How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 29741
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
55012488
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr. Michael Salkin is online now

My black male cat had a perfect coat, but over the last few

Resolved Question:

My black male cat had a perfect coat, but over the last few years he seems to have bald or fine downy hair on his rear under belly & inside rear legs. Vet said it was over grooming or nerves. But he's more content & calm, than he was when 1st arrived 6yrs ago from rescue centre. I've tried a few drops of evening primrose oil on his food & that's helped a little but balding has spread to rear inside legs. Bet also tried different food but he wouldn't eat it, so I gave it away. Any other suggestion? Many thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I should add that's he's treated for worms fleas & ticks regularly & has no mites. He does have dandruff visible at times on his fur mainly around his back towards tail & I see it in the comb when he allows me to groom him the odd time! It's dandruff type like a human would get & not moving or live! Thanks
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Feline psychogenic alopecia as Prince's vet has conjectured is present is overdiagnosed but does exist. Excessive and out-of-context grooming is thought to be an obsessive-compulsive behavior that's triggered by environmental stresses and anxiety. The condition is uncommon in cats, with purebred cats that have high-strung nervous temperaments being possibly predisposed. Flea hypersensitivity, food allergy, atopy, and other ectoparasites are more common causes of feline alopecia.The alopecia of feline psychogenic alopecia may occur anywhere on the body where the cat can lick but it most commonly involves the medial forelegs, inner thighs, perineum, and ventral abdomen. Hair loss is often bilaterally symmetrical but remaining hairs don't epilate easily.The underlying cause of the psychological stress (e.g., separation from owner, moved to a new house, animal companion died, new pet in household, formerly outdoor cat denied access to outdoors) must be identified and appropriate environmental modifications made, if possible. A good flea control program should be instituted to prevent fleas from aggravating the symptoms. Use of a mechanical barrier (e.g. Elizabethan collar, T-shirt) for 1-2 months to prevent grooming may help break the habit. Behavior-modifying drugs may help stop the abnormal grooming behavior. In some cases, treatment may be discontinued after 30-60 days of therapy; in others, lifelong therapy is required for control. Drugs that may be effective include the following: amitriptyline, clomipramine, buspirone, phenobarbital, diazepam, and naloxone.It's not unreasonable to see if a hypoallergenic food trial is of value. Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that Prince's immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from his vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (a hydrolyzed protein diet is my preference because it avoids the possibility of my patient being intolerant to even a novel protein). A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time. Of course, you may simply elect to do nothing at all as long as Prince's alopecia is of cosmetic importance only. There's no reason to believe that his quality of life is effected if you're not seeing him lick those areas day and night and, instead, what we call a "silent groomer" in the dead of night. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and 3 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience.