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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 10854
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Hi there I'm concerned as from later august

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Hi there I'm concerned as from later august September my cat becomes anti social and starts constantly licking herself all over till she pulls out hair and leaves lesion like scabs on her skin to a point were she is obsessively grooming 24/7 it started when she was abt a yr old and now it repeats every yr at the exact same time of yr then come end of October November she is back to her old self again? Why do you think she dose this at the same time every yr as her patches look sore and she isn't herself but is eating and drinking as normal

Hi here is a picture of mildred skin thankfully Erica xx

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb.

I recently came online and see that your question about Mildred hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response,but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.

The picture you sent (thank you for that, by the way), indicates what's known as miliary dermatitis which are small bumps/scabs which have been created by the over-zealous use of a very rough tongue on the skin. In some cases, the condition can be so bad that systemic antibiotics are needed although that doesn't appear to be the case here.

When itching/overgrooming/excessively licking occur at specific times of the year, then more than likely seasonal allergies are to blame. Cats can be reactive to pollens in the air from such things as ragweed, grasses, trees, or plants similar to humans. Rather than sneezing or experiencing runny eyes or nose, cats will become itchy. I know it doesn't sound logical or intuitive but this is a well recognized phenomenon in cats.

And, allergies of this sort tend to worsen as the cat ages; they never disappear unless you move and the patient is no longer exposed to the allergens which trigger the licking.

Some cats will experience behavior changes since they spend so much time wanting to over-groom their bodies and some will even have a reduced appetite.

Most, if not all, of these cats will respond to steroids which would have to be dispensed by your vet; however, antihistamines can help in some cases.

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) at a dose of 1/2 of a 25 mg tablet given twice daily or

Chlorpheniramine at a dose of 2-4 mg or

Claritin (Loratadine) at a dose of 2.5-5 mg or

Zyrtec (cetirizine) 5 mg once or twice a day

It is important to ensure that the formulations used contain ONLY the antihistamine and are not combination products (e.g. Claritin-D contains pseudoephedrine, which could cause very significant adverse effects in a cat).

Sedation is a common side effect with these kinds of drugs.

Fish oil supplements such as Welactin (which is a liquid drizzled on the food every day) can help in some cases since it has anti-inflammatory effects. These products can often be found at local pet or grain stores or can be purchased online.

A cone may be helpful but it will only prevent access to her body and prevent damage to it; it won't stop her from wanting to itch/over-groom.

I hope this helps although, again my apologies for the delayed reply. Deb

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