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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16881
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My cats has bald spots on her legs. why is this?

Resolved Question:

My cats has bald spots on her legs.
why is this?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name isXXXXX have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help with your concerns about Ebony's bald spots on her legs. Has she ever done anything like this before?

Hair loss on the abdomen and legs can be related to allergies (food, fleas, inhaled), stress, or anal gland inflammation (if the spots are on her rear legs only). In rare cases it can be related to abdominal pain.
If the spots have a scaly appearance to them this may be related to a ringworm (fungal) infection.

Over grooming can be related to itchy skin or it can be a self calming behavior. Grooming releases a calming neurotransmitter called serotonin, which is a calming neurotransmitter.

Some flea medications are more effective than others and if she is experiencing an occasional flea bite that can lead to her overgrooming herself. If you have other cats and they aren't affected than it may be the other cats aren't allergic. I like Frontline Plus or Advantage II for cats. Many over the counter products aren't effective and some are toxic.

If she has an anal gland infection treating that should help. If it's a chronic problem then removing them may be indicated.

She may be allergic to a protein in her food. I recommend trying a true hypoallergenic diet such as Hills D/d or Royal Canin Duck and Green Peas. If you choose to use a hypoallergenic diet then it must be the only thing that she gets for at least 10 to 16 weeks to see the full effects. No table foods or treats or flavored medication. Most owners see some improvement in 6 to 8 weeks.

If this is stress related then decreasing stress by using Feliway may help. Feliway is a synthetic analog of a facial pheromone which cats use to mark their home territory and is calming for them. Even though things may seem fine there may things that you aren't aware of.
Sometimes anti-anxiety drugs like buspirone or fluoxetine prescribed by her veterinarian may be indicated.

If you think this may be inhaled or flea allergy related then therapy with Chlorpheniramine at 4mg per cat once to twice daily and an omega-3 fatty acid such as Derm Caps should help her be more comfortable.

If the lesions are scaly then I highly recommend that she see her veterinarian to have a fungal culture checked. Ringworm is contagious to people and other pets so it is something that should be addressed as soon as possible.

So in short you can have her rechecked by her veterinarian to make sure there's no physical reason for her discomfort (full anal glands or abdominal pain). Or you can try flea preventatives, an antihistamine (chlorpheniramine) and an omega-3 fatty acid as well as a hypoallergenic diet and the feliway first and take her in if those don't help.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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