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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 19977
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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my cat has recently started washing himself vigourously and

Customer Question

my cat has recently started washing himself vigourously and biting into his fur he does not have fleas if he not washing he scratching himself his fur is definatelty not looking as healthy as it used to
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 3 years ago.

Scott Nimmo :

Hello and welcome ... My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an experienced small animal veterinary surgeon, I will be very pleased to work with you today and will try my best to answer your question to your satisfaction.

Scott Nimmo :

I have seen this sort of thing in cats quite a few times in my life, lets work through the possibilities

Scott Nimmo :

Cappa could be some form of skin infection / dermatitis. Even a slight infection will cause irritation and itching, the cat will then lick the area and so irritate it more so a cycle of events sets in, the itch scratch cycle. The more it itches the more the cat bites and licks the area which makes it itch more and then .... well I am sure you can see where I am coming from.

Scott Nimmo :

It can often be an allergic dermatitis, skin allergies in the cat are quite common. they can be allergic to flea bites, specifically a small protein which the flea injects into your cat's blood stream while it is feeding. Inhalational allergies to house dust and pollen have been described and so have food allergies. But whatever the cause the itch scratch cycle soon plays a part.

Scott Nimmo :

But there are other possibilities ... Compulsive disorders have been described in the cat such as feline psychogenic alopecia an boredom can play a part here. This is where the cat pulls at its fur for no particular reason like a nervous teenager biting their nails. And of course once it is established the itch scratch cycle takes effect.

Customer:

he does not have fleas he is a house cat

Scott Nimmo :

It is always good to make sure he does not have fleas but there are other causes ...

Scott Nimmo :

I am sure the above information is quite accurate, thats all fine and good but what can we do about it?

Scott Nimmo :

I know this may not be what you want to hear but to really help your cat you then have to get your vet involved as prescription drugs are often needed ...

Scott Nimmo :

This is one of the few occasions where I use long acting corticosteroid injections. These are anti-inflammatory drugs which will dramatically reduce itching and so the cat will leave itself alone for a while. This can sometimes cure the situation where the itch scratch cycle has been a large component of the disease.

Customer:

he does not have fleas he is an indoor cat it must be ery uncomfrable for him how do i stop it?

Scott Nimmo :

Where a feline compulsive disorder is suspected your vet may prescribe very small doses of tranquilisers.

Scott Nimmo :

I wish I could suggest some home remedy to you but as I say prescription drugs are often needed, this can be a frustrating situation for the cat the owner and the vet to be honest ...

Customer:

Ok thank you I will take him tomorrow morning first thing he has megacolon disease this would not be related would it

Scott Nimmo :

Seeing the vet is the way to go I am afraid ... It would be very unlikely that the megacolon is related to his skin, unless stress is a factor ...

Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 19977
Experience: BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
Dr Scott Nimmo and 3 other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 3 years ago.
Hello again Eileen,

Just a short note to thank you very much for the good rating, this is very much appreciated. I will get back in touch with you in a couple of weeks to check on Cappa's progress, and I should also be about for the next couple of hours today so please get straight back to me if things have changed or you want to talk things over further.

Kindest regards,

Scott

Scott Nimmo The Online Vet

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