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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20619
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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cat has constant irritation around the throat and back of the

Resolved Question:

cat has constant irritation around the throat and back of the neck with some dry scabs appearing, cannot find any evidence of fleas !
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Now if Cassidy is itching this area to the point of self-trauma and scabs, then it is a sign of skin based irritation. This is most commonly a target itch area for cats having flea saliva reactions (it only takes one bite to trigger the allergic reaction, so not finding fleas doesn't completely rule this out as a trigger). Otherwise, we can see these signs appear when cats have ear issues (and can't quite reach) or due to other allergens (ie food proteins, pollens, household powders/sprays, dust mites, etc).

In this situation, there are some things you can do at home. As long as there is no sign of bacterial infection (ie pustules, pimples, crusts, scaling, etc), then you can keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection from developing (since this will make her even itchier and then require antibiotics to clear).

Further to this, if you have not treated Cassidy for fleas in the past month, consider doing so now. Because even if you don't see any in her black coat, this is an economical way to just make sure they aren't playing a role or stop them if they are. Ideally, do aim to use a good quality product (ie Advocate, Advantage II, Activyl, etc) since the older grocery store preparations and even Frontline are showing resistance and may not actually work.

As well, since most of our concerns are allergy in nature, you can try to soothe the itch and at the same time rule out allergic skin disease (flea saliva induced or environmental allergen), by treating her with an anti-histamine. Anti-histamines can settle allergic skin reactions in early stages or mild cases since the skin irritation is an allergic response. Typically in these cases, we will use Piriton for these wee ones (ie 1-2mg or 1/4 – 1/2 tablet of a 4mg Piriton tablet up to twice daily). Do note that while anti-histamines will break that itchiness cycle and give her skin the chance it needs to settle, it can make kitties drowsy. Therefore, we always keep the dose low and if she were to be drowsy on this, then we'd reduce the dose to once daily. And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your kitty has any pre-existing conditions or are on any other medication without speaking to your vet. That all said, if you treat her with this and she doesn't settle or her irritation is very severe, then he may require a short course of a steroids to allay the allergic skin response and associated itchiness.

Overall, Cassidy's signs tell us that we have a skin irritant affecting her. Do have a peek in her ears to make sure that there is no sign of issue that needs addressing. As well,d o review her diet and your household to just make sure there are no new allergens that could be affecting her. Otherwise, do consider treating her for fleas to rule them out completely and covering her with an antihistamine. If we act quickly and nip this in the bud, we should be able to settle her skin for her. Of course, if she is already causing severe damage or you can see signs of bacterial infection, then we'd want to follow up with her vet for systemic/oral treatment to settle this for her.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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