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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
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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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Some advice please. Have a 10yo british shorthair female

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Hello. Some advice please. Have a 10yo british shorthair female neutered cat with a 3 week history of pruritis. Mostly in one area between shouldner blades. Began suddenly one day with pain distress and acute itching. Scratching herself to cause a round sore inflamed lesion all in the space of a few hours. Saw emergency vet twice over that weekend. Metacam buprenex and antibiotics controlled symptoms initially fairly well, some itching of the area continued so we covered witha harness to prevent further trauma. Seen again 3 days later by my usual vet. Given short acting steroid shot and more antibiotics, rteview 1 week later, another steorid shot and more antinbiotics. The lesion is healing but slowly. It os not infected now and she is no longer on antibiotics but now has 1mg prednicare daily for a week then tapering. To take more if she still licks at it a lot if needed. I am concerned that this has taken so long to resolve. She is not terribly itchy now, just occasional licking near the area. The scab is light and flaky now with quite healthy looking skin appearing but still not completely gone. I wonder if we need to seek dermatology referral? I am also worried about longterm effect of the steroids of course as this has been ongoing for 3 weeks and she previously had 2 shots of depo for some oral inflammation. I know we need to treat her symptoms though to avoid further trauma and discomfort but wonder if dermatologist may have better treatment or diagnostic options. I am very worried about her. I do worry so. I have read so many things and it seems these problems can be quite severe and serious in some cases. It all started very suddenly and i treated her with stronghold for fleas on day 1 as I thought her itching may have been due to that. I just want to be able to help my kitty and get her back to health.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.

Now to start, I would just note that while we'd not be overly worried about a few weeks of steroids. Cats tolerate them quite well and its months of use where we'd be concerned about long term effects. So, this isn't a worrying stage here.

Still, it is important to know that it will be the steroids that is slowing her healing. This is because not only does it have anti-inflammatory effects but it can dampen the immune system. So, slow healing isn't unexpected and we do want to use the lowest working dose of steroids for Dolly to minimize that slowing. Though as long as it is healing, then we'd continue treatment. You could even speak to her vet about topical treatments to speed healing (ie manuka honey, intrasite gel). Of course, if we get to a point where it stops not fully healed or she continues to have that underlying irritation as the steroids are weaned down, then we'd want to have her seen by a specialist. If her vet feels this is skin centred, then a dermatologist would be best. Though if they feel the nerves underlying the skin are inflamed and causing this or that she is having more of a hyperaesthesia syndrome type issue (More Info @ http://www.cathealth.com/skin/hyperesthesia) then a neurologist may be best.

Overall, Dolly's situation is quite concerning but it sounds like you are on the right track. So, we want to promote healing and try to get her steroid dose down. But if she doesn't start to close that wound or if the underlying trigger for her signs are still lurking, then we'd be best to have her referred at that stage.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 19626
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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