out of a 40 pound bag of cat litter. Now that they are on raw diet, the same 40 pound bag, I get between 50 and 54 days on it.
So this will give you an idea of how dehydrated they were on dry food.

I am not familiar with grizzly salmon oil. I tried to do some research on it today, but it still leaves me in a bit of a quandry. Fish oil has a tendency of going bad relatively quickly when it comes in contact with air and I noticed that the grizzly salmon oil was in a bottle with a measuring spout. I'm wondering if something has been added to keep it from spoiling, and if so, what.

When I was looking at the amount of DHA and EPA in a serving, it was related to one measured squirt, but gave me no idea of the mg of the serving.

Basically what I use is Carlson Salmon Oil, 1000 mg softgel made up of salmon, anchovy, sardine and mackerel with a DHA of 90 mg and EPA of 110 mg. If you decide to go this route with any supplement from a health food store, make sure that that is all it contains. And be sure it's not flavoured. If you go with the Carlson somewhere down the line, start with a small amount - maybe 3 or 4 drops per meal to start with and work it up gradually. One of these softgels when opened with a push pin will give between 26 and 28 drops.

I've had good luck with it. My cats get 14 drops morning and night, so each of them gets a soft gel a day, and it is mixed into their food. That's why wet food makes it easier.

Can relate to your weather problems. We picked up a portable humidifier and it sure makes a big difference for us as well as the cats. Nobody receives a shock every time you try to pet any of them.

Regards to stress - if there is stress in the house among the humans, this will be picked up by the animals - cat, dog, or bird - and cause them to be stressed as well. Just moving furniture has a tendency to stress them out as well - we have one that creeps up on stuff to make sure it's the same thing that was somewhere else.

Something I'm trying at the present time is music for cats. And I find that this seems to have a calming effect on them, especially if we're going to be out of the house for any length of time. It's really not my music, but it works for them. If you want to try it, google "free music for cats".

Here's a web site that is well worth bookmarking for future reference.

http://catinfo.org/

On this web site, some of the highlights that might be of interest would be - Urinary Tract disease, Pilling cats and dogs safely, Transitioning Dry Food addicts to Canned food.

Hazel mentioned Thyroid. With the amount of time you've been to the vets, with blood work done, if so was there any sign of problems there?

One last thing. You might want to google is Feline Alopecia, and see if any of that info fits your problem.

Hope this info is a help to you. Sorry for the length of the post.

Keep us posted, and pictures of your kitty would also be appreciated.
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Old January 8th, 2018, 02:01 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Could having the heat on very high cause the cat skin to get too dry and lose fur ? what is your cat drinking habit like ?
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Old January 9th, 2018, 06:32 AM
equinelove93 equinelove93 is offline
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Thank you for all the helpful advice everyone. I will definitely consider getting a humidifier and looking into getting her thyroid checked. Will be switching her to wet food. She does drink but not as much as I would like or compared to my other two cats.

And update:
Yesterday we took her to a different vet for a second opinion. He believes there is stress going on or allergies in the home. She had quite a bad breakout of chin acne with one that is a deep infection. So she was given antibiotics and chlorhexidine wash for her chin. He mentioned the possibility of putting her on allergy medication and mentioned putting her on amitriptyline which is an antidepressant. However he wants a re-check in 3 weeks before proceeding to allow the antibiotics and help the chin acne clear up.

I'm a bit nervous at the thought of putting her on anti depressants. Has anyone had their cat on them? Have you had any positive results.

Oh and here is a picture of midnight
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Old January 9th, 2018, 08:07 AM
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She's gorgeous!

Out of curiosity, are her food and water dishes plastic? Our cat gets chin acne if he uses plastic bowls. We've switched everything to stainless steel and the acne went away.

No first-hand experience with amitriptyline in cats, but I've seen mixed reviews about it online. If I'm remembering right, the response to it varies from cat to cat, but if used cautiously, it may be worth a try. If it works, it seems to work well. If it were us, we'd probably have a heart-to-heart with the vet to get a list of side effects to watch for, and monitor closely.
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Old January 9th, 2018, 07:33 PM
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Hello again:

Hazel makes a good point about the cat food dishes - not to use plastic. Also she suggests stainless steel which is a good idea as well, as long as they are from North America. Some of the offshore dishes are noted to be radio active from my research.

So what I have done is go the Corelle glass dishware for feeding the cats. It's less costly than pet food dishes and more apt to be free of contaminants than other dishes. And they do take a decent pounding before breaking.

As for the Amitriptyline. I have had no experience with it. But today, I was in conversation with our chiropractor who is also an animal chiropractor and works with our veterinarians in the area. When I mentioned this anti depressant to her, she assumed I was using it on one of our cats. She was not impressed. We told her no, that someone else was having issues with their cats and this was suggested to them to relieve stress.

She said that she wouldn't even wish it on a human, never mind an animal - that it is very addictive. She said it would leave the cat like a zombie. She definitely would not recommend it. It would mask the problem rather than remedy it.

She suggested going through a raft of what could cause the issue and the use of Homeopathy and diet. She also brought up Rescue Remedy as well.

I have used Rescue Remedy and it really works. She said to get to the base of the problem rather than trying to mask it.

She had a lot of questions that should be looked at. Things like, have you moved in the last year? have you bought new furniture? have you had construction in the house or apt? are there other animals in the area of your place - cats, dogs, that show up out the window? Is she very territorial? I could go on with these questions but they are things to look into. She also suggested having a good hard look into food allergies. She also said that if you have access to an Integrative vet, it might be worth looking into.

I mentioned to her about the Acne and the Urinary Tract problem that you were prescribed antibiotics for both and she said be very careful with the antibiotics - which you can have problems with them. I know this from past experience.

Also, thank you for the picture of your kitty - you didn't tell us what her name is. We are also working with a friend who has a long haired female and it could pass as a twin to yours. Having similar problems.

Hope some of this info is helpful.
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Old January 9th, 2018, 08:29 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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I bring my dog to vet office to get groomed and they use Rescue Remedy when treating their cats patients . I was told it help the cats to relax and not be so stress out .
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Old January 13th, 2018, 06:38 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Yes, double ditto the dishes. Mine are all fruit nappies from the thrift store, fine china some of them.

This might be a silly idea but do you play with her? Even if you do I think I might try more play. Sticks with a string on the end that I can whip around, drag around are very popular at our house. So are those long nylon ties used for wrapping and I wiggle them under door frames and mats. Foamie balls too and two cats will bring them to me to throw again. They all enjoy their plays much more if it's me playing with them. Boredom could be thing leadting to stress and hair loss. More play with YOU might help.

Awww, she's black. My favourite colour.
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