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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 28513
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My cat keeps scratching above his eyes behind his ears and

Resolved Question:

My cat keeps scratching above his eyes behind his ears and side of face. he has been to the vets and does not have fleas or ear mites. I have not changed his food. What could it be, I dont want to take him back to the vet if it is not necessary as he hates going in the car/ basket
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner, Gayle. Such pruritis (itchy) about the face is strongly suggestive of both atopy (allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites, etc.) and food intolerance. Atopy is usually addressed with a low dose of a glucocorticosteroid such as prednisolone with the hope that the offending allegens will be gone by the time the course of therapy ends. 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 his 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. Please note that a food intolerance can arise at any age and even after our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
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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.