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Dr. Adam
Dr. Adam, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2207
Experience:  Over twelve years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My cat seems to be losing hair on her back legs, otherwise

Customer Question

My cat seems to be losing hair on her back legs, otherwise she is perfectly healthy, no problems with eating, as energetic as ever. She is 3 years old and the rest of her coat is fine
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Adam replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr Ralston, thanks for your question,

Typically, when a cat is losing hair along the back of the rear limbs, and especially if they are licking the area, over grooming, or itching the back legs it is usually allergies. In this case likely atopy or inhalent allergies.

In some cases, long scabs might form along the back of the legs as well. We term that eosinophilic granuloma complex. But it is all a form of allergic reaction

The gold standard for testing is intradermal skin testing. This is usually done a Veterinary Deramtology office.

It is important to rule out other causes as well and certain tests should be done :

-trichogram - this is a hair pluck and culture to look for ring worm
- skin scrape - this is not a common area for mites to occur, but it is best to rule out demodex as a cause as well.

Especially important to do both of those tests before starting any type of steroid therapy as that can make it worse.

BEST treatment possible would be avoidance of exposure. You would have to know what is causing the allergy in order to do this. If something is new in your home like a plant, or air freshener, fabric softener, candles, new pet, etc... this could be the cause. Eliminate it and see if it gets better. But, other than putting the pet in a bubble, this might be necessary.

Hyposensitization shots are done after skin testing at the Dermatologists. This is a series of shots that will desensitize your pet to the allergen over a period of time. People have often had this done. The success rate is reported to be about 75% - not bad.

Steroids are often used -- prednisolone has been used every other day at about 1mg/pound. Injectable steroid has been given as well every 4 weeks as an alternative (depomedrol). Side effects can occur, including diabetes, secondary infections, worsening of other secondary infections.

SECONDARY treatment includes:
Antihistamines - Chlorpheniramine isa good one at about 2mg/cat by mouth every 12 hours, and sometimes three times daily.

Fatty acids - Derm Caps is a brand I use and like, but there are others. You will want to discuss this with your Vet.

Please be advised that this can take 6-12 weeks to resolve with treatment. It will take patience and commitment.

There is really nothing more you can do at home though. For best treatment, you will want to consult with your Vet directly.

Expert:  Dr. Adam replied 3 years ago.
Hello Russ,
Just following up on our conversation on Just Answer.

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Thanks,
DrRalston