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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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I HAVE A 4 YEAR OLD CAT HE HAS DEVELOPED A ITICH WE HAVE TREATED

Customer Question

I HAVE A 4 YEAR OLD CAT HE HAS DEVELOPED A ITICH WE HAVE TREATED HIM FOR FLEES BUT HE HAS WATERY STOOL FOR THE LAST 3 MONTHS.HE HAS LOST WEIGHT. WHATS WRONG MY LOCAL VET IS MISSING SOMETHING.I DONT WANT TO LOOSE THE WE GUY.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
Hi there I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed vet who works exclusively with cats and dogs. I'm really sorry to hear that you're having these troubles with Taz. You have two separate problems here so I'll start with the first. If you've seen any fleas on Taz, then this is almost guaranteed the source of his itching. The flea life cycle takes at least three months to complete, so you'll need to do more than just treat Taz once to get them all gone. Some kitties are really sensitive to fleas running around on their skin and it will cause them to become easily distracted and lick, scratch, or twitch. There are a good amount of cats who are VERY allergic to fleas and thus will lose their hair and continue to scratch even after the fleas are gone because their allergic reaction is severe.Fleas can hide REALLY well in your kitty's fur, so I never count them out until I've done a thorough comb through with a flea comb. Flea combs are bristles so close together that if you brush over a flea, it will get caught in the comb and you will see it. They are really inexpensive and can be found at a pet store. The best place to find fleas on a kitty is around the rump area and around the neck. Even if none of the other cats around have fleas, it still could be fleas causing one cat to lose hair because she's allergic. I would start by ruling out fleas. If fleas aren't the case, then it sounds like a flare up of some other type of allergy. Usually, when a cat loses hair, it's flea allergy, however other possibilities are allergies to food and things in the environment like pollens, dusts, etc. I would definitely follow that up with application of a good flea product like Frontline or Advantage or apply a Seresto collar. If it's not fleas or if the fleas aren't totally controlled, she will continue to itch. In that case, many veterinarians would administer steroids to help calm down the allergic reaction. Usually there's not a whole lot of testing required, just a good thorough physical exam. When the adult fleas mate, they lay eggs on the cat that fall off wherever the cat is, so the flea eggs can be anywhere in your home. Once you've got a good quality flea treatment on your kitty, you should start focusing on treating your home with products that kill eggs and larvae. On to the diarrhea- I don't get worried about diarrhea until it continues despite treatment with a broad spectrum deworming, a diet change, probiotics and a course of medication called metronidazole. So before going any further, I would make sure that these have been done. Many kitties can have dietary sensitivities that can cause chronic diarrhea, so I would start ideally by discussing a prescription veterinary diet trial like easily digestible Puina EN or a hypoallergenic diet like Royal Canin's Hypoallergenic Select Protein diets. Over the counter diets that may help include Nature's Ba***** *****mited Ingredient Diets, or Nature's Variety Instinct diets - these are a few of my favorites. In a cat as young as Taz I would also want to check very well for intestinal parasites like giardia, coccidia, cryptosporidium, or tritrichomonas. There are blood and fecal panels that can be sent out to the lab to check for these. If further testing doesn't come up with anything and a diet change isn't helpful, it's time to decide if you can pursue intestinal biopsies to get a diagnosis. What I'm usually getting on biopsies for kitties that have passed all the other diagnostics is inflammatory bowel disease. IBD is inflammation of the GI tract that can lead to varying degrees of illness. In some cats, it's in response to a food allergen, but if we did diet trials we would have seen improvement. In many cats the inflammation is idiopathic, meaning that we don't know what causes it. Treatment typically is steroids, although there are some other drugs that can be used. In cases where my clients can't pursue biopsies (mostly for financial reasons), if we get stuck at a dead end, I will do a trial of steroids to see if they help. Please let me know what other questions I can answer for you :)~Dr. Sara

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