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gpvet
gpvet, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 94
Experience:  I am a general practice vet dealing with all types of companion animals and small exotics for the last 13 years
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HAIRLOSS AND SNEEZING

Customer Question

HAIRLOSS AND SNEEZING
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  gpvet replied 4 years ago.
Hi there

Sorry to hear you are worried about Zen.

Lets break this down in to two parts shall we? Firstly the sneezing, then the hair loss.

Sneezing- there can be many causes of sneezing as I am sure you are aware. A brief list:
Viral infection (such as cat flu)
Bacterial infection (can also be cat flu or other opportunistic infections)
Fungal infection the nose (rare)
Allergy
Nasties - eg cancers

If he has a clear or no nasal discharge, and is otherwise bright and eating well, he is likely to have a viral infection or an allergy. Many viral infections clear themselves although can take a couple of weeks to do so. If he has allergic issues, you can try over the counter anti-histamines such as piriton (I would recommend half of a 4mg tablet twice daily).
If he has a yellowy-green nasal discharge, he has probably got some kind of bacterial infection, although we cannot tell if it is a primary infection or if it is secondary to another problem - most commonly tumours. Some mild infections can clear just as viral ones do.
With the sneezing, the main thing to watch is his appetite. If this starts to wane, that is when you are likely to need veterinary attention. You can try adjunctive therapies such as steam inhalation to loosen the mucous (put him in the bathroom when you have a shower!). Warmed up, smelly food also helps the appetite.

Now for the fur loss.

Ringworm certainly occurs in cats, and we often use canestan to treat it. The trick is to use it twice daily for quite a long time - 2 to 3 weeks is typically needed, sometimes longer.
There are other causes of fur loss as well - external parasites such as fleas, but also harvest mites and ear mites can be involved. I would recommend that you check his flea control is up to date with a good product such as advantage (now available over the counter).
There can also be bacterial infections present, although I would expect little pustules or scabby areas to be visible or palpable in the coat as well. If it is just a small area you can try topical antibacterial scrubs such as chlorhexidine (hibiscrub) that you can purchase from a chemist. If the skin looks sore then some flamazine cream may help as well.

I hope this information is useful to you, and let me know if you have any further questions.

Debbie