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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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My cat looks as if it's fur is thinning and has black markings

Resolved Question:

My cat looks as if it's fur is thinning and has black markings like a dalmatian his appetite is good and act normal is this anything to worry about
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. How long has his fur been thinning?Where on his body are you seeing this?Are you see the black marks on the skin itself? Any crusting, scaling, sores, or pimples?Is he grooming, itching/scratching, or chewing his skin more?When was he last treated for fleas? What brand did you use?Any diet change in the 2 months before this started?Can you take a photo of this? If you can do so and post them online, it will let me see what you are seeing. To post them, you can either use the paperclip on the tool bar. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, then you can post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr etc) and paste the web address here for me to have a peek.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Flea treatment given on the 1st front line diet has not changed
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** do want to thank you for the photo, as it enables me to rule out a lot of issues right off the bat. Considering what we are seeing and his history, this reduces concerns of bacterial infections, food allergies, and stress induced overgrooming. Instead, based on what we are seeing, I have to warn you that this looks like a flea allergy dermatitis. If you have been using Frontline I suspect it has let us down here. In fact, we are seeing so much flea resistance with that product, that I don’t even advise its use to my clients anymore. So, its likely that a flea (as it only takes one inoculating the skin with saliva) has managed to bite him and thus causing irritation leading to him overgrooming this characteristic care. And just to note, the black skin discoloration is likely hyperpigmentation and is just a skin reaction to chronic irritation. Often if dark it can be permanent, but usually it will fade with time and be less noticeable as the hair regrows. Now in regards ***** ***** a situation like this, we usually will start by changing flea products. If you just applied Frontline last week, we will need to give it another week but will then want to treat with a more recent (and less resistant prone) product like Advocate, Activyl, or Advantage II. Those available from vets tend to just need a recent weight for dispensing. Otherwise, since these situations are actually allergic reactions to the flea saliva instead of an infestation, we do need to address that angle as well to break the overgrooming cycle. For mild cases, we can use antihistamines for this. Though for more severe ones, we do sometimes need to have these kitties treated with a long acting steroid injection from their vet. Still, if he isn’t overgrooming relentlessly, you can try him with Piriton/Chlorphenamine ( 2-4mg every 12 hours). Alternatively, you can also use Cetirizine (just 5mg for a cat) once daily. For either, we like to keep the dose low, since it can cause drowsiness (just like with people). And of course, these shouldn't be used if your wee one has any known health issues or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first. And just to note, if he is bothering the area quite a bit, we may need to place an e-collar for the short term to give his skin a break and avoid secondary infection from him. Overall, the pattern of hair loss and skin changes are highly suspicious of flea allergy dermatitis. Therefore, we’d want to take the above steps to remove the trigger and soothe the allergic reaction to see if we can get him settled and his lovely coat regrown. Please take care,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please rate my service afterwards, as this is the only way I am credited for helping you today. Thank you! : )
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- **I would be very grateful if you can rate my recent answer to your question, as this is the only way I am credited for helping you (this is at no extra cost to what you have paid already). If you have any lingering questions, please reply to me. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek. Thank you. :)
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